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Gil Mull, Interview 1, Part 3

This is a continuation of the interview with Gil Mull on October 20, 2004 with Karen Brewster in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This is part three of tape number Oral History 2002-27-22. The interview continues in part four of tape number Oral History 2002-27-22, and parts one and two of tape number Oral History 2002-27-23. The interview began in parts one and two of tape number Oral History 2002-27-22. In this part of the interview, Gil talks about doing geological fieldwork, and the effects of oil exploration on animal populations.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2002-27-22_PT.3

Project: Gates of the Arctic National Park
Date of Interview: Oct 20, 2004
Narrator(s): Gil Mull
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) Differences in geological fieldwork between public, academic, and industrial organizations

2) Differences in how projects are managed between private verses public sector

3) His memorable experience while traveling via helicopter to a remote field site, and the importance of having an experienced pilot

4) Some life threatening experiences during his fieldwork, and the hazards of geological fieldwork

5) The excitement of geological fieldwork and challenge of exploration

6) The issues of oil exploration affecting moose and caribou populations in the North Slope and stories about bear encounters

7) Communication used and the rigorous safety standards of geological fieldwork

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: field season -- changes in\ fieldwork -- limited funding\ fieldwork -- comparison of\ employment -- comparison of\ public work -- more flexible\ industrial -- more rigid\ private information -- less utilization of\ public information -- survey\ public information -- releasing of\ public employment -- satisfaction of\ institutional setting -- comparison of\ industrial institution -- rigid\ public institution -- informal\ employees -- comparison of\ employees -- stereotyping\ industrial -- differences in\ academic -- differences in|

Section 2: funding -- differences between private and industry\ industry -- funding difficulties\ subsurface -- availability of information\ existing information -- primary focus\ industry field work -- less needed\ basin -- known body of knowledge\ field camps -- similarities with\ industry field camps -- description of\ field survey -- camp descriptions\ field camp -- location of\ Anaktuvuk\ transportation -- types of\ transportation -- more advanced today\ western National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska (NPRA) -- no available amenities\ fieldwork -- less hiking\ fieldwork -- using existing maps and aerial photographs\ field geologists -- using existing data\ exploration -- reasons for\ fieldwork -- purpose of\ fieldwork -- researching a geological issue\ field clothes -- type of\ camp equipment\ survival gear\ fieldwork -- risk free|

Section 3: Kaktovik\ Barter Island\ Kavik Camp -- location of\ Kavik camp -- drill site\ Arctic National Wildlife Refuge\ camp site -- story\ weather conditions -- fog\ transportation -- helicopter\ channel -- navigational purpose\ pilot -- lost\ visibility -- poor\ helicopter -- low fuel\ helicopter -- landing of\ helicopter -- refueling\ fog -- problematic\ fuel -- low for second time\ communication -- emergency\ camp -- overnight\ shelter -- helicopter\ pilot -- poor judgment\ company policy -- fuel\ flight -- story\ location\ Galena -- description of\ flight -- difficulties in\ headwind\ flight -- rerouting of\ fuel -- low\ landing -- forced\ shelter -- in helicopter\ fuel --air drop\ refuel\ fieldwork -- minimal risk\ pilot -- rigorous standards\ pilot -- highly qualified\ fieldwork -- dependent on pilots|

Section 4: story -- first life threatening experience\ location of\ seismic crew -- working with\ transportation -- first plane\ first plane -- limited space\ second plane -- location of\ location -- lake\ Mull, Gil -- volunteered\ Mull, Gil -- abandoned\ weather -- white-out\ pilot -- second plane\ Jacobs, Bob -- pilot\ pilot -- unaware of passenger pickup\ communication -- lack of\ pilot arrival -- fortunate\ field parties -- no fatalities\ field party -- other fatalities\ geologist -- working for British Petroleum\ geologist -- abandoned\ fieldwork -- hazards of\ fieldwork -- current rigorous standards|

Section 5: exploration -- solving a mystery\ discovery -- lure of\ geology -- problem solving\ geology --physical challenge\ geology -- intellectual challenge\ exploration -- hardships\ exploration -- satisfaction of\ location -- returning to\ data -- similarities of\ interpretation -- changes in\ out crop -- returning to\ outcrop -- changes in\ brush -- noticeable growth\ places -- repeated visits\ rivers -- changing of\ rocks -- consistent \ exposure -- noticeable change\ interpretation -- of change\ surroundings -- gradual changes in|

Section 6: moose -- more prevalent\ caribou -- fluctuating\ animal -- population of\ North slope -- no moose\ wolves -- mass hunting of\ Governor Jay Hammond\ United States Geological Survey -- early wildlife observations\ wolf population -- decimated\ moose -- abundance of\ North Slope -- noticeable wildlife biological change\ oil development -- debates of\ caribou -- no effects\ caribou -- central herd\ caribou -- arctic herd\ arctic heard -- increasing of\ Western Brooks Range\ caribou -- western herd\ western herd -- declined\ western herd -- decline unrelated to oil\ caribou population -- effects unknown\ bears -- minimal encounters\ North slope -- visibility\ bear -- first story\ tent -- bear\ field camp -- being aware\ bear encounters -- minimal\ Arctic National Wildlife Refuge\ bear story -- second\ sow and cubs -- close to camp\ noise -- no effect\ sow and cubs -- not dangerous\ pistol -- no effect\ bottle rockets -- no effect\ Harris, Ellen -- bear encounter\ Dusal-Bacon, Cynthia -- bear encounter\ bear attack -- riskier in Interior\ North slope -- open\ bear -- third story\ Adams, Karen -- bear encounter\ hiking\ gun shots\ bear -- shot\ rifle -- 44 magnum\ gun -- not effective\ yelling -- effective with movement\ Harris, Ellen -- deterring the bear\ noise -- ineffective\ noise -- effective with movement|

Section 7: communication -- radio\ communication -- walkie talkie\ communication -- early limitations\ walkie talkie -- description of\ communication -- process of\ United States Geological Survey -- solo\ Industrial -- team\ Industrial -- rigorous safety standards\ fieldwork -- tools\ data -- collection of\ field geologists -- work process varies|