In Memoriam: Paul A. Johnsgard, 1931-2021

The following is from the University of Nebraska Press Fall 2021 Newsletter, i.e.

Paul A. Johnsgard, an internationally respected naturalist and UNP author, passed away on May 28, 2021, at the age of eighty-nine.

Paul Johnsgard sits for a portrait in 2019 at Holmes Lake in Lincoln, one of his favorite places to spend time watching birds. The prolific author and University of Nebraska professor emeritus died in May 2021 at age 89.
Photo taken by Gwyneth Roberts, Lincoln Journal Star

Johnsgard was a professor emeritus of biological sciences at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Alongside his teaching, his writing and photography helped raise public awareness to the value of the Nebraska wildlife, especially the sandhill crane migration. His work contributed to the conservation efforts taking place along the Platte River and helped 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), The Nature of Nebraska: Ecology and Biodiversity (Bison Books, 2005), and Wildlife of Nebraska: A Natural History (Bison Books, 2020).

“Paul was a prolific UNP author whose love of the Nebraska wildlife came through in all his books. He will be missed by the Press and the wider university community,” said UNP director Jane Ferreyra.

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