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Surrounded by wolves in a North Dakota oil town

To feel safe in an oil boomtown filled with lonely and sometimes aggressive men, Nathina St. Pierre packs a pistol and her dog.

Tens of thousands of people have moved to North Dakota to take jobs in the oil fields or businesses serving them. Independent radio producer Todd Melby has been working on a series, Black Gold Boom. Marketplace is airing some of his portraits of people caught up in the oil boom.

Most of the people who have come to North Dakota for work are men. Today, 21-year-old Nathina St. Pierre talks about what it's like to be a woman surrounded at every step by lonely and sometimes aggressive men. Listen to her story in the audio above.


Ben Garvin recorded the conversation with Nathina St. Pierre and Todd Melby produced it. Todd's series, Black Gold Boom, is an initiative of Localore and the Association of Independents in Radio.

About the author

Todd Melby is a North Dakota-based reporter covering the oil boom for public media project Black Gold Boom: How Oil Changed North Dakota.

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