Jeff St. Clair

All Things Considered host, Exploradio

A career in radio was a surprising turn for me seeing that my first love was science. I studied chemistry at the University of Akron and for 13 years lived the quiet life of an analytical chemist in the Akron area,listening to WKSU all the while in the lab.

A few small explosions and chemical spills helped me decide that it was time to look for a new career. In 1998 I landed a part-time position at WKSU and began hosting the Sunday local performance show, In Performance. The magic of radio did its work on me, and in December 2000 I permanently shed the lab-coat to join WKSU full-time and have never looked back.

As the local host of NPR's All Things Considered, I love connecting with listeners as they’re heading home.  It’s a privilege to introduce listeners to the fascinating guests, artists, experts, and news makers that are heard each day on NPR.  It’s a conversation that enriches us all.

I’m also thrilled to share my love of science with listeners through Exploradio, along with reporting on the environment, business, and politics.

Reporting the news is perfect for someone like me because I’m intensely curious ( i.e. nosy)  and have a very short attention span! I'm grateful to have found my niche.

WKSU is one of those rare places where creativity and technology come together to create a product that touches your intellect and your soul—it makes you laugh and carries you through times of reflection.

I sometimes imagine that a young person listening today will be inspired to make the world a better place because of something he or she heard on WKSU. I'm extremely proud to be part of one of the best stations in the public radio system.

I live in Kent with my wife and my three wonderful children.

Ways to Connect

large metal parts
NICK COOL / TEAM NEO

Additive Manufacturing, better known as 3-D printing, is one of the fastest growing technology sectors.

It’s a printing process where plastic or metal parts are built-up layer by layer.

In this week’s Exploradio, we look at where the industry is headed and how Northeast Ohio is building itself into the nation’s additive leader.

face of early human ancestor
MATT CROW / CMNH

A team led by Cleveland researchers has discovered a fossil cranium that puts a face on an early human ancestor which had only been known by bone fragments.

The finding also shows that this human ancestor lived at the same time as the species made famous by the Lucy fossils.

DIARI LA VEU / FLICKR CC

Lake Erie has one of the highest concentrations of microplastic pollution in the world.

Sherri Mason, a researcher at Penn State Behrend in Erie, was the first to report that finding.

Her discovery led to congressional action banning microbeads in consumer products.

On this week’s Exploradio,  we spend some time with Mason finding out how microplastic pollution remains a health hazard.

a photo of a leaf with beech leaf disease
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

A mysterious disease is killing one of the most majestic trees in American forests, the beech. 

Known for its smooth gray bark, the beech is an important anchor species. 

No one knows exactly what causes Beech Leaf Disease, but a team of tree scientists is narrowing down the list of culprits in this botanical whodunit.

photo of the incoming and outgoing presidents of NEOMED
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

The Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) has introduced its next president.

NEOMED announced Wednesday that Dr. John Langell will replace outgoing president Dr. Jay Gershen, who retires in September.

Langell is currently vice dean of the University of Utah School of Medicine and a former Air Force medical commander.

He also has an interest in medical innovation, with more than a dozen patents.

photo of student climate protest in Cleveland
CHLOE FRIEDLAND

Fifty years ago a burning river mobilized a generation of environmental activism. Citizens pushed for new laws to regulate pollution, and our water and air has gotten cleaner.

But significant environmental challenges remain including climate change, habitat loss, and plastics pollution.

Our series Watershed looks at today’s environmental warriors and the road ahead.

Ashtabula harbor
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Rivers in northern Ohio have long been conduits of industry, linking onshore factories to Great Lakes shipping and beyond.

This industrial legacy spurred economic growth, but it also left the region’s waterways poisoned by unregulated pollution.

And one of the hardest hit rivers was the Ashtabula, in Ohio’s far northeast corner.

In this installment of our series Watershed, WKSU’s Jeff St. Clair reports the cleanup of the Ashtabula took decades of dedication by citizens and became a model for environmental cooperation.

a photo of a sailboat
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Ohio’s urban waterways were once seen as common sewers for industry and growing populations.

But a fire in 1969 on the Cuyahoga River sparked new ideas of how a river can serve its region.

In kicking off our series, Watershed, WKSU is examining three Northeast Ohio rivers, and the relationships they have with the communities that rely on them.

a photo of newlyweds
HOPE MOORE / CREATIVE COMMONS

Couples in the Akron-area can have a June wedding or vow renewal for free in a local park. Summit County Probate Court will be hosting a group outdoor wedding on June 28th at Goodyear Heights Metro Park. Summit County Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer will be overseeing the event called Promises in the Park.

assembly line workers at honda plant
STEVE BROWN / WOSU

Ohio’s auto industry could suffer major disruption if President Donald Trump’s tariffs against Mexico take effect.

That's according to Case Western Reserve University economist Susan Helper, who studies the U.S. auto industry.

JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

WKSU asked listeners for ideas for what to explore in the next episode of our Exploradio science series.

We had some great suggestions. When the ideas were put to a vote, the top choice was –

“Is enough being done to find a cure for type-1 diabetes…?”

In this week’s Exploradio, we try to find the answer.

Around 1.25 million Americans have type-1, or insulin dependent diabetes.

Rich Janus is one of them.

A photo of Brecksville Dam
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Editor's Note: This story was originally published on May 2, 2019.

One of the last remaining dams on the Cuyahoga River will soon be coming down.

The Brecksville dam was built in 1952 to divert water to operations of what is now Charter Steel in Cleveland.

Elaine Marsh, president of the Friends of the Crooked River, announced this week that Kokosing Industrial has been hired to remove the dam.

Photo of an Amur tiger
CLEVELAND METROPARKS ZOO

Our local zoos are changing.  The Akron Zoo is in the midst of a $17 million expansion, making new homes for lions and tigers.  The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo recently opened exhibits featuring Asian wildlife and rare Siberian tigers.

In this week’s Exploradio, we examine the research that goes into making captive animals a little more comfortable.

photo of Dr. Matthew Kraay and Clare Rimnac
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Nearly one million Americans will have hip or knee replacement surgery this year. They’re among the fastest growing procedures in medicine.

For most people, the implants function just fine, but sometimes, that artificial knee or hip needs taken out …

And in this week’s Exploradio, we investigate what those discarded devices can tell us.

A photo of brain researchers Lique Coolen and Michael Lehman.
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

The brain remains one of the final frontiers of science.

Researchers are only beginning to unlock how addiction works, how the brain controls other organs, the causes of brain diseases, among other mysteries.

In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair meets a pair of researchers who are launching a new collaborative at Kent State University to tap into Northeast Ohio’s ‘brain trust.’

MATTHEW SEPTIMUS / WNYC

Last March WNYC named former New York Times journalist and CNN reporter Tanzina Vega as the new host of "The Takeaway."

She’s coming to Kent State University this week to receive the McGruder Award for diversity in journalism.

photo of a bald eagle
RICK McMEECHAN

Bald eagles were nearly wiped out in Ohio a generation ago. But now they’re back, and a pair is nesting close to the industrial heart of Cleveland.

On this week’s Exploradio, we explore one of the most encouraging signs of a rebounding waterway.

KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Teachers continue to picket outside a Parma charter school run by Akron based Summit Academy Management. Summit Academy is the only unionized school in the Ohio charter system, and the first where teachers have gone on strike.

Negotiations broke down Saturday.

Intervention Specialist Mike Meyers says the teachers want the school to operate the way it claims it does. 

CLEVELAND METROPARKS ZOO

They’re the largest of the great apes.

Imposing and impressive, gorillas inspire fear and admiration.

But local researchers say they also serve as models of gentleness and family harmony.

In this week’s Exploradio, we look at Ohio’s role in gorilla conservation and visit the gorillas in our midst.

GILLETTE

The American Psychological Association has issued new guidelines for understanding and treating the unique problems faced by men.

The project took more than a decade to complete and was launched by a researcher at the University of Akron.

In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair examines the evolving definition of what it means to be a man in America.

photo of Jay Corrigan
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

How do you measure the value of something that’s free?

It’s a challenge for economists who study the economic impact of the Internet revolution.

In this week’s Exploradio, we look  at research that puts a price on your network of virtual friends.

How much would someone need to pay you for you to stop using Facebook?

JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

It's something our health depends on, but it's often hard to get.

That something is a good night's sleep. 

Researchers are only beginning to understand the consequences of interrupted sleep, and the long-term health effects of poor sleep habits.

In this week’s Exploradio, we visit a sleep clinic where doctors are developing new treatments for an age-old problem.

We’re visiting one of the Cleveland Clinic’s sleep labs.   

JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Our climate is rapidly changing. 

Recent studies show earth could be entering a period of warming not seen since the end of the age of dinosaurs.

That is, if current trends continue.

In this week’s Exploradio, we look at local climate research and local plans to help prevent the effects of a warming planet.

JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

The four day Blockland Solutions Conference in Cleveland brought tech leaders from around the U.S. to meet with local entrepreneurs and investors to look for new ways to use blockchain technology in the local economy. 

As Blockland backers plan next steps, there are challenges they'll face in creating a regional tech hub. 

Charles Stack is CEO of Flashstarts, a tech-acclerator that’s putting $6 million in seed money into two dozen blockchain-based startups over the next year.

JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Ohio is the birthplace of air and space pioneers like the Wright brothers, Neil Armstrong and John Glenn.

But has the aerospace industry really taken off in the birthplace of aviation?

In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair meets the new head of the Ohio Aerospace Institute who’s helping map out the state’s aviation future.

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