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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • UND professors study oil patch man camps

  • A team made up of University of North Dakota professors, an archaeologist and a photographer toured North Dakota's booming oil patch over the weekend to study man camps.
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  • A team made up of University of North Dakota professors, an archaeologist and a photographer toured North Dakota's booming oil patch over the weekend to study man camps.
    The researchers visited Tioga, Wheelock, Williston and Watford City to study the social and material conditions of workforce housing, according to The Forum.
    The researchers are studying three types of camps: the large, organized crew camps; less formal RV parks and trailer courts with water and sewer hookups; and camps without water and electricity.
    One of the goals of the group is to document the living conditions of the oil boom so people in the future will know what it was like.
    Bret Weber, assistant professor of social work, said the lack of housing is connected to all other social issues.
    "In one way it all either directly or indirectly comes back to housing," said Weber, who is interviewing residents. He said that many of the residents in the most organized crew camps often want to move to RV parks so they can have their own space and invite visitors.
    Archaeologist Richard Rothaus said the most primitive camps will be the ones to leave behind the most artifacts for future generations.
    "The more organized the camp, the less there will be left," said Rothaus, owner of consulting firm Trefoil Cultural and Environmental.
    The group toured an RV camp that had recently been abandoned, leaving behind coolers, dumbbells and debris.
    Also traveling as part of the group is Philadelphia photographer Kyle Cassidy, who is taking portraits of people in the oil patch.

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