Professor Juhan Ross was born in the village of Aburi, Virumaa, northeast Estonia on August 14, 1925. During the World War II he avoided mobilization into the German Army, escaped to Finland, and served in the Finnish Army. He was lucky not to be killed at the Finnish eastern front. After the war's end in Finland, in 1944, Juhan Ross returned to Estonia as part of the Estonian volunteers Regiment, the 'Finnish Boys', to fight for the independence of his native country. Despite the failure of this effort, he stayed in Estonia and graduated from Tartu University in 1951. He became a research associate at the Tartu Observatory, which was to be his home observatory for the next 52 years. Here he rose through the ranks to serve as the head of the Department of Atmospheric Physics from 1958-1991; for the last 12 years he had the position of Senior Research Associate. In 2001 he was awarded the 3rd class Order of the White Star.
His areas of expertise included actinometric measurements, radiative transfer in vegetation canopies, photosynthesis and productivity of vegetation, optical remote sensing of vegetation canopies. Author or coauthor of six monographs, his "The Radiation Regime and Architecture of Plant Stands" by Gidrometeoizdat, Leningrad, 1975 in Russian and by Dr. W. Junk Publishers, The Hague, 1981, serves as a handbook in this field. He is the coauthor of the first monograph in the world that deals with the use of lasers in remote sensing of plant cover. Prof. Ross was also the author of more than 150 scientific articles. He was the initiator and leader of several symposia and seminars in former Soviet Union, and the collaborative Finnish-USSR project of the study of radiative transfer in forest 1980-1990. His accomplishments include the formulation of the fundamental principles of a new branch of science - phytoactinometry; development of plant growth equations; application of radiative transfer theory in vegetation canopies, the reflection functions obtained by Juhan Ross are used by NASA's Earth Observing System.
He unselfishly spent large amounts of time on careful and thorough reviews for Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. He was a valued and honored member of the Editorial Board for this journal since 1988.
A list (below) of Prof. Ross's degrees, membership, reflects the
large impact he had on the field of radiation transfer within and
above plant canopies.
Academic Degrees, Honors, and Membership in Scientific Societies
Juhan Ross was a charismatic man, had a wonderful sense of humor, and was equally popular both at public presentations and at social gatherings.