Paul A. Johnsgard, an internationally respected naturalist, passed away on May 28, 2021 at the age of 89.
Johnsgard was a professor emeritus of biological sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Alongside his teaching, his writing and photography also helped raise public awareness to the value of the Nebraska wildlife, especially the sandhill crane migration. His work contributed to the conservations efforts taking place along the Platte River and helping Nebraskans understand the importance of the state’s grasslands and prairies for sustaining biodiversity.
He received conservation and research awards from the National Audubon Society, the American Ornithologists’ Union, the National Wildlife Federation, and other state and national organizations. Johnsgard was the author of more than one hundred books on natural history, including Those of the Gray Wind: The Sandhill Cranes (Bison Books, 2017); Prairie Dog Empire: A Saga of the Shortgrass Prairie (Bison Books, 2014); and The Nature of Nebraska: Ecology and Biodiversity (Bison Books, 2005), and Wildlife of Nebraska: A Nebraska History (Bison Books, 2020).