South Carolina

Eric Krueger:  Mussel Man

This Conservancy scientist is the go-to guy for freshwater facts and more.

From reciting poetry to strumming his guitar, Eric is one of the most laid-back scientists in the TNC organization. This renaissance man with a master’s in geosciences from the University of Wisconsin enjoys distance running and the fact that his TNC “office” might be a rock outcropping in the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment one day and a grassy barrier island the next. He joined the SC Chapter in 2002.

What do you love most about your job?

Eric Krueger:

At TNC, you can channel your creative energy into the conservation problems that most intrigue and best fit you. You can be yourself every day.

What led you to a career in science?

Eric Krueger:

When I was about 10 years old, I used to take off on long, meandering hikes through the woods in Wisconsin. I discovered these little groundwater springs that were surrounded by plants and animals that I never saw elsewhere in the outdoors. This was my first impression of "special habitat" and led to an insatiable desire to know why one place is different from another.

Have you ever feared for your safety at work?

Eric Krueger:

Yes. We were running from a thunderstorm over water and had a lightning strike so close that it shut down the boat motor.

What is the weirdest thing you've had to put on your expense report?

Eric Krueger:

Six multi-tube packages of super glue to attach teeny-tiny number tags to mussels.

What is the most disgusting thing you've had to do in the name of science?

Eric Krueger:

Dissect a feral pig, for sure.

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