Hurry Up - Then Wait

Written by Kammie Kruse
Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Photo of Kammie Kruse.The early spring had us all scrambling to move up our travel plans to participate on the ground crew for the Eastern Dakotas survey area. Unfortunately, all good plans can always be spoiled by Mother Nature, and after hurrying to get into the field, we were weathered out our first 2 days. But we finally got our first Air-Ground Transect under our belts on May 1st. This is my 10th year participating on the Eastern Dakotas ground crew and I took over the crew leader responsibilities. Last year I went over to the Western Dakotas/Eastern Montana crew area to learn a new area and see how the survey is conducted over there. It was a big change over there but I was very interested to get back to the Eastern Dakotas and see how the wetlands looked after the record high water year last summer that were greatly diminished by the mild fall and winter.

I work in the Central Flyway office in Denver as a Wildlife Biologist. The rest of the crew was composed of Steve Olson, Jessica Dowler, and Valerie Morgan. Steve is the new Wildlife Biologist for the Pacific Flyway, and this was his first year on the May Breeding Population and Habitat Survey. He is very excited to be participating—he told us he has been looking forward to participating in these very important waterfowl surveys since he was 16. We look forward to his continued participation in this survey as it is also one of his primary duties in his new position. Jessica is an Inventory and Monitoring Biologist based out of Glacial Ridge/Rydell NWRs in Erskine, Minnesota. We were fortunate to have her on the team, as she is experienced in waterfowl surveys due to her participation in the Four Square Mile Waterfowl Surveys and Western Canada Banding crews. Valerie is a Biological Technician at Tualatin River NWR in Sherwood, Oregon. Her enthusiasm, extensive and varied work experience, and great sense of humor keeps the crew laughing, which is very important when you work, travel and eat together every day for a month. We are looking forward to counting lots of ducks!

The 2012 Eastern Dakotas ground crew, from left to right: Kammie Kruse (crew leader), Jessica Dowler, Steve Olson, and Valerie Morgan.

The 2012 Eastern Dakotas ground crew, from left to right: Kammie Kruse (crew leader), Jessica Dowler, Steve Olson, and Valerie Morgan. Photo by Kammie Kruse, US FWS

Three male wood ducks sitting in a tree...

Three male wood ducks sitting in a tree... Photo by Kammie Kruse, US FWS

New way to harvest wind.

New way to harvest wind. Photo by Kammie Kruse, US FWS

Old way of of harvesting wind.

Old way of of harvesting wind. Photo by Kammie Kruse, US FWS

Conditions of some roads are still in bad condition from last years high waters.

Conditions of some roads are still in bad condition from last years high waters. Photo by Kammie Kruse, US FWS