What ticks Dan Kraker?

There is a sort of curiosity ingrained in Dan Kraker that pushes him to learn more about any given topic or issue that presents itself in front of him.

A story is not a story without detail and background, to which Kraker chases until overly satisfied — at least, that is what his work portrays.

Covering the environment and related issues in Duluth and northeastern Minnesota, Kraker’s role at Minnesota Public Radio has allowed him to explore the very things that tick him, or drive his interest.

“But how,” Kraker said in “Climate Change in Minnesota: More heat, more big storms.”

His constant intrigue has allowed Kraker to maximize on the simple questions that bog his brain.

Why is there more rain in certain parts of the country instead of others? Why is the weather so…. so different?

In an overwhelming piece done alongside fellow MPR staffer Elizabeth Dunbar, Kraker provides an extensive summary as to why Minnesota climate and weather is as it is.

In an easier-to-read piece, “Tick-triggered allergy surfaces in northern Minnesota,” Kraker profiles the response a woman has to a tick bite.

“Here’s the leading hypothesis. A tick feasts on an animal like a deer, or a mouse, that carries the alpha-gal carbohydrate. Later that tick bites a human, and transfers something in its saliva that triggers an allergic reaction,” Kraker said.

While the reporting is overly detailed, Kraker demonstrates the sort of journalist he is, which is a thorough one.

But where did his journalistic style come from? Well, it can be found iin one of Kraker’s favorite articles.

In an article titled “How invasive species changed the Great Lakes forever,” by Dan Egan of the Journal Sentinel staff, the same sort of reporting is done as Kraker.

While the piece may be overwhelming to non-environmental folk, like me, who are simply unaware of everything going on, the piece speaks to an audience that demands the over-the-top research.