Nebraska Authors

Thomas D. Mangelsen

AKA: Tom Mangelsen

Thomas Mangelsen says he took his first wildlife photos while accompanying his father on hunting trips near Nebraska's Platte River. These hunting trips taught him the patience necessary for good wildlife photography, and he learned how to move quietly and understand animal behavior. Mangelsen has photographed wildlife in such far-flung places as New Zealand, the Arctic, and Yellowstone, but Mangelsen's first muse was Nebraska and the Platte River, where he returns regularly to photograph the great crane migrations.

Mangelsen has collaborated with many authors over the years to illustrate their books with his stunning photography, but he has also published solo work, including The Natural World: Portraits of Earth's Great Ecosystems, featuring a foreword by Jane Goodall. He has a background in biology and zoology, and is an advocate for conservation of the natural world. Mangelsen co-founded The Cougar Fund, was a founding Fellow of The International League of Conservation Photographers, is on the international advisory council for the Jane Goodall Institute, and acts as a board ambassador for the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance.

See also: Michael Forsberg, Joel Sartore

Places Lived

Grand Island, NE
Crete, NE
Omaha, NE
Ogallala, NE
Moose, WY
Nederland, CO

Author Of

  • Nonfiction
  • Visual Work


Photography; nature; wildlife


BA in Biology, Doane College, Crete, NE
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Colorado State University


Gallery Owner


BBC's Wildlife Photographer of the Year, 1994
Conservation Photographer of the Year, Nature's Best Photography, 2011
Outstanding Nature Photographer of the Year, North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA), 2000
Honorary Fellowship, The Royal Photographic Society, Bath, UK
Benjamin Franklin Award for Best Coffee Table/Large Format Book, for The Natural World,2008



Images of Nature: The Photos of Thomas D. Mangelsen. 1989. (Written by Charles Craighead)
Cranes of the Gray Wind. 1991. (Film, with Paul Johnsgard)
Spring. 1990. (Written by Ron Hirschi)
Summer. 1991. (Written by Ron Hirschi)
Fall. 1991. (Written by Ron Hirschi)
Winter. 1990. (Written by Ron Hirschi)
A Time for Sleeping. 1993. (Written by Ron Hirschi)
A Time For Babies. 1993. (Written by Ron Hirschi)
The Eagle and the River. 1994. (Written by Charles Craighead)
A Time For Playing. 1994. (Written by Ron Hirschi)
A Time for Singing. 1994. (Written by Ron Hirschi)
When the Wolves Return. 1995. (Written by Ron Hirschi)
Dance with Me. 1995. (Written by Ron Hirschi)
Polar Dance: Born of the North Wind. 1997. (Story by Fred Bruemmer)
Faces in the Forest. 1997. (Written by Ron Hirschi)
Faces in the Mountains. 1997. (Written by Ron Hirschi)
Spirit of the Rockies: The Mountain Lions of Jackson Hole. 1999. (Story by Cara Shea Blessley)
When Morning Comes. 2000. (Written by Ron Hirschi)
When Night Comes. 2000. (Written by Ron Hirschi)
Winter Wings: Birds of the Northern Rockies. 2003. (Written by Bert Raynes)
Searching for Grizzlies. 2005. (Written by Ron Hirschi)
The Animal in Me is Very Plain to See. 2005. (Written by Laurie Tye)
Lions, Tigers, and Bears: Why Are Big Predators So Rare? 2007. (Written by Ron Hirschi)
The Natural World: Portraits of Earth's Great Ecosystems. 2007. (Foreword by Jane Goodall)
Our Three Bears. 2008. (Written by Ron Hirschi)
Yellowstone wildlife: Ecology and natural history of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. 2013. (Written by Paul Johnsgard)
The Last Great Wild Places: Forty Years of Wildlife Photography by Thomas D. Mangelsen. 2014.
A Chorus of Cranes: The Cranes of North America and the World. 2015. (Written by Paul Johnsgard)
Grizzlies of Pilgrim Creek. 2015. (Written by Todd Wilkinson)
Grizzly: The Bears of Greater Yellowstone. 2015. (Written by Todd Wilkinson)

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Thomas D. Mangelsen

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