National Wildlife Federation Honors Esther Horvath as 2020 Ranger Rick Photographer of the Year

‘Esther’s Images Make the Pages of Ranger Rick Come Alive with Polar Adventures’

RESTON, Va. — The National Wildlife Federation and its treasured publication, Ranger Rick, announced today that they have honored Esther Horvath with the Ranger Rick Photographer of the Year Award. 

Horvath, is based in Germany, where she works with climate scientists at the Alfred  Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research. This work takes her around the world, but primarily to the Arctic and Antarctic regions. 

“Esther is remarkable in her ability to go into some of the most remote and harsh regions on the planet and convey the important stories with sensitivity and beauty. But her real mission is sharing her stories with children and igniting that passion in them,” said Susan McElhinney, Ranger Rick’s photo editor. “Esther’s images make the pages of Ranger Rick come alive with polar adventures. Our readers feel like they are journeying to the ends of the Earth.”

Ranger Rick featured Horvath’s photos in several 2020 feature articles, including Arctic Outpost, a story about a pair of dogs that keeps scientists company at a remote research location, and Antarctic Adventure, about a research journey to the Weddell Sea. Most recently, through Ranger Rick’s “On Top of the World” contest, Esther challenged readers to join her virtually on the MOSAiC expedition to the central Arctic Ocean during winter. With the ship intentionally stuck in the frozen sea, research would proceed on the ice — where Horvath sometimes pulled polar bear watch.

“Spotting polar bears in the Arctic night is not easy,” Horvath said. “When the ice moved beneath my feet, it felt like an earthquake. But there is nowhere to go — you just stay where you are and watch it.” Now she has fallen in love with the Arctic Ocean and the constantly changing landscape of shifting ice and light. 

The Ranger Rick Photographer of the Year award is given to the professional photographer or photography team whose work in Ranger Rick the previous year has most effectively advanced the magazine’s mission: to inspire in young children a love and understanding of wildlife and the natural world.

Along with the distinction of being named Ranger Rick Photographer of the Year, Horvath will receive a $1,000 prize and an announcement in the July 2021 issue of Ranger Rick.

Horvath was born in Hungary, where she received her master’s degree in economics at the University of West Hungary. She moved to New York City to study documentary photography and photojournalism. She now lives in Bremen, Germany.  Her images have been awarded prizes including the prestigious World Press Photo Awards’ first prize in the environment category with an image from the MOSAiC expedition. In 2020, Horvath published the book "Into the Arctic Ice: The Largest Polar Expedition of All Time," which follows the expedition of the Polarstern, an Arctic icebreaker that is making exploration history and taking climate research to the next level. In addition to Ranger Rick, her work has been published in The New York Times, Geo, Audubon, National Geographic, Time and The Wall Street Journal.


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