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Women Of The Bakken

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Madelyn Beck
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U.S. Energy Information Administration
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Oil wells producing from the Bakken Formation, US and Canada

In the drilling sites and "man camps" of North Dakota's oil fields, women can seem like fictional beings.  But you don't really need to look far to find women living and working in the Bakken oil patch. In small towns near drilling rigs, women and teenagers perform essential jobs. Some are native to the region, while others moved there independently or with partners, looking for work. These women keep the towns moving and sometimes even venture onto the oil fields to do a "man's" work.

Producer Madelyn Beck interviewed three such women: an 80-year-old who's seen several oil booms and busts; an officer of the law; and the woman who runs a man camp.

(Broadcast: In Other Words, 9/2/14)

Beth Anne Austein has been spinning tunes on the air (The Folk Show, Dancing With Tradition, Freeforms), as well as recording, editing and mixing audio for Montana Public Radio and Montana PBS, since the Clinton Administration. She’s jockeyed faders or "fixed it in post” for The Plant Detective; Listeners Bookstall; Fieldnotes; Musicians Spotlight; The Write Question; Storycorps; Selected Shorts; Bill Raoul’s music series; orchestral and chamber concerts; lecture series; news interviews; and outside producers’ programs about topics ranging from philosophy to ticks.