Photo by Ronan Donovan

‘The Heartbeats To Data Points’

National Geographic conservation photographer Ronan Donovan has two exhibits in Eugene

He has been embedded with and studied the wolves for months and years, from Yellowstone National Park to the Arctic. Now, conservation photographer Ronan Donavan of National Geographic is mingling with humans to share his photo work and observations in two exhibits in Eugene — From Wolf Country at New Zone Art Gallery and Wolves: Photography by Ronan Donovan at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History. All this for a man who began his professional career as a wildlife biologist, though he notes that “I had been building photography as a hobby.” That hobby became his passion in 2011 when he documented in photos the snare injuries chimpanzees were suffering in traps set by poachers in Uganda. Donovan joined National Geographic in 2012, and in a span of 10 years, he has made himself at home among packs of wolves. It is not isolating work for Donovan. “There’s an idea that it is hard,” he says, “but I struggled a lot in the human world growing up.” That included brushes with the law at age 13, he adds, but the Vermont native (he now lives in Bozeman, Montana) found respite in the neighboring woods. “I’m much more relaxed in the woods,” he says. “It makes sense to me. The extreme to me is cities.” Donovan has found comfort in public speaking, especially in regard to the stories and photos he shares of wolves. “It’s been a learned skill for me,” he says. “This work I do is mission-driven. I’ve embraced the opportunities I get. I’m adding heartbeats to data points.” 

From Wolf Country, an exhibit by conservation photographer Ronan Donovan is April 1 through 30 at New Zone Art Gallery, 110 E. 11th Avenue. Donovan also is at New Zone April 5 to answer questions during First Friday ArtWalk. Wolves: Photography by Ronan Donovan is an exhibit that runs through May 26 at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, 1680 E. 15th Avenue. In addition, Donovan will speak at MNCH — The Human-Wolf Connection — 6 pm Thursday, April 4, and moderate a panel discussion — Face-To-Face With Oregon’s Wolves: Expert Perspectives — 1 pm Saturday, April 6.

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