The Nebraska Sandhills

The Switzer family lives on the eastern edge of the Nebraska Sandhills, an iconic region of the Central Great Plains. The Nebraska Sandhills rise from the north edge of the Platte River Valley and spread to the west, encompassing nearly 20,000 square miles of contiguous wind-blown sand dunes—the largest such region in North America.

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Platte River Prairies

While some people think of Nebraska as a boring, flat place, the state’s subtle landscape contains biologically rich and diverse ecosystems defined by rivers like the Platte. Climate has shaped the Platte River for thousands of years…

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Terns & Plovers

It’s a story with a twist, much like the braided river where it begins. Along the lower Platte River in Nebraska, small channels of water continually split and join, creating changing sandbars that provide habitat for least terns and piping plovers.

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Monitoring Change

Are there fewer migratory birds this year? Are crops growing? How do water levels in the river fluctuate from one season to the next?

Scientists and citizens alike answer these questions by monitoring change over time. Photography is a powerful way to do that — and it’s fun too!

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