Faculty Spotlight: Doug Zalesky

Doug Zalesky
Meet Doug Zalesky, director of the Eastern Nebraska Research, Extension and Education Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
February 22, 2021

About Doug

I am a husband and father of one son. I am a native of the Southern Panhandle of Nebraska.  I received my bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from UNL in animal science. I received my doctorate degree from Texas A&M University and returned to UNL for a post doctorate. I served as a Nebraska State Beef Extension Specialist at Louisiana State University and South Dakota State University. I have also served as a research center director at Colorado State University and the University of Wyoming before having the opportunity to come back to UNL. 

What is your position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

Currently I serve as the director of the Eastern Nebraska Research, Extension and Education Center. 

What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

UNL and specifically IANR is well-known for its efforts as a land-grant institution.  The research, Extension and teaching efforts are known across the nation and the world. Being an alumnus of UNL and IANR it was always a desire to try and come back to this institution. When I had the opportunity to do so, I took advantage of it. I believe there is no better place to work and to serve the people of the state of Nebraska. 

What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?

While I like all aspects related to the three missions of research, teaching and extension, I probably enjoy the research mission the most. It is always rewarding to be involved with or to watch new and exciting discoveries occur from the research enterprise, and in my case specifically from the agricultural research efforts.  These efforts so often result in discoveries that are shared through Extension programs and through classes on campus.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

For me, my greatest achievement has been to help individuals become successful. I have had the opportunity to serve as a mentor for graduate students and to provide support, in various ways, to young faculty just starting out in their careers. Seeing someone like that become successful is very gratifying. 

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

I’m a huge fan of horses. I think they are very regal animals, very athletic and they have played a significant role throughout the history of mankind. 

What is your life like outside of work?

My wife and I spend a lot of time taking care of and making improvements to the acreage that we live on. We spend time with our two horses and two dogs, and we like to fish.