Robert Ratterman

Coordinator, Sciences (Cattaraugus County)

I have taught a variety of biology courses at JCC, including many of the core courses in biology. Since 2003, I have co-taught Tropical Biology, which has proven to be one of my most enjoyable courses. During odd-numbered spring semesters we spend the spring recess exploring the rainforests of Costa Rica and snorkeling the coral reefs of Bocas del Toro, Panama. Over the years we have witnessed the eruption of the Arenal volcano, observed nesting of endangered leatherback sea turtles and zip-lined through rainforest canopies.

In my spare time I tend to my five beehives and enjoy fishing for smallmouth bass and walleye on Lake Erie. In 2011, my then 14-year-old daughter caught the largest walleye in New York State that year — 11 pounds, 8 ounces! Once the leaves begin to turn, my attention turns to fly fishing for steelhead, as well as deer hunting.

The photo to the left was taken at base camp on the Kahiltna Glacier in Denali National Park in south-central Alaska.  It is here that climbers acclimate as they prepare to ascend the 20,310-foot peak of Denali.   


  • M.S. Zoology - Iowa State University
  • B.S. Biology - Loras College