Sarah Sortum: Sandhills Rancher

Sarah Sortum grew up near Taylor, Nebraska, on her family’s cattle ranch in the Sandhills, the descendant of homesteaders. Her family continues to operate on the same property, running their own cattle, custom grazing operations for others, and Calamus Outfitters, a nature-based tourism operation.

Ted LaGrange: Wetland Biologist

Ted LaGrange moved to Nebraska more than 20 years ago from Iowa. As the wetland program manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, he works across the state on conservation, restoration, education, outreach and research related to wetlands.

Kim Morrow: Climate Change Faith Leader

Kim Morrow is Executive Director of Nebraska Interfaith Power and Light and currently works as a climate change resource specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Moving to Nebraska has allowed her to follow her passion — facilitating the faith community’s response to climate change.

Chad Gideon: Farmer, Hunter, Fisherman

Chad Gideon farms between Grand Island and Kearney. Recently, he and his family bought property on the Platte River to ensure their continued access for hunting and fishing.

Don Welch: Nebraska Poet

Don Welch is a Nebraska poet and author, recently retired from 50 years of teaching at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He’s lived most of his life with his wife Marcia in central Nebraska, where much of his work has been influenced by the natural world.

Dan Snow: Water Scientist

Because groundwater is so important, water quality scientists spend a lot of time studying how contaminants can get into the aquifer, deep underground. Dan Snow says growing up, he wasn’t planning on being a scientist.

Ann Bleed: Policy Maker

Ann Bleed came to Nebraska from New York in 1972. Her views on water were shaped during her more than 20 year tenure with the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, holding positions including director and state hydrologist, and by her participation on negotiations for two interstate litigation cases.

Renee Sans Souci: Teaching Artist

Renee Sans Souci grew up in Lincoln, hearing stories of sweat lodges, sun dances, and vision quests from her parents and grandparents. But she never got to see any of her family’s Omaha traditions as a kid.