Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Susan Will

Susan Will was raised in Bismarck, North Dakota. In 1973, she traveled to Alaska to enroll at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). Will came from a family who was actively involved in archeology. At a very young age, she was interested in history, the outdoors, and archeology. Her grandfather, George F. Will, was a well-known archeologist and historian. Will earned her degree in archeology at UAF and gained additional archeological fieldwork experience with the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline System (TAPS). In 1979, Will was hired as an archeologist with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Fairbanks, Alaska, where she currently is the Associate District Manager. Will's first Alaskan archeological fieldwork was located at Dry Creek in 1973, the same year the TAPS was authorized to begin construction of the pipeline. John Cook, Chairman of the Anthropology Department, UAF, was the Project Manager for Haul Road and TAPS archeology. Cook needed an archeological crew to excavate sites along the proposed route. Women were not permitted to work anywhere along the TAPS. John Cook was instrumental in recruiting the first women, Susan Will and Ruth Croxton. His efforts opened the door for other women to work with TAPS. Susan Will is featured in the Dalton Highway: Multi-media history of Alaska's Arctic Road Project Jukebox.

Susan Will appears in the following new Jukebox projects: