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

david cooperrider
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Cleveland’s greatest export may not be world-class healthcare, auto parts, or even LeBron James, it might be a management philosophy.

Appreciative Inquiry was invented at Case Western Reserve University three decades ago and has become a transformative tool for companies and organizations around the world.

The process was used recently to help create a new vision for Cleveland.

In this week’s Exploradio, we look into the science of positive planning.

The pond in front of the Cleveland Museum of Art  is seen from above.
JEFF ST. CLAIR / WKSU

An effort to shape the economic future of Cleveland continues following a large-scale brainstorming session.

Six hundred people gathered last week at the Cleveland Rising Summit.

Don Graves, an executive with Key Bank, was one of the organizers.

He says ideas coalesced around improving transportation, access to the Lakefront, inclusion and racial equity, and boosting business growth.

Graves says libraries will host sessions over the next few weeks for those who want to share additional input.

a photo of several groups at tables
JEFF ST. CLAIR / WKSU

An initiative kicked off Tuesday in Cleveland to develop a new vision for the city’s future.

The Cleveland Rising Summit is a three day event that draws together a large group of citizens to brainstorm.

The process is led, in part, by Case Western Reserve University professor David Cooperrider, developer of a technique to facilitate innovation in businesses and community groups.

a photo of Lucy
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

The discoverer of the famous Lucy fossil has returned to Cleveland for a sold-out talk.

Donald Johanson was a curator of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History when, in 1974, he led the team that made the discovery of the ancient human ancestor.

He’s currently head of the Institute for Human Origins at the University of Arizona.

a photo of John Nicholas and Stan Smith
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Like death and taxes, being hit by a computer virus seems inevitable.

Cybercrime took a $100 billion bite out of the U.S. economy last year alone.

It’s not just individuals who are hacked. Cities, schools and small businesses are increasingly targeted.

In this week’s Exploradio, a look at local efforts to fight the onslaught by training the next generation of cyber warriors.

Kelly Kendrick is IT director at Coventry Local Schools, a small district south of Akron.

computers
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

The Ohio House last week approved the creation of a civilian force of ‘cyber-warriors.’

The bill is now headed back to the Senate for a final vote to establish the Ohio Cyber Reserve.

amish farmer with horses
DOYLE YODER / USED WITH PERMISSION

The Amish are an anachronism in modern America.

They don’t own cars, they’re not on the grid, but researchers at the College of Wooster find that the Amish relationship with technology is more nuanced than it appears at first glance, and doesn’t always fit our stereotypes.

In this week’s Exploradio, we look at the complexities of Amish life in the 21st century.

Jay Gershen
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

September 30th is Dr. Jay Gershen’s last day as president of the Northeast Ohio Medical University.

During his decade at the helm of NEOMED, Gershen has emphasized the school’s mission to produce doctors to serve Northeast Ohio’s diverse communities.

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.

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.

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