The Natural History of an Arctic Oil Field

1st Edition

Development and the Biota

Editors: Joe Truett Stephen Johnson
Hardcover ISBN: 9780127012353
eBook ISBN: 9780080512419
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 15th May 2000
Page Count: 422
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Institutional Access


In spite of the harsh conditions that characterize the Arctic, it is a surprisingly fragile ecosystem. The exploration for oil in the Arctic over the past 30 years has had profound effects on the plants and animals that inhabit this frozen clime. The Natural History of an Arctic Oil Field synthesizes decades of research on these myriad impacts. Specialists with years of field experience have contributed to this volume to create the first widely available synopsis of the ecology and wildlife biology of animals and plants living in close association with an actively producing oil field.

Key Features

@bul:* First widely available synthesis of arctic oil field ecology and wildlife biology

  • Concise yet readable treatment of a diverse polar ecosystem
  • Useful for land managers, policy makers as well as ecologists, and population biologists
  • Chapters authored by recognized authorities and contributions are peer-reviewed for accuracy and scientific rigor
  • Illustrations attractively designed to enhance comprehension


Faculty and graduate students interested in polar ecology; federal and state policy makers; resource users; impact analysts; engineers; research and management biologists; oil industry and environmental cosultants; university libraries; and government agencies.

Table of Contents

Contributors Foreword Preface Part I Introduction to Arctic Ecosystems 1 Introduction Introduction Physical Environment Wildlife, Fish, and Habitats Anthropogenic Changes The Investigative Focus References 2 North Slope Oil Field Development Introduction The History of North Slope Oil Exploration and Development The Nature of Oil Development Identifying and Monitoring Environmental Impacts Mitigating Environmental Impacts Conclusions References 3 Vegetative Responses to Disturbance Introduction Exploration Sites (1940-1970) Exploration Sites (1970-1990) Exploration Sites (1990s) Winter Haul Roads Production Pads and Roads Dust Fallout from Roads Gravel Spills on Tundra Snow Stockpiles Seeded and Fertilized Sites Nutrients from Wastewater Impoundments Buried Cable Trenches Oil Spills Brine Spills Conclusions Epilogue References Part II Mammals of an Arctic Oil Field 4 Caribou Introduction Distribution and Abundance Population Influences in the Oil-Field Region Responses to Human Activity and Habitat Change Can Caribou Adapt to Environmental Change? References 5 Caribou and Oil Fields Introduction Caribou Use of the Oil Fields Implications for Impacts of Oil Development References 6 Grizzly Bear Introduction Distribution and Abundance Habitat Use and Food Habits Denning Ecology Population Dynamics Discussion References 7 Polar Bear Introduction


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About the Editor

Joe Truett

Dr. Truett has worked much of the last 25 years conducting and managing research programs related to the response of arctic wildlife and habitats to industrial development. During much of this time he worked as senior biologist with LGL Ecological Research Associates and, later, as owner of Truett Research. Currently he is senior biologist with the Turner Endangered Species Fund. He has published numerous articles related to his arctic work and to an area of personal interest--environmental history. In the latter field, he has published two books, Land of Bears and Honey with D.W. Lay, from the University of Texas Press, 1984 and Circling Back: Chronicle of a Texas River Valley, from the University of Iowa Press, 1996.

Affiliations and Expertise

Truett Research, Glenwood, New Mexico, U.S.A.

Stephen Johnson

Dr. Johnson has conducted and managed research projects on marine and terrestrial birds and mammals for the past 30 years in arctic and subarctic Alaska, Canada, Russia, Greenland, and Svalbard. Since 1975, he has worked as a research ecologist with LGL Limited on projects related to impacts of industrial development on wildlife and their habitats. Currently he is Senior Vice President of LGL Limited with management and research responsibilities in Alaska, Canada, and Russia. He has published numerous scientific papers and reports related to his arctic work and is the co-author with D.R. Herter of a reference book on arctic birds, The Birds of Beaufort Sea from BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc., 1989.

Affiliations and Expertise

LGL Limited, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada