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George Gryc, Part 2

This is a continuation of the interview with George Gryc on September 21, 2004 with Karen Brewster in Menlo Park, California. This is part two of tape number Oral History 2002-27-19. The interview continues in part three and four of tape number Oral History 2002-27-19. In this part of the interview, George talks about oil exploration in the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, interacting with the Nunamiut people at Chandler Lake, and challenges of doing remote geological fieldwork.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2002-27-19_PT.2

Project: Gates of the Arctic National Park
Date of Interview: Sep 21, 2004
Narrator(s): George Gryc
Interviewer(s): Karen Brewster
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.

After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.


1) Continuation of the oil exploration program of the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska

2) Geophysical work in oil exploration and the impact of exploration on the tundra

3) Efforts to minimize impacts from exploration activities

4) Different projects he worked on with the US Geological Survey

5) Current projects involved with, especially the Circum-Pacific Map Project

6) Interacting with the Nunamiut people at Chandler Lake in the 1940s

7) Continuation of interaction with Nunamiut at Chandler Lake, specifically surrounding death of Simon Paneak's daughter

8) Dealing with the remoteness and isolation of early fieldwork in northern Alaska

Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.

After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.


Section 1: US Geological Survey\ Husky Oil\ oil exploration -- data\ oil exploration -- book\ oil exploration -- samples\ samples -- study of\ program -- "plays"\ geology -- understanding\ oil deposit -- evaluation of\ rocks -- source\ rocks -- reservoir\ geologic structure\ oil -- traps\ geologic history\ oil -- migration\ conditions\ targets\ oil -- drilling\ evaluation -- testing of\ geology -- interpretation of\ data -- subjective\ oil company\ risk\ industry -- make money\ exploration program -- purpose of\ Barrow -- natural gas\ US Navy\ natural gas -- sharing with village\ gas line -- upgrade\ natural gas -- exploration\ gas drilling -- Walakpa\ gas field -- ownership\ oil field partners -- relationship\ US Geological Survey\ private industry\ land -- ownership\ Bureau of Land Management\ Husky Oil\ contracts\ lease -- manager\ Federal Oil and Gas Company "FOGCO"|

Section 2: Naval reserves\ Elk Hills Naval Reserve, California\ EXXON\ energy resources\ coal\ oil\ oil -- early theory of occurance\ oil -- anticlines\ oil -- supplies\ NPRA -- leasing\ oil -- discovery\ Alpine Field\ Nuiqsut\ exploration program -- "play"\ discovery -- unpredicted\ geophysics -- surveys\ structure -- interpretation of\ geophysics -- 3D\ geologic techniques -- changes in\ geophysics -- advances in\ geophysics -- remote surveys\ computer programs\ subsurface -- interpretation of\ survey -- detailed\ survey -- cost of\ tundra -- impact on\ vehicles -- low impact\ exploration -- impact of\ conservation groups\ Arctic National Wildlife Refuge\ Anchorage\ Brewer, Max\ Barrow\ permafrost\ environmental impact -- minimize\ Schindler, John\ Husky Oil\ PET4 -- clean-up\ environmental conscious -- old days\ vehicle -- Weasel\ PET4 -- exploration philosophy\ exploration -- impact of\ US Navy\ tundra -- scars\ seismic surveys\ vehicle -- Caterpillars\ dynamite -- use of\ geophysical -- modern techniques|

Section 3: geophysical -- survey\ exploration -- winter\ exploration -- restrictions\ vehicle -- D8-Cat\ impact -- tundra\ travel -- stipulations\ impact -- minimize\ fieldwork -- impact\ garbage\ tundra -- walking\ fieldwork -- summer\ geophysical -- winter\ drilling -- winter\ oil wells -- deep\ Inigok Well\ Tunalik Well\ rock -- structure\ airstrip -- construction of\ Lisburne Well\ National Park Service\ Brooks Range\ DEWLine -- clean-up\ fuel -- barrels\ Umiat\ barrels -- abandoned\ barrels -- clean-up\ contractors\ barrels -- disposal of|

Section 4: work -- post-NPRA\ report -- writing\ job -- Western Region Director's Representative\ Menlo Park, California\ Office of National Petroleum Reserves -- closure\ Circum-Pacific Mapping Project\ Circumpacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources\ Habouty, Michel T.\ Pacific region -- resources\ geologic data -- centralization of\ American Association of Petroleum Geology (AAPG)\ Geological Survey\ energy and mineral resources\ data -- collection\ maps\ chief of map project -- Geological Survey\ data collection -- panels\ regions\ maps -- scale of\ maps -- types of\ maps -- number of\ maps -- Pacific region\ data and mapping -- process\ job -- chief of map project\ retirement -- date of\ Geological Survey -- reorganization of\ organization -- philosophy of\ job -- emeritus\ Geological Survey -- emeritus program\ funding -- limited|

Section 5: work -- post-retirement\ Circum-Pacific Map Project\ maps -- making\ maps -- manual\ maps -- digital\ making maps -- changes in\ publishing -- cost of\ Circum-Pacific Council -- topics\ hazards\ social-economic actions\ project -- Crowding the Rim\ coastlines\ Pacific -- Ring of Fire\ earthquakes\ volcanoes\ hazards -- impacts of\ modeling -- computer\ demography\ resources\ hazard -- simulation\ game -- simulation\ game -- "Rim Sim"\ game -- testing\ Shanghai\ Chinese\ project -- Powering the Rim\ resources -- energy|

Section 6: 1940s\ Colville River -- trip\ trip -- age at\ Nunamiut -- interaction with\ Wien, Sig\ Chandler River\ glacial moraine\ Chandler Lake\ airplane -- not able to land\ Chandler Lake -- camp\ village -- location\ wood -- lack of\ caribou -- raw\ willow\ tea\ Wien, Sig -- bring supplies\ Paneak, Simon\ Nunamiut -- number of\ Killik River\ camps -- movement of\ camps -- location\ caribou -- migration of\ Chandler Lake -- fish\ fish -- lake trout\ fish -- fresh water herring\ fishing -- nets\ fishing -- summer\ caribou -- migration route\ Hunt Fork\ North Slope\ caribou -- hunting\ caribou -- drive into lake\ spear\ kayaks\ Campbell, John\ book -- "Northwest Chronicle"\ Paneak, Simon\ English -- speaking\ Kakinya, Elijah\ coast\ missionary -- contact with\ Nunamiut -- visiting\ women -- stand in background\ mealtime -- Nunamiut appear\ Rulland, Frank\ Native language\ dinner -- invitation to\ Nunamiut -- impression of non-Natives\ Nunamiut -- stories\ fun|

Section 7: Paneak, Simon\ chief -- story of\ sickness\ healing\ medicine -- herbal\ medical care -- lack of\ illness -- daughter\ medicine -- western\ medical supplies -- emergency\ helicopters -- lack of\ rescue -- lack of\ daughter -- death of\ burial\ Big Chandler\ Little Chandler\ burial site -- sand spit\ grief\ dog races\ Native women -- interaction with\ food\ Metzger, Charles -- book|

Section 8: remoteness -- dealing with\ childhood -- Minnesota\ farm\ river\ fishing\ geology -- college\ outdoors -- love of\ family -- outdoors people\ swimmer -- competitive\ job -- YMCA\ job -- teaching canoeing\ canoe trips\ St. Croix River\ river -- experience\ master's thesis -- map Grand Portage Indian Reservation\ country -- description of\ country -- brush\ fieldwork -- conditions\ Reed, John\ job -- qualifications for\ Reed, John -- mentor\ Alaska\ Alaska -- felt at home\ isolation\ small group -- camaraderie\ small group -- dependence\ Chandler Lake\ Barrow\ Umiat\ location -- remote\ archeological sites\ first time -- feeling of\ caribou\ Chandler River\ caribou -- migration\ Banks, Walton\ river -- survey\ traverse\ triangulation\ observation points\ stations\ caribou tails -- interfere with observation\ transit\ Maryland\ fear\ map -- lack of\ river -- unknown\ streams\ cliffs\ Kiruktagiak River\ river -- direction\ Colville River\ fear -- lack of\ Hipple, George\ Hipple, John\ Hipple twins -- field assistants\ Hipple twins -- hiring of|