Conservation photographer Forsberg to give Lavin Memorial Seminar

Michael Forsberg | Courtesy image
Michael Forsberg | Courtesy image

LINCOLN — Michael Forsberg, well-known conservation photographer and Nebraska native, will present the annual 2017 Lavin Memorial Seminar at 2 p.m. April 28 in Hardin Hall Auditorium, 3310 Holdrege St.

The seminar is free and open to the public. The Gamma Theta Upsilon international geography honor society induction ceremony will follow the lecture.

The memorial seminar is an annual event honoring Dr. Stephen Lavin, who spent three decades with University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s department of geography before he died of cancer in 2011. Lavin was a specialist in cartography, who was well-known for his research on map design, cartographic communication and computer cartography.

Forsberg’s seminar will highlight his time growing up in Nebraska, including his time as a student at Nebraska, where he graduated with a geography degree. It also will focus on three of his long-term conservation-minded projects that span the past 20 years. Those projects — the Sandhill cranes migration; the Great Plains; and the Platte Basin — examine conservation through continental, ecosystem and watershed levels respectively.

“All of these projects are rooted in geography,” Forsberg said, “and all focus on our home here on the Plains.”

He added: “I think if you are a geographer you must inherently be curious about the world and seek to understand how anything connects to everything else. If you are a photographer working in conservation, you need to have that same curiosity and perspective.”

Needless to say, his presentation will include a lot of visuals.

Some of his best-known work includes “Joy,” a picture of a Sandhill crane leaping in the air, wings spread; “Balancing Act,” a picture of a male Burrowing Owl running at the camera across the prairie; and the aforementioned Platte Basin Time-lapse Project, which is a partnership between the university and NET Television that is used to inform scientific research and build educational content.

Many of Forsberg’s wildlife and landscape images have been featured in magazines such as Audubon, National Geographic, Nature Conservancy and Outdoor Photographer, and his fine art prints and exhibitions have traveled and been sold worldwide.

They’ve also been featured on two U.S. Postal Service stamps, in 2000 and 2017. This year’s stamp features a photograph of Sandhill cranes in flight at dusk and is meant to celebrate Nebraska’s 150 years of statehood.

In addition to his photography business, Forsberg teaches at the university and is a fellow at both the Center for Great Plains Studies and the Robert B. Daughtery Water for Food Global Institute. He often works in close collaboration with the School of Natural Resources and its centers on conservation work.

“UNL has and continues to be blessed with many wonderful geography professors and staff,” Forsberg said. “Geography is more important now than ever and should provide perspective in everything we do at the University. I am honored to be the speaker.”

For more information on Forsberg, or to view a sample of his work, click here.

—Shawna Richter-Ryerson, Natural Resources