WILD ABOUT NEBRASKA speaker series

The Wild About Nebraska Speaker Series events and presentations occur each March and are open to the public. Held at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center, visitors can also browse the Hornady Art Gallery and Crimson Crown Gift Shop with Nebraska-made goods and walk our trails while they’re visiting. If you are hoping to see the cranes, guided crane tours for the public can be reserved online.

2018 Line Up

Saturday, March 3rd
3:00 pm. Atlas of Nebraska

Clark Archer’s presentation focuses on the creation, content and interpretation of the Atlas of Nebraska, which was published by the University of Nebraska Press in October 2017. How was the Atlas created? What is the scope of the contents of the Atlas? And how can selected maps from the Atlas be read and interpreted? are the major questions which will be addressed in a PowerPoint slide presentation on the Atlas.

Saturday, March 10th
1:00 – 3:00 pm Raptors will be on display
3:00 pm Presentation “Nebraska Raptors”

Blake Hatfield of Fontenelle Forest Raptor Recover, “Nebraska Raptors,” will showcase several live birds of prey in an up-close experience for adults and children of all ages. Hatfield is a dedicated educator, traveling Nebraska and showcasing our native raptors as well as informing Nebraska on various raptor conservation issues.

Sunday, March 11th  
2:30 – 3:30 P.M. Jane, Chimpanzees and Children: The Jane Goodall Institute in Action

Join husband and wife team Kristen Mosher, a wildlife photographer, and Bill Wallauer, a cinematographer and chimp expert, to learn about their experiences living in the forest with chimpanzees, capturing them on film and their important work with Jane Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute. While Jane Goodall is well known for her work to save chimpanzees from extinction – her institute has many other programs that improve the lives of people, animals and the environment. One of these programs is Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots* which actively engages children from nearly 100 countries to become effective leaders in conservation. Bill and Kristen will talk about how this program develops compassionate leadership skills as students identify what their community needs and then helps them to address and find solutions to those problems.  

* The Crane Trust is working with Roots and Shoots students in Central Nebraska to do conservation service work benefiting the Platte River ecosystem.

Saturday, March 17th
1:00 – 3:00 pm Raptors will be on display
3:00 pm Presentation on Nebraska Raptors

Blake Hatfield of Fontenelle Forest Raptor Recover, “Nebraska Raptors,” will showcase several live birds of prey in an up-close experience for adults and children of all ages. Hatfield is a dedicated educator, traveling Nebraska and showcasing our native raptors as well as informing Nebraska on various raptor conservation issues.

Saturday, March 17th
4:30 pm – 5:00 pm Introduction to Time-Lapse Photography
5:00 – 7:00 Field Trip to create your own time-lapse of sandhill cranes. Bring a smart phone and a tripod.

Adrian Olivera has been photographing Nebraska’s landscapes for years. His photos have been published in NEBRASKAland magazine and adorn calendars. He captures images of the sandhill cranes every spring and loves to travel backroads in the sandhills. His latest project has been a time-lapse tour of Nebraska.

Sunday, March 18th
1:00 pm. “Migration of the Whooping Crane – A Shift in Time”

Matthew Rabbe is a Senior Wildlife Biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a graduate of the University of Nebraska – Kearney. He has worked locally in Nebraska’s Rainwater Basin and nationally in Montana and California.  He has spent the last 8 years focusing on federal trust species in Nebraska with an emphasis on the Platte River and whooping cranes.  In 2015, he took on the role of the whooping crane migration coordinator and continues to serve in that capacity.

Sunday, March 18th
3:00 pm. “My Ántonia at 100″: Why is this Nebraska’s most famous novel?”

Set in central Nebraska, My Ántonia is arguably Willa Cather’s best-known and best-loved novel. As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of its publication this year, The Willa Cather Foundation’s Education Director and Archivist Tracy Sanford Tucker will discuss the novel’s enduring themes and explore the many reasons millions of readers identify with and love Cather’s inimitable Ántonia. These themes–from the breathtaking beauty of Nebraska’s prairies to the hardships experienced by immigrants to this sometimes stark landscape, from crushing loss to first love–were important in Cather’s work and they remain important touchstones for millions of Americans today.

Thursday, March 22nd
3:00 pm. My Life with Cranes

George Archibald, the co-founder of the International Crane Foundation will provide his annual update on Cranes of the World. His book, My Life with Cranes has tales from his early travel adventures including searching remote areas of Iran, China and Russia in his quest to find and save the 15 species of cranes. Join this icon of the crane world to hear intimate knowledge of the workings of international crane conservation.

Saturday, March 24th
11 AM. 
The American Bison: Being Buffaloed.
Dr. Dustin Ranglack, Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska Kearney, will discuss the new movement of conservation herds of bison, their possible ecological extinction, and disease and competition with cattle.  This presentation will examine these issues and present a potential solution that will allow for free-roaming bison without negatively impacting local communities and perhaps even enhance them.
Saturday, March 24th
1:00 pm. PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION Tips on Photographing Cranes with Cheryl Opperman, instructor and Ben Dumas of the Crane Trust

Cheryl Opperman, professional photographer from Colorado and one of the Crane Trust’s photography workshop instructors, will present techniques, tips, and tricks for photographing the Sandhill Cranes. Ben Dumas from the Crane Trust will be present to discuss the photography opportunities available through the Crane Trust.

Saturday, March 24th
3:00 pm. Can You Dance Like John?

Jeff Kurrus, is the editor of NEBRASKAland magazine and a writer of children’s photo-fiction books. He will discuss the process of writing Can You Dance Like John? his purpose in writing this type of book and why he chose sandhill cranes for the characters.