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Crew 2003
Meet some of the people who are paving the road to recovery for Whooping cranes!

Joe Duff, Canadian Co-founder of Operation Migration

Team leader, pilot and crane handler. Father of daughter Alex, 4.

Hear Joe

Bill Lishman, Canadian Co-founder of Operation Migration (OM) and first person ever to fly with birds in formation.


Heather Ray, Administrative Director of Operation Migration. Website "pilot" and WCEP Outreach/Education Coordinator traveling with the migration. Lives in Canada and is Mom of 3 teenagers: Lindsay, Chad and Chase.

Hear Heather

Richard van Heuvelen, Operation Migration (OM) pilot/crane handler.

Richard led the ground crew for the 2001 migration and filled in as back-up pilot. In 2002 he became one of the 3 lead pilots. This Canadian has four daughters: Megan, Sara, Katie and Jessie.

Mark Nipper, OM Intern for two year.

1. Hear Mark
2. Mark Tells About His Job

Charlie Shafer is the new OM intern for the migration. He has a degree in biology and will work on the group crew, setting up the pen each day and driving one of the vehicles.

Brooke Pennypacker, Operation Migration. One of the lead pilots in 2002 and 2003. One son: Devin.

Dan Sprague, crane handler/Biotechnician at USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Dan is with the chicks from hatching throughout their training and migration south. Dan and his wife have several pets, but no children yet.

Hear Dan

Dr. Richard Urbanek, ICF/FWS Project Biologist. Assigns the banding codes and tracks the birds year round.

Sara Zimorski, aviculturalist/crane handler with International Crane Foundation (ICF). Sara has been with the chicks throughout their training. She will help monitor the young cranes over the winter at Chassahowitzka.

Brian Clauss, crane handler/trainer from Patuxent WRC and
Ground Crew with fall migration

Lara Fondow, Tracking Intern with International Crane Foundation (ICF). Lara travels with the southbound and northbound migrations, tracking the experienced and the newet cranes with radio telemetry.

Dr. Bernard Wessling, Scientist and Crane Voice Recording Specialist from Germany

Hear Dr. Wessling

Brian Johns, Biologist at Wood Buffalo National Park. Canadian Leader of the International Crane Recovery Team.

Tom Stehn, Biologist at Aransas NWR. U.S. Leader of the International Crane Recovery Team, a WCEP Partner

Don and Paula Lounsbury, Top-cover pilots for OM
Photo OM


Pioneer 2001 crew of the first historic ultralight-led migration: Deke Clark and Joe Duff were lead pilots and Dan Sprague was lead trainer. Deke is now recovering from a stroke suffered in January 2002.

Dr. Barry Hartup, Veterinarian with International Crane Foundation. He and his team keep the birds healthy.

Standing: Charlie, Sara, Richard, Mark, Jeff (videographer), Heather, Brooke.
Kneeling: Joe, Dan.
Nov. 1, 2003 in Morgan County, Indiana

Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the
Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

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