Work Hardin Hall (HARH) 304
Lincoln NE 68583-0973
Work 402-472-3471 On campus, dial 2-3471
Michael Farrell Biography Michael Farrell formerly managed special projects for NET, Nebraska’s statewide public broadcasting network. He is a 48-year veteran of public media, 46 of which have been spent in the production and management of documentaries about the culture, history and environment of Nebraska and the Great Plains. He is involved with major grant-funded initiatives as well as developing new projects and partnerships for the Platte Basin Timelapse Project. He was Principal Investigator on Engaging Antarctica, an NSF funded multi-year project about the ANDRILL ice core drilling project that resulted in a NOVA doc, Antarctica’s Icy Secrets and an educational/4H component, Engaging Antarctica. His areas of content specialization include history and humanities documentaries as well as programs about diverse topics such as rural and environmental issues, the fine arts, opera, ballet, jazz and blues. His most well known award-winning production was In Search of the Oregon Trail, which aired three times on prime-time national public television and was one of the top ten most-watched PBS programs in its premiere year of 1996. His 90-minute special The Platte River Road won the coveted National Cowboy Hall of Fame award in 1992. From 1998 to 2009, Farrell led the network’s television production team managing local, regional and national projects. Beginning in 2006 he also established an internship program at NET for students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications, the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Farrell also teaches classes in advanced documentary, digital imaging and story-telling and is available for independent study projects with select students. Farrell teamed up with award winning nature photographer Michael Forsberg to bring his recently published Great Plains – America’s Lingering Wild to the public television audience. The documentary premiered in November, 2012 as a co-production of NET Television and Michael Forsberg Photography and is in distribution nationally and internationally via PBS. During their long hours spent driving throughout the Plains, Farrell and Forsberg generated the ideas behind the Platte Basin Timelapse project. Using time-lapse technology applied through an entire watershed to document water use, 40 cameras are mounted in Colorado’s high country, near Wyoming’s dams and reservoirs and on through Nebraska’s prairies and croplands. Farrell, also an accomplished photographer, has had his work appear in Nebraska History magazine and NEBRASKAland Magazine, the University of Oklahoma Press book “Scenery, Curiosities, and Stupendous rocks: William Quesenbury’s Overland Sketches, 1850-1851” as well as numerous gallery and museum shows. His 2012 show of large format color landscape images titled Westward Bound was on display at the Great Plains Art Museum in Lincoln for two months attracting record numbers of visitors and a listing as one of the top ten exhibitions that year by the Lincoln Journal Star. His degrees include an M.S. from Illinois Institute of Technology in Visual Communications and A.B. in Fine Arts (Graphic Design and Photography) from Indiana University. He lives in Lincoln with his partner Lynne Ireland and has three grown children, and a granddaughter. He is currently in year one of a two-year half-time contract as an Assistant Professor of Practice in the ALEC Department at UNL.


  • BA, Indiana University, 1969
  • MS, Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, 1971


  • NRES 393, Digital Imaging and Storytelling in Agriculture and Natural Resources, Fall 2018

icon-documentPublications and Other Intellectual Contributions

  • Great Plains - America's Lingering Wild, PBS
  • Great Plains - America's Lingering Wild (TV Documentary), Great Plains - America's Lingering Wild (TV Documentary), November 2012
  • Lost and Found Again, Lost and Found Again, September 2016
  • ninemileprairie.com, ninemileprairie.com, December 2013
  • Stream Crossings, Prairie Fire, July (3rd Quarter/Summer) 2014
  • Westward Bound - Big Color Landscape Photographs, Westward Bound - Big Color Landscape Photographs, October (4th Quarter/Autumn) 2012

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