Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date


Publication Title

Great Plains Research






As a newcomer to Nebraska and someone learning the natural history of this place, I thoroughly enjoyed The Nature of Nebraska. More consequentially, the book will serve as a valuable resource for longtime naturalists, teachers, and others who want to learn about Nebraska's natural history.

Opening with a discussion of geology and ecology, Johnsgard offers a broad overview of Nebraska's ecological diversity, intertwining material on the natural forces that have historically dominated the Plains with a discussion of the anthropogenic forces currently altering the region's unique ecological nature. Approximately half of the book is devoted to more specific descriptions of nine ecological regions and biological communities in the state. These chapters describe highlights of the region's ecology and its biological communities, integrating information on the past physical and biological processes with human-induced changes. These highlights are followed by a series of species descriptions of the ecology of keystone and typical species as well as declining and endangered species, each focusing on biology but also incorporating interesting historical or economic facts.


Published in Great Plains Research Vol. 13, No. 2, 2003. Copyright © 2003 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.