Jim Brandenburg developed a love of nature and the environment from his upbringing on a rural prairie in southwestern Minnesota. Brandenburg attended the University of Minnesota, Duluth, where he majored in art history and began his career as a photographer and filmmaker. His efforts at the university would lead him to contract work and assignments for journals and magazines throughout the world, winning critical acclaim for his work done for National Geographic during the 1980s and 1990s. The National Press Photographer’s Association (NPPA) twice named Brandenburg “Magazine Photographer of the Year” for his work in National Geographic. Today, he is an environmentalist, nature photographer, and filmmaker based near Ely, Minnesota.