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Daniel "Dan" Osborne
Dan Osborne

Daniel "Dan" Osborne was interviewed on May 4, 2000 by Bill Schneider at the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Fairbanks, Alaska. In this interview, Dan talks about his career as an electronics technician and project engineer at the Geophysical Institute. He discusses doing field research and data collection, projects he worked on, collaborating with scientists, and working at Poker Flat Research Range.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2000-18-05

Project: Geophysical Institute 50th Anniversary
Date of Interview: May 4, 2000
Narrator(s): Daniel "Dan" Osborne
Interviewer(s): Bill Schneider
Location of Interview:
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1) Personal background, childhood, and family.

2) Becoming interested in science.

3) Coming to Alaska.

4) Coming to Alaska during the flood and attending classes at University of Alaska Fairbanks.

5) Attending classes at University of Alaska Fairbanks.

6) The Aurora and its mystery.

7) The Aurora and the signals it puts out, laying and fixing wire at 70 below.

8) Reading the data recorded at the Stevens Village Station.

9) Training experience.

10) Poker Flats and how it got started.

11) Starting job at Poker Flat and working at Fort Yukon.

12) Relationship with the GI's and going back to Poker Flat.

13) Getting married and past travels.

14) Traveling with family around the world and changes in technology.

15) Working at the Geophysical Institute.

16) The anniversary of the Geophysical Institute and where it should be headed

17) Collecting data from lightning and understanding it, and the need for more research.

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Section 1: California -- grew up\ Bay area -- lived\ Junior College -- attended\ transfer -- four-year college\ University of Alaska Fairbanks -- catalog\ University of Alaska Fairbanks -- application\ Alaska\ father -- general contractor\ houses -- built\ mother -- education\ mother -- college|

Section 2: science\ Sputnik\ science teacher -- new\ summer school -- all science\ baby rats -- raised\ bones\ rockets -- launched\ questions -- why\ inspiration\ Alaska\ Vietnam War\ Alaska Highway -- restrictions\ United States Customs\ Canada -- envelope\ Beaver Creek -- deliver envelope|

Section 3: Beaver Creek -- envelope delivered\ customs agent -- bet\ Canada\ Alaska\ Alaska -- summer 1967\ flood\ streets -- holes\ dorms\ campground -- washed away\ floors -- muddy|

Section 4: volunteer\ undergraduate\ electronics -- ham radio\ engineering\ Alaska Alpine Club\ backpacking\ climbing\ class -- sleeping\ Duckering Building\ teacher -- lecturing|

Section 5: Duckering Building -- hot\ Alaska Alpine Club\ Tuesday lunch\ hikes, climbs -- planning\ Wilson, Buck\ Antarctica -- proposal\ annual site -- funding\ Russia\ Stevens Village\ Wilson, Buck -- grant\ Geophysical station\ data -- collect\ Fairbanks, Alaska\ Aurora\ sonic boom\ bow wave\ waves -- cycles of| Attending classes at University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Section 6: western traveling\ physics\ mystery\ Stevens Village\ photograph -- magnetically recorded\ bow wave -- signature\ Aurora Infrasonic Wave (AIW)\ infrasonic wave\ monitor -- nuclear test\ nuclear tests -- above ground\ nuclear tests -- wave\ acoustical wave\ wave -- distance\ wave -- zero energy loss|

Section 7: signals -- north\ technician engineer\ dogsleds\ wires\ compact array\ infrasonic station\ sensors\ remote power operation\ trapline\ trails -- followed\ cable -- laying\ temperature -- 70 below\ wire -- heavy\ wire -- replacing\ splicing\ wire -- sleeping bag\ temperature -- cold\ spliced -- sleeping bag|

Section 8: Chinese -- nuclear test signals\ station -- two years\ data -- charred paper\ waves -- coherent\ infrasonic wave\ time slip\ Poker Flat\ station -- closed\ Aurora|

Section 9: training -- on-the-job\ infrasonic wave\ learn -- tutor\ Wilson, Buck\ Stevens Village\ read -- library books\ electronic books\ degree\ Poker Flat\ rocket launch -- work nights\ University of Alaska, Fairbanks|

Section 10: Brown, Neil\ hiring\ money\ summer -- built cabin\ climbing friend\ Frontier Sporting Goods\ job -- Poker Flat Research Range|

Section 11: Fort Yukon\ observatory\ rocket instrumentation -- operator\ Romick, Dr. Jerry\ Geophysical Institute -- optics professor\ wires -- install\ military base -- Fort Yukon\ balloon launch facility\ GI's|

Section 12: Poker Flat\ rocket launch\ instruments -- optic\ analog-digital system\ control -- pointing\ science officer -- optic building\ safety officer\ launch officer\ range manager -- acting\ textbooks -- engineering\ experience\ learn -- mistakes|

Section 13: married\ travels -- lacking\ Antarctica -- infrasonic array installed\ Spitsbergen -- observation\ University of Alaska Fairbanks\ optic instrumentation\ house -- Indian border\ relative -- India\ house -- mortgaged\ Kashmir\ family -- traveled world\ Sicily -- Italy\ Valley of the Kings -- Egypt\ Great Pyramids -- Egypt|

Section 14: infrasonics installation -- Antarctica\ technician\ principle investigator\ computer controls\ data -- digitized\ analysed -- auto\ electronics -- modern\ 1 bit -- of a volt\ instruments -- calibrate\ errors\ Geophysical Institute -- working\ Brown, Neil|

Section 15: Wilson, Buck\ Brown, Neil\ projects -- volunteers\ compensation -- old days\ campuses -- power struggle\ installations\ money -- spending\ paperwork -- complications\ purchase orders -- signatures\ Stevens Village\ procedures -- old\ Alaska -- understanding|

Section 16: roots\ experimentalists\ experiment -- specialize\ data -- collect\ proposal\ images\ space shuttle -- images\ NASA\ \ data -- analyze\ aircraft -- chartered\ flying -- tandem\ sweeps|

Section 17: airplanes -- flying in formation\ planes -- distance separation\ sprite\ ionosphere\ lightning bolt\ thunderhead\ solar wind\ electrical collection -- from ground\ measurements -- triangulation\ blue jets\ low light collectibility\ experiments -- more|