Faculty 101 pops up on the Platte with the Sandhill cranes
Launched by University Communication in fall 2018, Faculty 101 delivers regular insights — some serious, others silly — into the work and lives of Husker faculty.
Hosted by Mary Jane Bruce, the stories explore what inspires faculty and their research, along with the lessons they've learned in the classroom and field.
In this episode, Bruce tells the story of a true Nebraska signature: Sandhill cranes, which take a spring break from their annual northerly migration by alighting on the sandbars of Nebraska's Platte River. About a month ago, a one-credit "pop-up" course gave students from myriad majors an opportunity to capture the seasonal phenomenon in word and image.
Assisted by Nebraska alumna Mariah Lundgren, Bruce talks with students about what it's like to see the migration for the first time — an experience that one describes as akin to being "transported back to prehistoric times." The students detail the challenges and joys of arising before dawn to photograph the cranes amid the cold and fog of a Midwestern March.
Bruce also chats with the course's leaders, photographer Michael Forsberg and documentarian Michael Farrell, about the Platte Basin Timelapse project — a multimedia love letter to the region and a clarion call to preserve it.
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