Johnsgard, Brown to discuss biodiversity in Nebraska

Paul Johnsgard photographs a family of Willow Ptarmigan at Denali National Park, Alaska in 2010. (Photo by Scott Johnsgard)
Paul Johnsgard photographs a family of Willow Ptarmigan at Denali National Park, Alaska in 2010. (Photo by Scott Johnsgard)

Two distinguished authors and wildlife researchers will lead a forum on the biodiversity of Nebraska, 6 p.m. Oct. 30 at Hardin Hall. The presentation, "The Biodiversity of Nebraska Within the Great Plains" by Paul Johnsgard and Mary Bomberger Brown, is free and open to the public.

Johnsgard, a prolific writer about the natural world, is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading experts on ornithology, the study of birds. He will present for the first time his most recent book, "Nebraska’s Wetlands: Their Wildlife and Ecology." He also contributed color photographs for Brown's book, "Birds of Southwestern Nebraska," a field guide that published this spring.

Johnsgard and Brown will both be available to meet with guests and sign copies of their books, which will be available in the Nebraska Maps & More Store in the Hardin Hall lobby. Guests can also register for door prizes.

The evening also includes a visit with Dave and Linda Titterington of Wild Bird Habitat stores, who will give visitors the chance for a close look at Screech and Barred Owls. Titterington's demonstration is an outreach program provided by the Pioneers Park Nature Center of Lincoln Parks and Recreation.

Hosted by the School of Natural Resources and its Nebraska Maps & More Store, the evening begins with a short reception and a chance to meet the authors at 6 p.m. Titterington's presentation begins at 6:30 p.m., and then Johnsgard and Brown begin their remarks at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be provided, and book signings will be held after the presentations.

Johnsgard, a professor emeritus at UNL, has been recognized with awards from the National Wildlife Federation, the National Audubon Society, and most recently the American Ornithologist's Union.

Among his more recent works is "Wetland Birds of the Central Plains: South Dakota Nebraska and Kansas," a summary of the 183 wetland birds found in the region. The book covers all species of wetland birds that live, migrate through, and are extremely rare to the three-state region.

He also published a book of poems and illustrations — "The Prairie's Not Scary" — which depicts and illustrates mammals, birds, insects and plants that live in North American prairies.

Brown is also an American Ornithologists' Union medal winner, recognized in 2009 with the prestigious Elliott Coues Award for her extensive research on cliff swallows. She is a research assistant professor at UNL, and the program coordinator of the Tern and Plover Conservation Partnership.

The seminar is part of the School of Natural Resources outreach program.

For more information, go to