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Migration Crew 2005
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, 6. Joe was a well-known professional photographer before he became an ultralight pilot and leader in saving endangered species.

Hear Joe

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. Since 2002 he's been one of the lead pilots. A Canadian, he has four daughters: Megan, Sara, Katie and Jessie. Richard is a master sculptor. Joe Duff says of Richard: if anything is broken he can fix it and if it doesn't exist he can create it.

Brooke Pennypacker, Operation Migration pilot since 2002. Brooke is a Canadian with a GREAT sense of humor and a son named Devin. Brooke once built a raft to drift down the Mississippi while reading Huckleberry Finn. He is also a skilled diver and worked on the oil rigs off the coast of Scotland.

Chris Gullikson, Operation Migration pilot/crane handler
Chris joined OM as a pilot in 2005. This will be his first migration! Chris is an experienced trike instructor and has a natural way with birds. He runs storm watch tours on the side so he has become the team's weather consultant.
Chris tells about his first flight with the cranes!  

Mark Nipper, lead aviculturalist and OM Supervisor of Field Operations.
He's been with the chicks since they hatched. Mark is responsible for the birds and their welfare until the migration is done and the birds are safely in Florida. He then joins the winter monitoring team and helps the tracking team until it is time to hatch a new generation of chicks. Mark spends more time with the birds than anyone.
1. Hear Mark
2. Mark Tells About His Earlier Job as OM Intern

Angie Maxted, DVM
Dr. Angie Maxted is a veterinarian but she wants to study more and eventually do research. That's why she chose to join the team as a summer intern, helping with the training and care of the birds. The team feels safer having a trained vet with the birds. they also like Angie's easy-going presence.

Charlie Shafer, former OM Intern now working full time at Patuxent WRC. He has a degree in biology and was a crane handler in summer at Necedah. Charlie will be part of the ground crew during the migration.

Walter Sturgeon has 30 years of experience handling cranes. He is a welcome volunteer with the ground crew this year! Walt is Assistant Director of the North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences.

Canadians Don and Paula Lounsbury volunteer as Top-cover pilots for Operation Migration Their dog comes too! They give the team an early weather report, and circle 1000 feet above the ultralights until they reach the new site. They keep in touch with air traffic control AND all the OM pilots.

Sara Zimorski, aviculturalist with International Crane Foundation (ICF). In past years, Sara was with the chicks during training, migration, and winter in Florida. She worked with the chicks at Necedah in summer 05. Sara will help track the ultracranes on their fall and spring migrations.

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

Dr. Richard Urbanek, ICF/FWS Project Biologist.
Dr. Urbanek assigns the banding codes and tracks the experienced "ultralcranes " year round.


And other key WCEP players:

Marianne Wellington, chick-rearing specialist at ICF. Marianne was in charge of raising the 2005 DAR chicks.

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

Brian Johns, Canadian Wildlife Service Biologist working in Wood Buffalo
National Park. Brian is the Canadian Leader of the International Crane Recovery Team.


Dan Sprague, crane handler/Biotechnician at USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Each year, Dan is with the chicks from hatching throughout their "ground school" training at Patuxent. Dan traveled with the migration south for years 1-3. Dan and his wife live in Maryland with several pets and a new baby boy, born Sep. 7, 2005.
Hear Dan

Dr. Barry Hartup, Veterinarian with International Crane Foundation and Health Team Leader for WCEP.
He and his team keep the birds healthy.

John Thomton, Operation Migration Intern.
He joined the team when the 2005 chicks were still hatching at Patuxent. He is from Chicago. IL. John will leave the team Sep. 23 to take a job with Animal Kingdom at Disney World.  

Bill Lishman, Canadian Co-founder of Operation Migration (OM) and first person ever to fly with birds in formation. He occasionally joins the team on migration.

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

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