"When I began as a photographer, I was taking pictures mostly for myself. When we had children my mindset changed, and now I do the work mostly for them. Because I don't want my kids or anyone else's to grow up one day and only be able to appreciate the wonders of nature in a museum or read about it in a book or see it in a zoo. I feel we are blessed to be stewards of this planet, but in many cases we have forgotten that with this privilege comes responsibility. Photography can be a powerful witness to our short-comings, but also to show that beauty and hope still exists in the natural world. It can help communicate to people why something matters. Conservation photography is an active and powerful tool to begin this process, to start the conversation, to call for action. Time is short."
Michael Forsberg is a Nebraska native whose 20-year career as a photographer and conservationist has been dedicated to wildlife and conservation stories in North America’s Great Plains, once one of the greatest grassland ecosystems on Earth. His images have been featured in publications including Audubon, National Geographic, Nature Conservancy, and Outdoor Photographer magazines. His fine art prints are in public and private collections, and his solo exhibitions have traveled nationwide.
In 2000, his photograph of a Nebraska tallgrass prairie was issued as an international airmail stamp as part of the United States Postal Service’s American Scenes Series. In 2017, his image of Sandhill cranes on the Platte River was selected to illustrate USPS’s Forever stamp celebrating Nebraska’s 150 years of Statehood.
Mike is the author and photographer of On Ancient Wings – The Sandhill Cranes of North America self-published in 2005, and Great Plains – America’s Lingering Wild, published by the University of Chicago Press in 2009. He was featured in the NET Television documentary Crane Song, and co-produced Great Plains – America’s Lingering Wild, based on his book of the same title, released on PBS in 2013.
In 2011, Mike co-founded the Platte Basin Timelapse Project (PBT) in partnership with the University of Nebraska - Lincoln and the Center for Great Plains Studies. Today it operates as a long-term multi-media documentary project to inform scientific research, build education content, and tell stories of a Great Plains watershed in motion. A documentary film based on the project is now in production.
He is a senior Fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers and is represented by National Geographic Creative.
He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with his family, a cat, and three unruly dogs.
SELECTED AWARDS AND HONORS
Award of Excellence in the Science/Natural History category of the 58th Annual Pictures of the Year (POY) - 2001
Highly Commended in the BBC's International Wildlife Photographer of the Year - 2003
Conservation Education Award, The Wildlife Society - 2004
Mission Award, NANPA - 2009
Legislative Resolution 627, the Legislature applauds and commends Michael Forsberg - 2016
Nebraska Master Naturalist - 2016
Environmental Impact Award, NANPA - 2017
Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography, Sierra Club - 2017