Urmas Tartes, Estonian Nature Photographer, born (1963)

Urmas Tartes was born on September 19, 1963.  He is known for his outstanding nature photographs, both still and moving, especially of insects.  He takes photographs primarily in his native Estonia, noting that “There is a saying in Estonia that in order to see new things, you have to follow common paths – paths you know.”

Tartes was educated at Tartu University in Estonia, earning BS, MS and PhD degrees in biology and insect physiology.  He worked at the Institute of Zoology and Botany, eventually serving as its managing director, and later at the Estonian University of Life Sciences.  For his work as a scientist, administrator and photographer, he was awarded the Estonian Order of the White Star, Class IV, a government recognition for contributions to the nation in various fields of endeavor.

In 2010, he left the university to focus on his career as a freelance photographer and author.  He won the Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer award for the Animals in their Environment category in 2009 for a rare photograph of a springtail in a field of snowflakes.  Like nature photographers that preceded him, he was lucky to be in the right place at the right time, but also had the knowledge and patience to capture springtails in their highly precise movements.  “I had to ‘ambush’ the weather for just the right temperature and condition,” he told BBC News.  “We came to a place where we thought it might be possible [to see the insects] and the thermometer in the car said it was just the right temperature.”

Tartes has published several books about nature and nature photography, emphasizing insects.  In addition to his own work, he frequently serves as a juror for important photography competitions across Europe.  He has served as the Chairman of the Nature Protection Commission of the Estonian Academy of Sciences.

References:

Gill, Victoria. V 2009.  Leaping wolf snatches photo prize.  BBC Earth News, 21 October 2009.  Available at:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8318000/8318226.stm.  Accessed September 18, 2017.

Goodreads.  Urmas Tartes.  Available at:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6152151.Urmas_Tartes.  Accessed September 18, 2017.

Tartes, Urmas.  Curriculum Vitae.  Available at:  http://www.zbi.ee/~tartes/cv.html.  Accessed September 18, 2107.

Tartu Environmental Education Center.  Urmas Tartes.  Available at:  http://www.tartuloodusmaja.ee/ET/koolituskeskus/juhendajad/urmas-tartes/.  Accessed September 18, 2017.

This Month in Conservation

February 1
Afobaka Dam and Operation Gwamba (1964)
February 2
Groundhog Day
February 3
George Adamson, African Lion Rehabilitator, Born (1906)
February 4
Congress Overrides President Reagan’s Veto of Clean Water Act (1987)
February 5
National Wildlife Federation Created (1936)
February 6
Colin Murdoch, Inventor of the Tranquilizer Gun, Born (1929)
February 7
Karl August Mobius, Ecology Pioneer, Born (1825)
February 8
President Johnson Addresses Congress about Conservation (1965)
February 8
Lisa Perez Jackson, Environmental Leader, Born (1982)
February 9
U.S. Fish Commission Created (1871)
February 10
Frances Moore Lappe, author of Diet for a Small Planet, born (1944)
February 11
International Day of Women and Girls in Science
February 12
Judge Boldt Affirms Native American Fishing Rights (1974)
February 13
Thomas Malthus Born (1766)
February 14
Nature’s Faithful Lovers
February 15
Complete Human Genome Published (2001)
February 16
Kyoto Protocol, Controlling Greenhouse-Gas Emissions, Begins (2005)
February 16
Alvaro Uglade, Father of Costa Rica’s National Parks, Born (1946)
February 17
Sombath Somphone, Laotian Environmentalist, Born (1952)
February 17
R. A. Fischer, Statistician, Born (1890)
February 18
Julia Butterfly Hill, Tree-Sitter, Born (1974)
February 18
World Pangolin Day
February 19
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial Established (1962)
February 20
Ansel Adams, Nature Photographer, Born (1902)
February 21
Carolina Parakeet Goes Extinct (1918)
February 22
Nile Day
February 23
Italy’s Largest Inland Oil Spill (2010)
February 24
Joseph Banks, British Botanist, Born (1743)
February 25
First Federal Timber Act Passed (1799)
February 26
Four National Parks Established (1917-1929)
February 27
International Polar Bear Day
February 28
Watson and Crick Discover The Double Helix (1953)
February 29
Nature’s Famous Leapers
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