A master at blending creativity with science,
Rick Baetsen has spent his life promoting
environmental causes through words, photographs,
videos, and research. Years of experience
working in the northwoods, including Alaska
and Michigan's Upper Peninsula, have led
him to become an award winning biologist
and photographer. What the Michigan native
brings to his work is the depth of understanding
gained while working as a natural resource
biologist and researcher.
Rick studied fisheries, wildlife and botany in college.
He received a B.A. in Biology in 1975, from Lake Superior State University,
where he spent his days walking along the hemlock-lined Tahquamenon River, the shores of Lake
Superior, and the deep woods of the Hiawatha National Forest. There he met Bonnie Heuvelhorst,
his future spouse. Today they live with their three children, Justin, Ryan, and Amy, near Walloon
Lake, in northern lower Michigan.
Rick has worked for the U.S. Forest Service, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service. His duties have involved research on the wildlife refuges in northern
Alaska, fisheries survey work on the State and National Forests of Michigan, and as a management
biologist at a federal fish hatchery.
In 1977, Rick began mixing his interest in the natural world with his photography skills.
His success at publishing his images led him to start Rick Baetsen Nature and Wildlife Photography,
Rick's photos reflect his love of the wilderness and Michigan's natural areas including;
Isle Royale National Park, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Hiawatha National Forest,
and the Lake Superior and Jordan River State Forests. His favorite subjects include; wildlife,
birds, butterflies and landscapes. His images have been published extensively in books, magazines,
calendars, newspapers, as well as on public and commercial television, a number of internet
websites, and on CD-ROM.
His photography has also earned him numerous awards, including a Best of Show in the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service National Photography Contest, and First Place in the Lake Superior Magazine Photo
Contest. Rick also earned the distinction of being named the Featured Wildlife Photographer of the
1998 Kirtland's Warbler Festival.
Rick's photography has been published by Birder's World, Bird Watcher's Digest, Nature Conservancy,
Ducks Unlimited, Ruffed Grouse Society, Lake Superior Magazine, Traverse Magazine, The NorthWoods
Call, Michigan Natural Resources Magazine, Michigan Out of Doors, Michigan Country Lines, Michigan
Wilderness Journal, Michigan Outdoor Journal, Michigan Hunting and Fishing, Michigan Magazine,
Michigan Birds and Natural History, The Jack Pine Warbler, Woodall's RV Traveler, Woods N Water
News, Pointing Dog Journal, Retrieving Dog Journal, Country Sports Press Books, and Grolier
Though busy with his photography and research, Rick still finds time to volunteer. He has donated
his images to many conservation and governmental agencies for use in newsletters, brochures, and
slide presentations. He also volunteers as an educator, speaker, and wildlife researcher. These
activities earned him the "Outstanding Contribution Award" from the Director of the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, as well as honors from the Governor of Michigan and the U.S. Secretary of the
Interior for his work with wildlife enhancement projects and youth environmental education programs.
Rick also leads nature tours and gives slide presentations on his travels and natural history topics
including; owls, wildflowers, and butterflies. Rick and Bonnie recently produced for the Michigan
Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program, a slide presentation on the "Northern
Saw-whet Owl and other Northern Forest Owls of Michigan" and a video on "The Butterflies
of Michigan", which was highlighted with footage from Bonnie's video footage collection.
Rick is an active member of a number of conservation
organizations and a board member of the Michigan
Sharp-tailed Grouse Association and The Spruce Grouse Society.
Rick, Bonnie, and their children enjoy exploring
the natural world and have traveled to Alaska,
the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Churchill-Manitoba,
and the Maritime Provinces. As a family,
they have observed grizzly bears, gray wolves,
willow ptarmigan and many other special plant,
bird and wildlife species.