Duff, Canadian Co-founder of Operation
Migration (O.M.). Joe is Team
Leader, CEO and senior pilot of O.M, the WCEP partner that
leads the ultralight migration. His daughter Alex is 9 years
old. Joe was
a well-known photographer before
an ultralight pilot and leader in saving endangered species.
van Heuvelen, Operation Migration (O.M.) pilot. Richard
led the ground crew for the 2001 migration and
filled in as back-up pilot. Since 2002 he's been a team pilot.
A Canadian, he has four daughters: Megan, Sara, Katie and
is also 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."
Pennypacker, Operation Migration pilot since 2002. Brooke
has 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.
clip of Brooke's Greeting to You
Migration pilot since 2005.
Chris is an experienced trike instructor and
natural way with birds. He
runs storm watch tours on the side so he is the team's
weather consultant. Read about his
first flight with the cranes when he became an Operation Migration
pilot in 2005.
Paulan is O.M.'s Supervisor
of Field Operations. She is known as "Chick Mama" because
she is involved with each year's chicks from hatch to
is from Antioch, IL. Bev is also a pilot. She had her
as a teacher at
a wildlife rehabilitation center. Hear
Bev tell the hardest
part of wearing the costume.
Audio clips courtesy
Mark Chenoweth of Whooper
Shafer, former O.M. Intern, works full time at Patuxent
WRC where the chicks hatch. Charlie has a college degree
is involved with each year’s chicks
from hatch in Maryland to release in Florida after migration.
will serve on the ground crew as a tracker for half of
the migration and then return to his duties at Patuxent.
Sturgeon has more than 30 years of experience handling cranes.
For the fifth year, he is a welcome volunteer with
the ground crew! Walt is
retired Assistant Director of the North Carolina State Museum
of Natural Sciences. He was a nuclear
scientist for 38 years before that.
Only 21 Whooping cranes were left on Earth in the
year Walt was born: 1941. He has helped to bring
them back from the brink of extinction.
Clauss is a crane handler/trainer from Patuxent
WRC where the chicks hatched. Brian and his wife Barb
helped raise and train these chicks from the time they hatched.
Brian is a biological technician who has been at Pautxent
WRC for 16 years.
Brian will join the migration on the
ground crew for half the distance and then return to Patuxent
WRC. (Brian shares the job with Charlie Shafer, who works the
Don and Paula Lounsbury have volunteered as top-cover pilots
for Operation Migration for many years. Their dog comes along
too! They keep in touch with air traffic control AND all
the ultralight pilots during each leg of the flight. They cover the
first half of the migration, and then another top cover pilot
joins for the second half.
Martineau is an intern for the 2008 migration. John has always
been fascinated by aviation and birds, so the job is a perfect
fit. He has a college degree in biology. He also worked as
a locksmith, flew solo at 16, began skydiving at 18, and will
eventually get a license to be in the air with the birds! Another
of John's interests is falconry.
See John's introductory
Ahrens is the team's back-up pilot, filling in as needed. Last
year Matt started out in Tennessee, flew a complete series
of flights over Georgia, and finished in Florida. The team
looks forward to his fun presence and great cooking once
is an expert gardener and makes delicious pickles!)
Ray can do almost any job with Operation Migration except fly
planes. She raises funds for the organzation and will also travel
with the migration as an "intern" on the ground crew.
Heather first joined OM before the Whoopers were led by ultralights.
of the photos you see on JN are Heather's good work! Two hobbies
are raising and tagging monarch butterlfies and making stained
glass. Hear Heather's