WOUB Senior Spotlight: Jake Van Cleave

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Jake Van Cleave will be continuing his education in meteorology after graduation in May

Jake Van Cleave, an Ohio University senior studying meteorology, is currently a weather forecaster for WOUB’s NewsWatch, but doesn’t know just yet if being a television meteorologist is in his future. Van Cleave came to Ohio University from Cleveland, Ohio. He chose the university because it was one of only two schools in Ohio that offered meteorology degrees and he wanted more of a rural feel while attending college.

Van Cleave knew he wanted to go into meteorology since he was a child.  For a time growing up, Van Cleave lived in Fort Meyers, Florida where severe tropical storms occur. He envisioned himself as a hurricane hunter and going into the eye of the storm. Since coming to Ohio University, he has learned about other careers in weather, including broadcast meteorology.

“It’s a lot of fun because I get to connect with an audience and tell the weather while also giving the science behind it,” said Van Cleave. “Throughout my studies, I’ve been working at Lowe’s. People will look at me and go, ‘you look familiar.’ They know me because I do weather for WOUB.”

Van Cleave initially became involved with WOUB because other weather forecasters encouraged him to join. WOUB has helped him with his communication skills and how to tell weather like it’s a story. It has also helped with networking in the meteorology field.

“Through WOUB I made connections with people from other television stations across the country and people that deal with stations, like the National Weather Service and local governments,” said Van Cleave.

Van Cleave is open to different career paths. As of now, he plans to attend graduate school at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, South Dakota, where he will study atmospheric sciences. His research will focus on the boundary layer and its impact on wildfire development and decay.

“I’ve really enjoyed broadcast, and I was almost set on going into it,” said Van Cleave. “But since I got accepted into graduate school, I’m going full swing at that because I want to get my master’s degree.”

Though Van Cleave isn’t going into broadcasting right out of college, he is still open to it. No matter where he ends up in his career, he knows he wants to connect with people through meteorology. He plans to use his improved skills from WOUB throughout his career.

“I think WOUB is an underused resource for a lot of people that are on the meteorology track, especially since we now have a broadcast meteorology degree,” said Van Cleave. “There are a lot of people in the field that could really use WOUB. It’s a great resource.”

Outside of meteorology, Van Cleave likes to do outdoor activities, like off-roading. He also enjoys spending time with his fiancé and dog.