Eva Szyszkoski



Eva is Tracking Field Manager with the International Crane Foundation (ICF). Driving a tracking vehicle and using radio telemetry, Eva helps track the new flock's cranes on their fall and spring migrations.

Eva attended Michigan Technological University located in Houghton, Michigan (in the Upper Peninsula). She graduated in December 2006 from the Biological Sciences program. Eva's home town is Chassell, Michigan.

She grew up on a small farm, and always enjoyed working with animals. She showed chickens, cattle, pigs, rabbits, and sheep at the local fair while she was involved in 4-H. After high school, Eva worked at the local pet store for five years. During that time she got many different pets. Now she owns a one-legged Umbrella Cockatoo named Henry, a Senegal Parrot named Neo, and a corn snake named Satchi. Eva's family also has goats, a few cows, chickens, a pony, dog and cat. In her free time, Eva enjoys reading, playing volleyball, kayaking, and other summer outdoor activities.

Six months after graduating from college, Eva found the USFWS Whooping Crane Reintroduction Internship on the Association of Zoos and Aquariums website. She applied and was hired. She spent the summer raising and caring for whooping crane chicks that were then released at the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in the Direct Autumn Release (DAR) Program. Then Eva was asked if if she would like to continue tracking. She's glad she said yes!

Eva said, "I didn't have any previous training before accepting the ICF tracking internship after my USFWS internship was completed, but I learned fast once migration started that tracking flying birds is not a simple thing to do! It's good that I was able to track birds around the Wildlife Refuge in Necedah before migration began. I got a sense of how far away I could be and still pick up signals, and also the different strengths and frequencies of the different transmitters. Every bird in the flock has its own individual frequency. While we don't have to memorize all of the frequencies, it makes it a lot quicker when I can look at the receiver and know who I'm listening to instead of having to look it up on my information sheet every time!"

What are Eva's favorite parts of tracking? "Being able to moniter the chicks that I helped raise this summer, and also exploring new places and seeing the animals that are native to those areas (such as Florida's manatees, pelicans, and wood storks). My least favorite part of the job is having to drive in the Florida traffic (of which there is considerably more than in Wisconsin)."

Congratulations to Eva, who was promoted in summer 2008 to Tracking Field Manager!

Read Eva's story "The Adventures of DAR46-07." >>

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