Dr. George Nelson Rysgaard was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on October 28, 1917. He received an undergraduate degree in science from the Hamline University and graduated with an M.S. from Michigan State in 1941. From 1941 to 1946, Rysgaard served in the U.S. Army. After his military service, he entered medical school, interned at the Minneapolis General Hospital and maintained a private practice in Northfield, Minnesota from 1951 until his retirement in 1985. Dr. Rysgaard has held a life-long interest in natural history. During his college years, he was an assistant at the University of Minnesota's Bell Museum of Natural History. In 1937, he helped establish the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union. Following his graduation from Hamline University, Rysgaard continued to work at the Bell Museum teaching programs in ornithology and mammalogy. Rysgaard made four trips to the Northwest Territories: Great Bear Lake and Tree River in 1966, Colville Lake in 1968, Victoria Island in 1969 and the Thelon River in 1970. Although the trips were primarily recreational, Dr. Rysgaard also recorded his interest in the natural history of the areas with slide and film.