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Watershed Education: Artistic Rain Barrel Program

About the Artist: Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, "Platte River"


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About the Artist
Guild of Natural Science Illustrators

Great Plains Chapter of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators painted a representation of the Platte River environment on our rain barrel. Artists included:

  • Michelle Hansen-Daberkow - Art Educator K-5
  • Jessica Kelling - ReTree Nebraska Coordinator
  • Karina Helm - Graphic Designer/Illustrator for the Arbor Day Foundation
  • Andrea Faas - Aquatic Education Specialist, Ak-Sar-Ben Aquarium
  • Lana Johnson - Scientific Illustration Instructor/Project Manager, Web Development at UNL

Members of the GNSI Great Plains Chapter are professional scientific illustrators and educators with an informal goal of education and outreach to generate awareness of our unique regional Great Plains ecosystems. Through our art and educational programs about the incredible environments in Nebraska, we encourage conservation and preservation while creating great art. We strive to make our artwork realistic, detailed and scientifically accurate while at the same time aesthetic and visually pleasing.

Artwork Interpretation
"Platte River"


Location: Loren Corey Eiseley Branch Library, 1530 Superior St.

Everyone who lives in Nebraska knows the Platte River. We drive over it to get from here to there, and back again. We see it reflected in beautiful sunset photos and as it meanders through the state. It is also familiar to many people outside Nebraska as it serves as a vital pathway used by millions of migratory birds stopping to eat and rest. Along with the birds are the fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and plants that also rely on the river and make it their home. Home is a place to be, a place to grow and place to be safe. This river is a lifeline to the many species of animals and plants living there. Let's preserve, protect and cherish it for our kids.

Our barrel is a cross-section view of the Platte River and includes species found in the river, on the shore and in the sky above. As trained scientific illustrators who relish and live for extreme detail and accuracy in their artwork, this project challenged a few of us who had to get those last little tiny spots of paint ‘just so'.

For more information on Scientific Illustration or the GNSI Great Plains Chapter, contact Lana Johnson at ljohnson1@unl.edu.

"Scientific Illustration is a marriage of science and art in a way that's elegant and informative." - Edward Bell

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Watershed Education: 2009 Artistic Rain Barrel Program