Living in the Baltic Sea

Art for a Reason

Peeter Vissak


Birth date: 13. March 1956, Tartu, Estonia
Marital status: Married, 6 adult children


1973 – 1979 University of Tartu, Faculty of Biology & Geography; Diploma in biology/geobotany, diploma thesis “Vegetation of the Flood-plain of the River Kasari”

1962 – 1973 Tartu Miina Härma Gymnasium; Secondary Education Certificate


2007 – continuing
Freelance photographer, translator/proofreader, nature tour guide
General tasks:
Selling prints via galleries, website, stock agencies
selling and installing fine art photo exhibitions and small installations to companies and privately
Guiding nature and photographic tours
Holding lectures on conservation, biological topics, photography
Proofreading translations ENG-EST and EST-ENG;
Translation ENG-EST and EST-ENG

2006 – 2007
Translation agency “Premium”. Proofreader/translator.

General tasks: Proofreading translations ENG-EST and EST-ENG;
Translation ENG-EST and EST-ENG

1988 – 2006
Manager of the Puhtu-Laelatu Nature Reserve (previously Virtsu-Laelatu-Puhtu Reserve); 1988 – 1995 as a standalone legal unit; from 1995 as an administrative department of the Matsalu National Park.

General tasks:
Organisation of conservation activities, including management contracts with local people and organisations;
participation in working out principal conservation and management documentation;
organisation of management works in species-rich heritage communities;
writing and publishing popular articles in hardcopy and online media;
photographic field works;
geobotanical and other surveys and mapping;
general management planning (including participation in ICZMP);
organisation of and participation in relevant cooperation projects of local, regional and international scale.

1978 – 1988
Scientific co-researcher at the Matsalu Nature Reserve.

General tasks:
Geobotanical, floristical and mapping field works and surveys;
data management and processing, mainly with multivariate techniques on a mainframe computer and Apple II;
testing early automatic database-linked mapping routines (VESPAN II)
writing scientific and popular articles;
photographical field works;
vegetation monitoring

Special tasks:
1977 – 1980 Large-scale geobotanical mapping of Matsalu Nature Reserve, group leader (preparation works on the base of ortophotographic material, field surveys, data analysis, compiling map sheets);
1981 – 1988 vegetation data analysis with program package Cornell Ecology Programs on mainframe computer and Apple II.

ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES (chronologically):

Virtsu Society for Nature Education (founder and chairman 1990 – 1999)
1990 founding the Society for Environmental Education of Virtsu;
1991 organisation of the 2nd European Seminar for Renewable Energy, cooperating with the Estonian Green Movement and OVE (Danish Organisation for Renewable Energy);
1995 The Dutch Embassy MATRA KAP project of capacity building of the Society;
1995 – 1997 Preparation, coordination and running the EUCC (European Union for Coastal Conservation) sub-project BACO-6 (Baltic Sea – White Sea bird migration corridor supporting project of (a) writing a management plan for the Puhtu-Laelatu Reserve under the supervision of the Vice President of the EUROSITE Mr. Peter Schofield, (b) practical management works on the Reserve, mainly on Laelatu wooded meadow, (c) information works, including desktop-published newsletter and (d) education works in the local school;
1996 The Dutch Embassy MATRA KAP continuation project of capacity building of the Society, compilation of photographical databank of the Reserve and compilation of an introductive Photo-CD of the area;
1996 Preparatory works for founding a new reserve (program area) on a species-rich alvar meadow North of Virtsu, including writing of brief regulation and management plan, financed by the limestone quarry (AS Partek Nordkalk in Kurevere);
1997 – 1998 EUCC continuation project of management, information and education works on the Puhtu-Laelatu Reserve;
1997 REC (Regional Environmental Centre) small project for adding up the image bank and compiling an information stand about the Reserve and the surrounds;
1997 AEF (Open Estonia Foundation) small project for capacity building of the Society;
1998 – 1999 EECONET Action Fund project of large herbivores (Hereford cattle) for restoring and managing heritage seminatural ecosystems in Matsalu Nature Reserve (Lusti Farm).

Personal activities in conservation field:
1992 temporary job in South-West Archipelago Reserve, Finland (heritage ecosystem management works);
1993 – 1994 Grant of Estonian Scientific Foundation for research works on spatial patterns of coastal plant communities;
1998 – 1999 Compilation of the framework and writing 3 chapters of the Management Plan of the N va Reserve;
2001 – 2004 Editor of the online newsletter and the yearbook of the CCB (Coalition Clean Baltic)

Participation (with report or poster) on international conferences and seminars:
GIS Conference, Tallinn, 1995;
EUCC (European Union for Coastal Conservation) Biennial Conferences:
Coastline ’95 (Swansea, Wales)
Coastline ’97 (Naples, Italy)
Coastlines ’99 (Miedzyzdroje, Poland);
IEEP (Institute of European Environmental Policy) Conference on application of the Bird Directive and the Habitat Directive of the EU in the coastal areas, Morecambe, England, 1997


Translation and publication:
Part-time jobs for translation agencies;
7 books from English to Estonian (popular science, fiction and encyclopaedias, see;
Publishing, illustrating, writing and layout designing of two collections of essays (“About the Possibility of Harmony in the System: Man – Environment – Society” 2003 & 2005)

Photography:Working as a photographer on contract for agefotostock, Alamy and MyLoupe stock agencies;
Personal photography exhibitions:
“Avara ilma varjatud pool – The Hidden Side of the Ample World”
3rd International Matsalu Film Festival, Lihula
Viru Centre Gallery “Kunst & Disain”
The Museum of New Art, Pärnu
“Raamitud rõõmud – Pure Joy in Frames”
The Museum of New Art, Pärnu
Estonian Oper Air Museum, Tallinn
Tallinn City Theatre
Tartu Vanemuine Theatre
“Kui Hanila mehed Tallinnas käisid – When Hanila Folks went to Tallinn”
Castellan House Gallery, Tallinn
“Kargemeelne - Crisp-minded”
The Museum of New Art, Pärnu
Estonian Drama Theatre, Tallinn

Published photographs locally and internationally (see: Dawn of the 21st Century et al.

See homesites: &

Stock photography references

Computer skills:
Mainframe programs from 1982;
Apple II programs from 1986;
DOS, Windows, Linux and MacOS platforms (office, publishing, image editing, internet-publishing incl. PhotoShop, GIMP, PageMaker et al.)
Multivariate analysis packages (CEP, MULVA, SYSTAT);
GIS packages (IDRISI, PC-RASTER, MapMaker, ArcView, ArcExplorer, briefly MapInfo);
Spatial analysis packages (Geo-EAS);
Internet connection from 1995.

Estonian (mothertongue);
English (excellent);
Russian (very good);
German (very low);
French (very low)

Books, reading;
Guitar playing, singing;
Music listening;
Walking in nature, soft hiking (incl. kayak & bicycle);
Methodological problems (incl. interdisciplinary solutions and practical field solutions of contemporary hi-tech achievements).

Peeter Vissak
+372 5379 8075
+372 5560 1943
pv (at)