The Center for Great Plains Studies will occasionally award a Lifetime Achievement Award to persons whose lifetime of work has greatly impacted and bettered the Great Plains. The first of these awards was given in 2017 to Paul Johnsgard.
Ornithologist, artist and emeritus professor at the University of Nebraska
A much respected ornithologist and artist, Johnsgard fell in love with Nebraska and the Plains when he first came to UNL in 1961.
Since then Johnsgard has been a publishing machine – some 85 books and many other reports, papers, interviews, electronic books, reprints, TV projects, etc., which surely makes him the most published faculty member in the history of the University of Nebraska. Perhaps more impressive than the number of books is their quality.
He’s also been a long-time, loyal, and generous Fellow of the Center and donor to our art collection. He’s always been ready to speak or participate and contribute to Center events, unless it’s the season to be in the field, then he’s hard to get. But his greatest gift to the Center is something else entirely. Our job is to nuture and support Fellows in their work to make great contributions to the scholarship of the Great Plains. Johnsgard has spent his life making these excellent contributions. A wonderful gift to the Center, its Fellows, and all peoples of the Great Plains.
Thanks to Paul Johnsgard for a truly impressive lifetime of work in the Great Plains.
A sampling of Johnsgard's books are now on display on the Mezzanine level at the Center for Great Plains studies. The Mezzanine level is open during regular Museum hours.
Johnsgard's work is now on display in the West Gallery at the Great Plains Art Museum.
A Chorus of Cranes: The Cranes of North America and the World, by Paul Johnsgard with photographs by Thomas D. Mangelsen, has been named February 2017's Book of the Month.