Michael Forsberg is a Nebraska native and conservation photographer who has focused much of his work in North America's Great Plains, once one of the greatest grassland ecosystems on Earth. His goal has been to try to capture the wild spirit that still survives in these wide-open spaces and put a face to the often overlooked native creatures and landscapes found there.
Forsberg's work has appeared in publications including Audubon, National Geographic, National Wildlife, Natural History, and NEBRASKAland and recognized in the Pictures of the Year and Wildlife Photographer of the Year competitions. In 2001, his image of a Nebraska tallgrass prairie was selected for use on an international postage stamp. In 2004, he was awarded a Conservation Education Award from The Wildlife Society. In 2007, he was featured in the PBS documentary Crane Song, and was the 2009 recipient of the North American Nature Photographer's Association Mission Award. He is also a 2010 recipient of the Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize from the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for his book "Great Plains-America's Lingering Wild."
Mike’s first book project, “On Ancient Wings – The Sandhill Cranes of North America”, self-published in 2004, was the result of a five-year personal journey connecting the lives of the cranes and their habitats across the continent from western Alaska to Cuba, made possible with a grant from the International Crane Foundation.
His second book, “Great Plains – America’s Lingering Wild”, came together traveling 100,000 miles crisscrossing the Plains from Canada to Mexico. It explores the wildlife, habitats and conservation challenges in the heart of the continent, with essays by South Dakota writer and rancher Dan O’Brien. Released in 2009 by the University of Chicago Press, the book was supported with a major grant from the Nature Conservancy. "Great Plains-America's Lingering Wild", the documentary film, was released in November 2012, a co-production of NET Television and Michael Forsberg Photography. The documentary will be released to a national audience by PBS in September 2013.
Currently Mike is co-directing the Platte Basin Time Lapse Project in partnership with the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. The project is a multi-year effort that uses time-lapse photography to document water use in the Platte River Basin from its headwaters in the Colorado Rockies to its confluence with the Missouri River along Nebraska's eastern border.
Forsberg earned a degree in geography with an emphasis in environmental studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UN-L). He is currently an assistant professor of practice within the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at UN-L. Mike is a charter member of the North American Nature Photographer's Association and a fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers.