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   from the issue of March 23, 2006

Wilderness photographer talk March 24

Photographer and writer Nishantha Gunawardena will discuss his travels across North American photographing some of the last remaining wilderness areas in the United States, 3 to 5 p.m. March 24 at the Great Plains Art Museum

AMERICAN WILDERNESS - A turkey vulture comes in for a landing in this
 AMERICAN WILDERNESS - A turkey vulture comes in for a landing in this "Traces of Eden" image shot by Nishantha Gunawardena in Texas. Gunawardena will offer a discussion on his work, 3 to 5 pm. March 24 at the Great Plains Art Museum. Courtesy photo/Nishantha Gunawardena.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Gunawardena will also sign copies of his book, "Traces of Eden: The Last of the American Wilderness." The Environmental Resource Center and the Nebraska Wildlife Federation are co-sponsoring the presentation.

Gunawardena is a freelance photojournalist whose work has been published in books, magazines and journals all over the world. His images have been exhibited at galleries and exhibits throughout the United States and in Sri Lanka. His photographs have been instrumental in creating public awareness of the intense need for humanitarian work, and for wildlife conservation.

With a degree in biology, Gunawardena worked as a technologist in biochemical genetics at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota while photographing and writing "Traces of Eden: The Last of the American Wilderness."

In 1993, he traveled to eastern Sri Lanka during the height of the internal conflict in that country. He traveled with staff from Time magazine, lived in an orphanage, and captured on film the drama of the untold lives of those caught in the conflict. He returned to Sri Lanka in 2005 to lead a tsunami relief mission and to cover the aftermath of the disaster for a Minnesota newspaper, and for his book, "In Search of Serendipity."

Gunawardena will also be a featured speaker at "Migration!," the Nebraska Wildlife Federation's annual gathering, March 25 in Grand Island.

For more information, contact the Environmental Resource Center at 472-8823, the Federation office in Lincoln at 477-1008, or go online to

Gunawardena's book can be previewed at



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