Hi Everyone. My name is Mike Forsberg. I am a conservation photographer and have focused most of my career working in the Great Plains of North America, once was one of the greatest grassland ecosystems on Earth.
I was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, received a degree in Geography from UNL, and worked my way through college as a trip leader for the Outdoor Adventures Program. After brief stints in graduate school and as a seasonal ranger in Yellowstone, I landed my first full time photography job as a staff photographer and writer for NEBRASKAland Magazine, the state’s conservation publication. There I learned the ropes of telling natural history and conservation stories from a generous team of mentors who are still heroes of mine today. Then I struck out on my own to start my own freelance photography business and gallery to explore beyond the borders of the state and work on longer term book projects and films dedicated to subjects like Sandhill cranes and North America’s Great Plains, while raising a family. Today we are proud to say our two daughters are in college, and both at the University of Nebraska.
I first started working with the UNL in 2011 when my friend and colleague Michael Farrell and I co-founded Platte Basin Timelapse ( www.plattebasintimelapse.com), a long-term documentary project that leverages the power of photography and storytelling to braid together stories connected to water and watersheds here in Nebraska and beyond. The Platte Basin has been both a perfect stage and a learning laboratory for the project, and as we approach our 10-year anniversary in 2021, PBT has moved to the School of Natural Resources and we couldn’t be more excited to join the SNR team.
Looking forward, I’m very interested in continuing our storytelling work where the land serves as our classroom. Where our students, faculty and staff can pull up the straight lines on a map and explore our landscapes as watersheds, investigate the connectivity of wildlife movements and migrations, see the intersection of ecology and economy, better understand the resiliency of the land and working landscapes, and building community by finding common ground. Together, I hope we can evolve a program that propels conservation and science communication forward, and grow the next generation of conservation storytellers.
If someone would have told me when I was in high school that I would be a photographer, raise a family and happily live most of my life in Nebraska, I would have laughed them right out of the room. But life has a funny way of taking you in the direction it wants you to go, and it can be an amazing journey. Taking a moment now to look back in the rear-view mirror, I wouldn’t have wished it any other way. The door is always open, so please reach out any time.