Naturalist Spotlight: Rob Dragani

My name is Robbie Dragani, and I am joining the Upham Woods team as a Research Naturalist. I come from the small town of Plymouth, Indiana. I was blessed to be introduced to the great outdoors as a baby, going along hunting and fishing with my dad. Ever since, I have had a love for nature and animals. I spent all my time as a kid at the lake, fishing or playing with critters in the rocks along the shoreline. I learned a lot about life from these experiences.

My journey with 4-H began when I got involved with my grandfather’s beef cattle ranch at age 10. It started with beef and sheep shows at the county 4-H fair, and soon I was fortunate enough to be able to travel across the country, exhibiting our cattle at livestock shows. I also participated in my local 4-H and FFA livestock judging teams. 4-H and similar organizations offer a great way to get involved, exhibit leadership, and learn a lot at a young age. These lessons can be useful in many aspects throughout life.

I went to college at Marquette University in Milwaukee where I majored in Biology. After living there for 4 years, I realized that so many of the friends I was making in the big city never had the type of exposure that I did to the great outdoors, and therefore, had foggy concepts of what the natural world is really like. So I’m here now to help kids have some of the experiences that I have had, and to promote the type of scientific education that can extend to all parts of life, while performing research at the same time that helps to make the world a better place.

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University of Wisconsin-Extension