Kristin Swoboda recently joined the National Park Service (NPS) as its new fleet, pilot and unmanned aircraft (UAS) specialist for the aviation program. She succeeds Jim Traub, who retired in 2014.
Most recently, Swoboda worked for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) in Boise, Idaho, as its regional UAS manager. During her time with the bureau, she initiated its involvement with drones. USBR’s UAS activities include dam inspections, mapping habitat restoration efforts, detecting landslide change projects, documenting public affairs media and monitoring cultural sites. In addition, Swoboda was instrumental in assisting the development of a department-level UAS policy for the U.S. Department of the Interior.
She began her federal career with the U.S. Forest Service, working in a variety of positions in wildland fire operations. Swoboda has also held various non-federal positions in natural resources, and she also founded her own commercial UAS business focused mainly on precision agriculture.
Swoboda completed her formal education at the University of Idaho, where she graduated with a degree in Forest Resources Ecosystems Management and a minor in Wild Fire Management. She also holds a private pilot’s license and owns a Beechcraft Sierra B24R low-wing monoplane.
“Kristin’s expertise on the professional and personal level, as well as her enthusiasm for sharing her knowledge, will be vital to our growing program in fleet unmanned aircraft, as well as our fixed-wing program,” states Meg Gallagher, NPS’ aviation branch chief.
Swoboda began her new position on Sept. 30.