Imagine if you could follow a drop of water on a 900-mile journey downstream from mountains to plains. Imagine you could listen to its myriad stories as it makes its way from an alpine trout stream to a prairie river full of cranes or from a staircase of massive dams and reservoirs to a six-inch pipe that waters a farmer’s crop field.

The Platte River Basin is one of the most appropriated river systems in the world.

Every drop of water is spoken for, and little is free.

The basin supports an industrial, agricultural powerhouse laid over one of the most endangered and altered grassland ecosystems on earth. Beneath the ground, it harbors more than half of the mighty Ogallala Aquifer; fossil water whose quantity and quality are at stake. In an age of climate change and economic uncertainty, this basin is being asked to be both food producer and energy pump.

What if we could use the tremendous power of photography and storytelling to see a watershed in motion? What if we could leverage those images to dig deeper and grow understanding about our water resources, and build community throughout a watershed? What if this could be used as a template to start a conversation and look at other watersheds around the world?

This is what inspires us. This is our aim. Join us on the journey.

Our History


 
The Platte Basin Timelapse project (PBT) has been funded and in motion since early 2011. Currently, the project has more than 60 timelapse camera systems placed throughout the 90,000 square-mile basin, from its headwaters along the Continental Divide in the Colorado Rockies to the river’s confluence with the Missouri River on Nebraska’s eastern border. Like chapters in a book, each timelapse camera tells one part of the story of that proverbial drop of water as it makes a journey of roughly 900 river miles through the heart of North America.

The PBT team creates innovative multimedia content to tell the myriad stories of the Platte: web-based journalism, combining art and research, STEM-based educational curriculum for middle and high school science students, and a documentary film for public television.

 

Click the link below for more information about upcoming
internships, graduate assistantships &
employment opportunities with PBT.

Join the Team

We are photographers and videographers, writers and designers, developers and technicians, scientists and researchers, educators and students.

We are storytellers.

Michael Forsberg

Co-Founder

he/him
Mike was born and raised in Nebraska and has been a professional photographer for 25 years. His books, articles and films focus on wildlife and conservation stories in the Great Plains. Mike is co-founder of the Platte Basin Timelapse project and currently serves on faculty with IANR. In 2017, he received the Ansel Adams Award from the Sierra Club in Washington DC, and his image of sandhill cranes was selected as a U.S. postage stamp for Nebraska’s Sesquicentennial. Mike lives in Lincoln with his wife Patty, two daughters Elsa and Emme, and a menagerie of animals. To learn more about Mike and his work, visit www.michaelforsberg.com.

Michael Farrell

Co-Founder

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Michael Farrell is the co-founder of the Platte Basin Timelapse project. He is also a 51-year veteran of public media, 49 of which have been spent in the production and management of documentaries about the culture, history and environment of Nebraska and the Great Plains for Nebraska Public Television (now NPM). His areas of content specialization include history and humanities documentaries as well as programs about diverse topics such as rural and environmental issues, the fine arts, opera, ballet, jazz and blues. His most well-known award-winning production was In Search of the Oregon Trail, which aired three times on prime-time national public television and was one of the top ten most-watched PBS programs in its premiere year of 1996. His 90-minute special The Platte River Road won the coveted National Cowboy Hall of Fame award in 1992. From 1998 to 2009, Farrell led the Nebraska Public Television Network’s television production team managing local, regional and national projects. Beginning in 2006 he also established an internship program at NET for students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Now through PBT the program offers paid professional experience to over a half a dozen undergraduate students per year. Farrell also teaches classes in documentary and visual story-telling. Farrell, an accomplished still photographer, has had his work appear in numerous one-person museum and gallery exhibitions as well as in Nebraska History magazine and NEBRASKAland Magazine. He has authored four photo books with accompanying essays. His degrees include an M.S. - Illinois Institute of Technology in Visual Communications and A.B. in Fine Arts (Graphic Design and Photography, Art History minor) - Indiana University. He lives in Lincoln with his partner Lynne Ireland and has three grown children and two granddaughters. Contact him directly at mfarrell.1st@gmail.com Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michaelfarrell47/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michael.farrell.photography/   Websites: https://michaelfarrell.com/  http://www.ninemileprairie.com/  https://boalps.com/  https://the-stoneman.com/ 

Mariah Lundgren

Producer & Project Manager

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Mariah is a graduate of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln with a degree in Environmental Studies, and a minor in Fisheries & Wildlife. She has been a member of the Platte Basin Timelapse team since 2014. This project has taken her to the Sandhills of Nebraska, the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, and to see one of the greatest migrations in the world - the sandhill crane. Protecting wild spaces, getting people outside, and creating community inspires her to be a storyteller. She currently lives in Lakewood, Colorado, and can usually be found traveling the globe, rock climbing and snowboarding, or wandering through a local prairie.

Ethan Freese

Producer

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Ethan started at PBT as a production intern in 2015. After completing his undergraduate degrees at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Fisheries and Wildlife and Grassland Ecology and Management, Ethan started a Master’s of Applied Science project at UNL, which he completed in August 2020. Growing up, Ethan's summers were spent exploring the prairies and waterways of South-eastern Nebraska and hiking with his family in Rocky Mountain National Park. Ethan has developed a deep appreciation for the prairies of Nebraska and he hopes to use the power of photography to show others the beauty and importance of these undervalued ecosystems.

Grant Reiner

Producer

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Grant is a graduate of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln with an undergraduate degree in Fisheries and Wildlife and has an M.S. in Applied Science with an emphasis in science communication. He has been a member of PBT since 2017. Growing up, Grant has moved around to several different states and has made Nebraska his home. His love for nature and conservation has inspired him to become a conservation storyteller to impact the lives of others. In his words, “The diversity of ecosystems within the Platte Basin is absolutely incredible, there are a ton of hidden secrets here that not a lot of people know about, it is the perfect place to explore.

Brooke Talbot

Producer

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Brooke grew up in Nebraska and spent her childhood exploring Omaha’s city parks alongside parents who taught her how to appreciate urban nature. During her undergrad at UNL, she connected with PBT co-founders through a digital imaging class which required a conservation storytelling project centered around change over time. Through her class project at rare saline wetland near Lincoln, Brooke realized her passions for teaching, art, and natural resource sciences could merge in a powerful way. Today, Brooke aims to inspire others to get outside and explore their own backyards.

Carlee Koehler

Graduate Assistant

Carlee returned to the Platte Basin Timelapse team as an Applied Science master's student in the fall of 2021. Her project, created and funded in part by the Solidago Conservancy, looks into how the people of Lincoln interact with nature and how the city's expansion has altered residents' connection to the Salt Valley Greenway historically, presently and how it may in the future. For the last year, Carlee lived in and enjoyed Laramie, WY and the surrounding mountain ranges. There, she built connections with passionate landowners and told stories of the intricacies of livestock and wildlife sharing spaces in the Wyoming country as part of Dr. Drew Bennett's work with the University of Wyoming Working Lands and Wildlife Project within the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources. She also thoroughly enjoyed working as a substitute teacher in the Albany County school district! Carlee worked as an intern with us for five years during her undergraduate career at UNL where she earned a bachelor of science degree in fisheries and wildlife conservation biology, a bachelor of journalism degree, and three minors in biology, environmental studies and mathematics. Her passion for teaching and interests in music, art, and keeping up with her big family brought her back home to the southeast of Nebraska.

Dakota Altman

Graduate Assistant

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Dakota Altman grew up in the North Bottoms of Lincoln, Nebraska, where he first fell in love with nature. Family trips in the summers took him across the vast western states through some truly beautiful landscapes. Dakota always yearned to live somewhere else; but all along his home had been waiting, tugging him closer, revealing ever so slowly the fascinations of our unique natural world. Dakota answered that call, and as a graduate student studying to become a conservation storyteller at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln he works as a producer for Platte Basin Timelapse. Dakota’s current work is focused on a section of the Nebraska Wetlands Guide. He hopes that by sharing what makes a place special, others will be in awe of the beauty right under their noses.

Sidney Parks

Graphic Designer

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Sidney Parks graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2021 with two degrees in Graphic Design and Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in Dance. Sidney joined the Platte Basin Timelapse team as a Graphics and Production Intern in January of 2019. She loves being able to educate others through well-thought-out design, especially about the world we live in. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her dog, Pepper, dancing and traveling.

Mary Harner

Ecosystem Ecologist

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Mary studies how rivers interact with landscapes over time. She is an associate professor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney in the departments of Communication and Biology. Her collaborative research spans several river systems, including the Platte River and its tributaries in the Sandhills of Nebraska, as well as the Rio Grande and Gila River in New Mexico. She works to exchange knowledge about connections between human and natural systems, including through educational projects with students and the public.

Jeff Dale

Camera Technician

Jeff grew up in the Platte River Basin of Nebraska. There were many days and nights spent camping, canoeing, hunting, fishing and exploring the river basin. During his professional career, Jeff has always been involved in electronics technology and has started or been a partner in five Nebraska businesses. His current venture is TRLcam where he provides specialized camera technology to photography professionals and enthusiasts around the world. You can find more about Jeff and his projects at www.TRLcam.com.

Mirzo Mirzokarimov

Field Technician

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Born and raised in Tajikistan, Mirzo graduated from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln with his BS and MS in Electrical Engineering. He has always had a passion for technology, renewables, and the natural world. Currently, he is a full-time employee at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, CO working as a research assistant on next-generation photovoltaics. Mirzo is excited to be part of the PBT field team and to provide his engineering expertise. He currently lives in Lakewood, Colorado, and can usually be found snowboarding, camping, or climbing.

Dave Showalter

South Platte Field Assistant

Conservation photographer and author Dave Showalter is based in Colorado and focused on the American West. Dave has published two books - Sage Spirit, The American West at A Crossroads by Braided River (2015); and Prairie Thunder by Skyline Press (2007). Dave's photographs and articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Audubon, Conservation Biology, Outside, Outdoor Photographer, High Country News, Colorado Life and elsewhere. In partnership with Braided River, Dave's exhibit "Colorado: Sage Spirit and Roaring Rivers" was displayed at Denver International Airport 2018/2019 and viewed by over 2 million people. Dave is faculty with the Summit Series of Photo Workshops, a Senior Fellow Photographer in the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), a Platte Basin Time-lapse contributor, and works in partnership with numerous conservation groups, including Audubon Rockies, The Nature Conservancy, The Wilderness Society, LightHawk, and Sierra Club of Wyoming.

Kim Hachiya

Editor & Advisor

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Kim Hachiya is a 1977 University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate with a degree in Journalism. After a newspaper career, she joined the university in 1988, working in University Communication as an editor, news-writer, speechwriter and public relations specialist. She also worked for NET as a magazine editor and PR specialist. She retired in 2014, and is a free-lance writer and editor; she also is engaged in a number of volunteer projects for UNL Emeriti and Retirees Association, Leadership Lincoln, and the Scottsbluff Japanese Hall museum project. She is the principal author of “Dear Old Nebraska U,” published in 2019 by the University of Nebraska Press in celebration of the university’s 150th anniversary. In 2019, she earned a Master Naturalist certification from the University of Nebraska. Her affiliation with Platte Basin Timelapse project involves editing. Kim is a fifth generation Nebraskan. She and her spouse, Tom White, enjoy the company of three pugs and a cat.

Emma Krab

Story Producer Intern

Emma is a junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, majoring in journalism and English with a minor in political science. She grew up in western Nebraska, spending her summers swimming in the Platte River and at Lake McConaughy, though she tried her best to spend her winters indoors. A lifelong reader and writer, Emma owes much of her appreciation for Nebraska wildlife to the descriptions of her favorite author, Willa Cather, as well as firsthand experiences of her rural background. She is beyond excited to create meaningful, engaging stories that help others recognize the beauty, history, and importance of the Platte.

Favian Mendez Rodriguez

Production Intern

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Favian is a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he majors in Advertising and Public Relations and minors in Environmental Studies and Spanish. Originally from Toppenish, WA, Favian’s family moved to Crete, NE where he spent most of his life. Growing up, he has always had an interest in science and astronomy. As he continued his studies at UNL, he grew a great passion for the environment, sustainable practices, and drone applications. He wants organizations and companies that contribute to the greater good to gain more recognition and support. He hopes that the work he helps create can bring a bigger audience for the time-lapse project to showcase the importance of work the people are doing to conserve our waterways.

Kara Kielty

Production Intern

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Kara is a non-traditional student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife and minoring in Art with a concentration in Photography. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska spending time outdoors and camping every summer with her family. Shortly after graduating high school, Kara joined the Air Force where she served for five years as a Security Forces Police Officer. After serving, Kara, her husband, and their dog moved back to Omaha where she began attending UNL. Over the years Kara spent her free time exploring as many national/state parks and forests as she has been able to as well as volunteering at wildlife sanctuaries and with wildlife rehabilitators. Kara has a deep affection for wildlife and the environment and wants to educate and spread this passion to others to care for this wonderful earth we inhabit.

Lena Nelson

News & Events Intern

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Lena is a junior at UNL majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife and Journalism. She grew up north of Lincoln on an acreage with a pond, a prairie, and plenty of pets. This place was the first of many where she cultivated an appreciation for the environment. This was also the place where a love for capturing the outdoors through photos and writing began to bloom. She is excited to share stories of other natural places and nurture the same appreciation in others. Lena will be taking over as PBT's newest news and events intern on May 9, 2020.

Maddie Schiltmeyer

Social Media Intern

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Maddie is a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in Advertising and Public Relations and minoring in Art with a concentration in Photography. Maddie grew up on a farm in northeast Nebraska where she found her love for nature, later turning it into a passion for environmental conservation. In the past five years, Maddie has spent a lot of her free time traveling to new places all over the world. When she travels, she enjoys soaking in the beauty of nature by hiking and taking photographs of the landscape and other natural features. She also enjoys walking her dog, waking up for the sunrise, doing yoga, and journaling. Maddie is excited to share her passion for conservation through visual storytelling with the Platte Basin Timelapse project.

Teagan Gaul

Production Intern

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Teagan is a sophomore student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife with minors in Biology and Urban Forestry. Originally from Papillion Nebraska, she spent her summers outside camping across the Midwest or at summer camp. At 12 years old she picked up a camera for the first time and has not put it down since. Taking pictures of Nebraska’s nature and wildlife has inspired a deep love and appreciation for the environment around her. She is excited to share the beauty of Nebraska’s prairies and waterways through photography and storytelling.

Yahya Shema

Production Intern

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Shema is a junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he majors in Integrated Science and minors in Agriculture & Environmental Sciences Communication, and Leadership & Entrepreneurship. Born and raised in Kigali, Rwanda, he always admired the beauty of the country commonly described as the “Land of a thousand hills.” Growing up, he ventured into different activities such as mentoring children, playing basketball, and drawing. At the heart of his drive was finding a way to use his skills and time to impact society positively. During his freshman year, he stumbled upon a YouTube video showing how films and Animation are made. He quickly understood the power of storytelling, and it was love at first sight. Shema has co-designed two board games: Muco and Spudlandia. He has also worked as a motion capture animator on the Animated feature film, the Bell Affair, which will be released in February 2022. He is now excited and looking forward to creating work that can raise more awareness & funding to support and conserve Nebraska’s beautiful & irreplaceable wildlife & natural resources.

Dana Fritz

Commissioned Storyteller

Dana Fritz is Hixson-Lied Professor of Art and a Center for Great Plains Studies Fellow at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. For over two decades, her work in photography has addressed how we shape and represent the land. Her prints and artist books are exhibited and collected widely in the U.S. and abroad and she has been awarded a number of artist residencies at locations known for their significant cultural histories and gardens or unique landscapes including Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, California; Château de Rochefort-en-Terre in Brittany, France; Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona; PLAYA in Summer Lake, Oregon; Cedar Point Biological Station, Nebraska; and Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts in Saratoga, Wyoming. University of New Mexico Press published her monograph Terraria Gigantica: The World under Glass in 2017. Fritz is currently working on an exhibition and book about the environmental history of the Nebraska National Forest at Halsey, the largest hand-planted forest in the western hemisphere.

Former Contributors

Aaron Lee

Production Intern

Aaron Lee was a PBT Intern from March 2012 to September of 2013, while he was a Zoo School student at Lincoln Public Schools.

Alexandria Lundvall

Production Intern

Alex Lundvall was a production intern with PBT for several years. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, studying Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communication with a minor in Leadership and Entrepreneurship. Growing up on a farm in southwest Nebraska helped develop her love and passion for agriculture.

Amy Morris

Production Intern

Amy was a production intern for several years with PBT. She was a political science and environmental studies double major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a minor in German. She grew up in Aurora NE where she spent her early years exploring her backyard collecting soil and water “samples” for her science kit and facilitating her fascination with nature. She grew up taking field trips to the Platte river and spending every possible second of summer in the water of various lakes and rivers around Nebraska. Amy has always felt at home in the outdoors and currently enjoys hiking, climbing, skiing, and scuba diving. She hopes to bring a unique perspective into the conservation conversation and showcase the importance of our water systems.

Andrew Wentz

Production Intern

Andrew was a former intern with PBT. Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, former Associate Producer for PBS/NET and videographer/editor for IBM Kenexa. Currently based out of Lincoln, Nebraska as a freelance video producer. Always looking for opportunities to tell stories in new and exciting ways.

Emma Brinley Buckley

Researcher & Scientist

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A researcher, data-wrangler, and digital-media creator at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Emma enjoys tinkering with ways to derive and convey information using image-analysis, sound recordings, hydrologic monitoring, and data visualization. She obtained a bachelor’s degree at Green Mountain College in Vermont and a master’s degree in Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, where her collaboration with the PBT started. She appreciates a good/terrible pun, playing as many games as possible, and finds solace roaming the Great Plains with her partner and two dogs, camera in hand.

Peter Stegen

Video Artist

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Originally from Minnesota, Peter grew up in the outdoors. His family was blessed to spend their free time visiting national parks, state parks, and campgrounds across the scenic United States. After high school, Peter moved to Lincoln, Nebraska with plans of becoming a nurse, though after a few unsatisfied years and adequate time soul-searching, he decided his passion for being outdoors deserved a career. An alumnus of the Fisheries & Wildlife program at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Peter has an unconditional love for the wild places and things left on this planet.

Ariana Brocious

Producer

A native of the desert southwest, knowledge of the vital role of water came early to Ariana Brocious, who grew up exploring southern Arizona’s scrubby mountains and dry riverbeds. A graduate of the University of Arizona, she started reporting on the environment—and how humans interact with it—in earnest during her years in western Colorado, where she worked at KVNF Public Radio and High Country News magazine. Ariana Brocious led the multimedia storytelling efforts for the Platte Basin Timelapse project, including writing short and long-form reported features and producing radio stories, from July 2014 through February 2016.

Ashley Oblander

Contributor

Ashley is a contributor to our series, Voices of the Platte. Ashley Oblander is currently a Hubbard Fellow with The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska and is based at the Platte River Prairies. She grew up in a small northeast Iowa town and has always loved nature. However, her passion for conservation started during her undergraduate degree at Central College while working on a prairie restoration project. After getting her Master’s degree in biology with the University of Nebraska in Omaha, she worked for The Nature Conservancy in Iowa for a little over a year before returning to Nebraska for her fellowship. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading, photography, and spending time with family and friends.

Kery Harrelson

North Platte Field Assistant

The only team member based west of the continental divide, Kery lives in Grand County, Colorado where much of the water is diverted east to the Platte River Basin. As an avid boater of both whitewater and flat water, fly-fisherman, outdoor enthusiast, and long-time resident of the arid and growing west, the significance of water as a finite resource is of utmost importance to him. Platte Basin Timelapse project’s vision of conveying that significance with the power and simplicity of timelapse photography is innovative and assuring and Kery is excited to be a part of it. His dog, Oscar, is equally excited to be involved with the project.

Ben Gottesman

Researcher

Ben Gottesman is a former researcher for Platte Basin Timelapse. Ben is doctoral candidate at Purdue University’s Center for Global Soundscapes, where he is studying how the sounds of nature can teach us about biodiversity patterns and disturbance impacts in different ecosystems, including grasslands, coral reefs, and kelp forests. Intertwined with his research pursuits, Ben writes and performs music infused with his field recordings to promote environmental conservation, and loves teaching kids how to explore the natural world with their ears. With the Platte Basin Timelapse, he paired audio recorders with time-lapse cameras to learn about migration phenologies and “river rhythms”, and ended up discovering his favorite sound—the whooshing of crane wingbeats overhead.

Benjamin Vogt

Contributor

Benjamin Vogt is a contributor to our series, Voices of the Platte. He is the owner of the prairie-inspired design firm Monarch Gardens. He is the author of A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future. Benjamin lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife, son, and a 1/4 acre lot with thousands of plants.

Brian Seifferlein

Producer

Brian Seifferlein was a former producer for Platte Basin Timelapse. He is a producer, videographer and editor. He has spent his time documenting agriculture, land and water use with Harvest Public Media, producing 360-degree videos with the Emerging Media Department and shooting and editing historical and science-based documentaries. Brian has traveled to Antarctica several times, documenting research for NOVA: Secrets Beneath the Ice. In his free time, Brian loves biking in Lincoln, visiting nine-mile prairie and restoring his cold-water soul in his home state of Michigan.

Burk Knowlton

Contributor

Burk Knowlton is a contributor to our series, Voices of the Platte. He is Expeditions Director at A Bar A Ranch along the upper North Platte River in south-central Wyoming. He spends his summers leading Expeditions for families and youth groups across the ranch and he lives in Denver, Colorado each winter.

Elsie Stormberg

Story Producer Intern

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Elsie Stormberg is a reporter and photographer at the Wahoo Newspaper in Wahoo, Nebraska and was a storytelling intern with Platte Basin Timelapse. During her time at PBT, she created a collection of stories called Sharing Solace in which creatives from the Platte River Basin explain their experiences with nature during a pandemic. When at the paper, Stormberg also helps to cultivate intriguing images as well as report on the various events and serendipitous moments for three papers in the area, Waverly News, Ashland Gazette and, as I have already mentioned, Wahoo Newspaper. After her graduation in December 2020, she will continue with the Wahoo Newspapers while pursuing other storytelling experiences.

Katelyn Nimic

Contributor

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Katelyn has always had a deep passion for art and nature, which led her to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In her final spring semester of 2021, she completed the Platte Basin Parkway Project as part of her advanced design studio. Katelyn believes good design is founded upon a connection to place; to the character, heritage, and ecology of a landscape. With this philosophy, Katelyn hopes to create designs that are unique and engaging throughout her professional career.

Katie Nieland

Contributor

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Katie Nieland is the Associate Director and Communications Coordinator at the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska and a former journalist living in Lincoln, Neb. She also creates art for her business: Katie Nieland Art, which focuses on the bright and fun aspects of the Great Plains. See her artwork on Instagram @katienielandart or her website katienielandart.bigcartel.com/

Meg Rice

Social Media Intern

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Meg is currently a junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying journalism and minoring in communications and environmental studies. Born and raised in Nebraska, she has always had an appreciation for its simple beauty. Taking photos of the nature around her inspired her passion for photography and for the environment. Using her skills as a visual storyteller, she is excited to share her love of Nebraska’s beauty and conservation with others.

Mikaela Deptula

Production Intern

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Mikaela was a former production intern for Platte Basin Timelapse. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in December 2020, majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife, with a double option of Conservation Biology, and Wildlife Ecology and Management. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska where any free time she had was spent digging in the dirt, catching insects, and climbing trees. She has a passion for the natural world and hopes to use the information and tools she has learned in school and the internship with PBT to continue exploring nature and contribute to conservation and showing the importance and beauty of wildlife.

Trinity Thompson

Web Development & Design Intern

She/Her
Trinity is an undergraduate student in the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Although she spends many hours a day on her laptop, Trinity relishes in any opportunities to get away from her laptop to explore the outdoors via hiking and rock climbing. Since childhood, she has developed a passion for the peaceful biome of the plains, and she desires to use her computer and storytelling abilities to plant this love and appreciation into others through the PBT project.

Sarah Brey

Commissioned Storyteller

Sarah Brey was one of the first staff members apart of Platte Basin Timelapse. After spending several years as a PBTer she then went off to graduate school to complete her master's degree. Recently, Sarah has been contracted to tell a story for PBT about publically accessible lands in the Platte Basin.

Cristina Woodworth

Production Intern

Cristina Woodworth was a Platte Basin Timelapse formally a Platte Basin Timelapse intern. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with degrees in Journalism and Environmental Studies. Her childhood passions of riding bikes, collecting rocks and watching sunsets have led to a deeper appreciation for the importance of protecting our planet’s fragile areas. Cristina is still an avid biker, rock climber and backpacker and hopes to use writing, photography and video to inspire more people to get outdoors.

Dat Ha

Contributor

Dat Ha is a contributor to our series, Voices of the Platte. He is currently a Hubbard Fellow with The Nature Conservancy. He is originally from Richmond, Virginia, and has lived in Nebraska since February. He is an aspiring scientist, educator, and comedian.

Dave Leatherman

Contributor

Dave Leatherman is a contributor to our series, Voices of the Platte. Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. Interested in Nature my whole life and started birding/collecting insects as a young boy. Bachelor of Science from Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio (1971). Masters of Forestry from Duke University (1974). Entomologist for Colorado State Forest Service 1974-2005. Have lived in Fort Collins, CO since 1974. Three grown sons, four grandchildren. Frequent public speaker/writer/photographer on nature subjects.

David Weber

Camera Technician

David is a former Platte Basin Timelapse camera technician. David has spent the majority of his free time in some outdoor adventure or another; fly fishing, hunting, camping, motorcycling or just walking around with a camera taking bad pictures. After more than twenty years in the IT Industry running a consulting firm with his Dad, he found an opportunity to work with Jeff Dale at TRLcam. Marrying his love for the outdoors with his technical knowledge has been an amazing opportunity for David. He says he learns something new everyday -- electronics engineering from Jeff, photography from the "Two Mikes" or writing and media from the rest of the team. David married his high-school sweetheart, Karen, twenty-six years ago. They have two kids -- Anna who is a Journalism/Marketing major at Hastings College and Eli who is a sophomore at Norris High School. Two Labrador Retrievers are the reason they can't have nice things. There is a cat.

Ella Bishop-Hell

Contributor

Ella Bishop-Heil is a contributor to our series, Voices of the Platte. She was saved by a connection with the outdoors. Ella has a B.S. in Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management from the University of Wyoming and works as a Conservation Specialist for Pathfinder Ranches in south-central Wyoming. Her passion for rangelands is her heart’s driving force and spends her free-time navigating prairies to access fisheries.

Emily Levine

Contributor

Emily Levine is a contributor to our series, Voices of the Platte. She is a professional horticulturist/landscaper and an independent scholar focused on Great Plains indigenous history and culture. She has published two editions of historical manuscripts written by Lakota women and has recently finished a novel. Levine’s next project is a historical survey of the relationship between people and plants on the Central and Northern Plains. She lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Erin McCready

Production Intern

Erin was a former Platte Basin Timelapse production intern. She is from Hastings, Nebraska, where she grew to love everything about the outdoors from her parent’s love of thunderstorms, gardens, and landscapes. She graduated from UNL in 2019 with a degree in Communication Studies. “PBT showed me how much I love learning people’s stories and the ways they carve their path in the world.” Erin is hoping to pursue law school in the future to pursue a career in life planning that allows her to help people curate their own paths and stories.

Evan Barrientos

Contributor

Evan Barrientos is a contributor to our series, Voices of the Platte, and other Platte Basin Basin Timelapse stories. He is a photographer, videographer, and writer with a passion for inspiring others to appreciate and conserve nature through visual storytelling. He connected with PBT in 2015 while working for The Nature Conservancy of Nebraska. Evan is now the communications and marketing coordinator for Audubon Rockies, based in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he promotes programs related to river, grassland sagebrush, and backyard conservation.

Gabriella Parsons

Production Intern

Gabriella Parsons was a former storyteller producer intern. She is a documentary photographer and journalist born-and-raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. She is a senior journalism major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she concentrates in photo/video production, women and gender studies, English and Spanish. In her work, Gabriella combines the ethical integrity of a journalist with the stylistic flare of an artist, focusing on topics from the environment to mental health to unsolved crime scenes to liberation movements. For the past year, Gabriella has been a fellow of the UNL international photojournalism program, Global Eyewitness, which took her to Uganda and then Puerto Rico to report on emerging global issues. She also works with newly resettled youth at Lincoln High School mentoring them in iPhone photography and videography. The summer before she graduates college, Gabriella is excited to join the PBT team as a production intern to better understand this place she calls home and all the stories that make it unique.

Grace Bullington

Production Intern

Grace graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2018 with a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife. During her time at UNL, she interned with PBT for three years where she gained skills in photography and time-lapse to better capture her passion for nature. Today she focuses on conservation research having worked for two state agencies, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, studying ungulate populations. Grace is planning on starting her Master’s in Environmental and Life Sciences at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada in fall 2020. However, she continues to use the skills she learned at PBT to photograph the new environments she is exploring and is excited to integrate conservation storytelling into her master’s thesis.

Grace Gaard

Contributor

Grace Gaard is a contributor to our series, Voices of the Platte. She is born and raised in Omaha, NE with a love of all things nature related. Her artistic skills have developed over time with practice in paying close attention to the details around her. Her love of landscapes and animals is apparent in her work, which is represented by gouache, watercolor, acrylic paintings and pen and graphite drawings. Grace works with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission educating the public about the importance of conservation in Nebraska, and in her free time loves adventuring with her husband and two dogs in the outdoors.

Hannah Gavle

Social Media Intern

Hannah Gavle was a former Platte Basin Timelapse social media intern. She graduated from University of Nebraska–Lincoln majoring in Environmental Studies and Horticulture. She grew up in various landscapes throughout the Midwest, each one inviting her to appreciate a different aspect of nature. She spends as much time as possible participating in outdoor activities including fly fishing, backpacking, and rock climbing. She is doing everything in her power to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to have adventures in the outdoors. She is very grateful to be part of a project that combines her two favorite things, storytelling, and nature conservation.

Heather Johnson

Contributor

Isabella Gomez

Contributor

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Isabella graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology in 2017. She grew up in central Nebraska exploring the land around the farm where she grew up, which led to a love of nature and conservation. Her contributions to PBT include using various Geographic Information System programs to analyze how water features in the Sandhills of Nebraska change over time. Isabella plans to attend law school and would ultimately like to contribute to conservation efforts through wildlife policy and environmental law. Isabella hopes to share her love for the environment through her research and hopes to educate others on the importance of preserving our planet.

Jackie Sojico

Contributor

Jackie was a former Platte Basin Timelapse story contributor. She reports on history and culture for NET Radio's Humanities Desk. She grew up in Georgia and eventually wandered her way west to the Great Plains. Jackie graduated from Oberlin College and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in 2009, and then traveled the US for a year as a facilitator on the StoryCorps Mobile Tour where she honed her curiosity and love of talking to strangers. She never leaves home without a microphone and headphones.

Joe Arneson

Production Intern

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Joe ended his several year run as a PBT intern from 2013 to 2015, after graduating from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln studying Water Science.

Jonathan Nikkila

Contributor

Jonathan Nikkila a contributor to our series, Voices of the Platte. He is a lifelong resident of Kearney, Nebraska. He and his wife, Miriam, have four children. In addition to too many other hobbies and distractions, Jonathan enjoys nature and photography. He is on the stewardship board of Audubon's Rowe Sanctuary.

Joshua Redwine

Contributor

Joshua is a contributor to our series, Voices of the Platte. Realizing that engineering wasn't a fulfilling career, Joshua Redwine set out on a new path to capture nature at its most remarkable. Inspired by greats such as Ansel Adams, Gordon Parks and Edward Weston, Redwine captures the very essence and emotion that landscapes inspire in all of us. Redwine's art uses a blend of colors, movement and textures to create a seamless masterpiece that many find to speak to their very soul.

Kat Shiffler

Producer

Kat was a former Platte Basin Timelapse producer. Born and raised in Nebraska, Kat loves a good story. She's learned technical skills on the fly - usually in another country - from a visual anthropology course in Bolivia, to a gig with the first independent radio station in Bhutan. Gradually she's honed in on video to communicate scientific research, rural issues, and stories related to our food system. Kat has a graduate degree in agroecology and applies that knowledge in a practical way in her Lincoln neighborhood where she grows food and keeps bees. Her favorite parts of living back in Nebraska are the sounds - and the silence. Kat worked on the PBT project from January to May 2015.

Kimberly Tri

Contributor

Kim Tri was a former Nature Conservancy Hubbard fellow and contributed to our storytelling efforts.

Kylee Warren

Commissioned Storyteller

Kylee was a former comissioned storyteller for Platte Basin Timelapse. Sge has a lifelong interest in conservation, storytelling, traveling and birds. She began her multimedia career when she picked up a camera to film and photograph Sandhill Cranes in Nebraska, Oregon, and New Mexico in 2009. In 2017, Kylee graduated from the University of Sydney with a PhD in Film and Digital Media, and her research explored the depiction of landscape and spectacle in post-9/11 fictional and documentary film. Kylee is fascinated with how the wilderness shaped a character’s greater purpose or survivability in movies and documentaries about violent conflict. She has published academic chapters based on her research and gave talks on disaster landscapes for the American Culture Association and the Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand. As a mandatory component of her degree, Kylee produced a fictional narrative exploring these themes, and told the story of a young woman who happens upon the sandhill crane migration in a dystopian future. Today, Kylee currently assists organizations with marketing and public affairs strategies through her independently owned multimedia business.  Kylee also takes a keen history in Nebraska local history about Ash Hollow and the Battle of Bluewater.   When she’s not working with clients or photographing for assignment, Kylee enjoys rucking the wilderness of the high plains and volunteering to support America’s veterans. 

Madeline Cass

Artist in Residence

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Madeline Cass is an artist originally from Nebraska, and is currently based in New Mexico. She earned a BFA in Studio Art with an emphasis in Photography from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2017. Her book, how lonely, to be a marsh, which was commissioned by Platte Basin Timelapse, has been collected by the Museum of Modern Art Library, the National Gallery of Art Library, the Hirsch Library at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The Getty Research Institute Library, Special Collections & Archives at the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, The Albert B. Alkek Library at Texas State University-San Marcos, Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors at Bennett Martin Public Library, and the University of Nebraska’s Love Library.

Mary Anne Andrei

Producer

Mary Anne was a former producer for Platte Basin Timelapse. She holds a bachelor’s in resource conservation from the University of Montana, a master’s in museum studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a doctorate in the history of science from the University of Minnesota. Her history of the early wildlife conservation movement in America is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press. She worked for Platte Basin Timelapse as an educational multimedia producer from 2016-2017. She lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with her husband Ted Genoways, and their son, Jack, and their two dogs.

Matt Waite

Web & Technology Advisor

Matt Waite has been an advisor to PBT on its web development/design. He is a professor of practice at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, teaching reporting and digital product development. Prior to joining the faculty, he was the senior news technologist for the St. Petersburg Times of Florida and the principal developer of the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact.

Matt Hoobler

Contributor

Matt Hoobler is a contributor to our series, Voices of the Platte. He is the Director of Operations for Pathfinder Ranches. He is an avid outdoorsman and loves spending time outdoors with his wife Beth and their two daughters. When not hunting or fishing, he directs the conservation strategies and infrastructure planning and development at Pathfinder Ranches; a company specializing in mitigation banking, water leasing and agribusiness.

Melissa Amateis

Editor & Author

Born and raised in Nebraska Melissa Amateis grew up on a farm near Bridgeport, Nebraska. She holds a BA in history from Chadron State College and an MA in history from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Amateis is the editorial assistant for Great Plains Quarterly and Great Plains Research, the two academic journals produced by the Center for Great Plains Studies, and is the author of Nebraska POW Camps: A History of World War II Prisoners in the Heartland (The History Press: 2014). She lives in Lincoln with her daughter.

Merika Andrade

Story Producer Intern

Merika graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in Journalism and English with a minor in History. Originally from California but raised in the Great Plains of Nebraska, she grew up traveling uncharted roads with her family and developed a love of visual storytelling from being surrounded by diverse cultures and lands. Her passion for film and technology only curates her need for innovation and consistently strives to improve her skills so that she is able to correctly justify any story she tells. Currently, she is studying for her part 107 Drone Pilot certification and is practicing with 360 video on a documentary surrounding her native ancestry. She is thrilled to be working on the Platte Basin Timelapse project so future generations have a chance to see the world that exists today.

Mia Everding

News & Events Intern

Mia was a former story producer intern for Platte Basin Timelapse. She is a Nebraska native and studied journalism and Spanish at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has an interest in visual and written storytelling and enjoys any time spent outdoors with a camera in hand. She has an interest in conservation and environmentalism and is excited to combine her skills with a notepad and camera to tell important stories about Nebraska's natural beauty.

Michaela Daugherty

Social Media Intern

Michaela was a former social media intern for Platte Basin Timelapse. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, majoring in Environmental Studies, and minoring in Anthropology and Environmental Education. She is from Omaha, Nebraska, but spent most of her summer and winter breaks from school traveling through numerous national parks and public lands where she learned to love the outdoors. The time outside taught her the importance of conservation, and now she wishes to educate others on environmental issues. She is excited to use all she learned from being a part of the Platte Basin Timelapse project to make a positive impact on the planet’s health.

Morgan Spiehs

Producer

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Morgan was a former Platte Basin Timelapse producer. Morgan, the daughter of Platte Valley farmers, grew up near the town of Cairo, Nebraska. Working as a photojournalist in Fort Collins first ignited her love for the Great Plains and agrarian communities. Morgan is interested in how modern food systems affect local economies, people and ecosystems. After working on documentary projects in three states, five countries and Puerto Rico she couldn't be happier to join the PBT team and tell stories of the Platte Basin where her family's made a living for over a hundred years. She graduated from UNL with majors in journalism and Women's & Gender Studies.

Nicole Pauley

Contributor

Nicole is a graduate student and research assistant in the Geography Department at Oklahoma State University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2017. Her love for nature began at a young age traveling around the country and visiting various state and national parks with her family. This love and desire to protect Earth’s natural resources has continued to grow, especially through the completion of her last research project examining land-use changes along the Central Platte River Valley. Her academic and research interests center around landscape ecology and the applications of geographic information systems and remote sensing in natural resource and wildlife management.

Renee San Souci

Contributor

Renee is a contributor to our series, Voices of the Platte. With a degree in education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and being an Umoⁿhoⁿ woman and practitioner of traditional healing, Renee Sans Souci combines her life experiences with a learning process that helps learners to engage in their own cultural identities and languages. Renee has been a Teaching Artist with the Lied Center for Performing Arts since 2009. She has presented at numerous conferences and workshops on various topics related to Native Science, History of Indian Education, Native languages, Poetry, and Sustainability. Sans Souci presented, last year, at the National Portrait Gallery, Native American Women Activists: Resistance, Resilience, and Passing the Torch. And this year, she appeared in the PBS American Masters Series, UNLADYLIKE 2020: Susan LaFlesche Picotte: The First American Indian Doctor.

Sarah Sortum

Contributor

Sarah (Switzer) Sortum lives on her family ranch in northeast Loup County with her husband, Mark, and two boys. In addition to ranching, Sarah and her family operate Calamus Outfitters, a nature-based tourism operation.

Sierra Harris

Producer

Sierra Harris was a PBT intern and staff member from 2011 through 2014. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in Environmental Studies in 2013.

Simon Tye

Researcher

Simon is a doctoral student with the Siepielski Lab at the University of Arkansas. As an undergraduate at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Simon studied natural bats roosts and dynamics of a naturally flowing river in New Mexico. As a member of the PBT team, Simon examined a visual dataset of biodiversity associated with a beaver lodge near the Platte River, Nebraska. His current research projects examine microevolutionary processes that promote coexistence and influence aquatic community structure.

Steve Den

Contributor

Steve is a contributor to our series, Voices of the Platte, along with a long-time friend, and supporter of the project. Steve grew up in eastern Nebraska along the Missouri River. He attended Kansas State University, and upon graduation, flew over to Puerto Rico where he taught first grade. After two years on the island, he headed to the northern Colorado Rocky Mountains where he taught kindergarten, third, fifth, and sixth grades for thirty-one years at Putnam Elementary School in Fort Collins. Steve's retired and can usually be found out back of his cabin along the river.

Steven Speicher

Web Developer-Designer & Project Coordinator

Steven was one of PBT's first staff members, and was PBT's first and only web developer and designer as well as producer. Steven is now a web developer and designer living and working in Seattle. Originally from the Great Plains, Steven's roots are deeply embedded in the Platte River. He graduated from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln in Film and Environmental Studies and stayed around the state for several years. Steven's toolbag consists of web development/design, video production, and time-lapse photography. His cat is his most trusted desk companion.

Valerie Cuppens Bates

Education Producer

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Val was the lead producer for PBT's first educational multimedia story series featuring STEM-based curricula. Val is a seasoned design professional providing a full suite of creative services and educational resources. Her mission is to transform complex ideas into compelling content using a variety of media. She is passionate about the outdoors and comes from a family of educators.

Zoe Mays

Production Intern

Zoe Mays studied history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and was an intern with Platte Basin Timelapse during the 2014-2015 academic year.

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Our funders and partnering organizations.

with additional funding by:

Claire M. Hubbard