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 Paul A. Johnsgard  (1931 - )

About: Paul A. Johnsgard


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Lived/Active: Nebraska/North Dakota      Known for: wildlife sculptor in wood

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Known for his depictions of wildlife along the Platte River, especially songbirds, waterfowl and other prairie birds of Nebraska, Paul Johnsgard is a a zoology professor at the University of Nebraska, having arrived in Lincoln in 1961. He has also traveled to many exotic places in the world including rainforests.

He grew up in the Red River Valley of North Dakota where he spent much time by himself as a child exploring the prairie. He attended tNorth Dakota State University where a professor suggested he write a survey of the state's waterfowl. He extended the project to include all of the state's waterfowl. Although he only earned $25.00 for that effort, it set him on his life's course of work.

He earned a doctorate at Cornell University and then worked at The Wildfowl Trust in Gloucestershire, England and then within two years wrote and illustrated his first book, "The Handbook of Waterfowl Behavior," published in 1965. He went on to write and illustrate over 40 books. He also works hard in conservation and opposing many hunting activities, has upon occasion taken on the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission such as when they decided to open a prairie grouse season in 2000.

Johnsgard is known for his woodcarving of birds and for ink drawings of waterfowl subjects.

Source: "Campus Journal", University of Nebraska publication, Summer 2002

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