Local Celebrity Teaching at Onondaga

DaveEichornWondering what meteorologist Dave Eichorn has been up to since leaving a Syracuse TV station nearly a year ago? Well, many Onondaga students can tell you. For the past year, he’s been in the classroom – as both a teacher and a student.

And, he says, “I’m enjoying every minute of it.”

Eichorn has more than 30 years experience in meteorology, specializing in lake effect snowstorms. His spot-on forecasts made him a favorite of many Central New Yorkers and earned him numerous awards for severe weather coverage, including the super storm of March 1993 and Hurricane Gloria.

Ready for a career change, he’s now pursuing a master’s degree in environmental science at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF). And he’s also an adjunct professor teaching Introduction to Meteorology at Onondaga. To fill some needed credits, he took a few liberal arts classes at Onondaga and was surprised to find himself sitting next to many of his own students.

“I was literally in the seat next to them,” he says. “I could feel their pain as they crammed for mid-terms and finals, because I was doing the same thing!”

Eichorn says it was a huge transition from being in front of the camera to being both a student and a professor in the classroom. But he says it’s been worth it. “If everyone had the opportunity to pull back a little bit and return to school as an adult, I think they’d discover – as I did – that it’s a very enriching process.”

Eichorn teaches the science behind meteorology. But he has also tried to develop his students’ confidence by requiring each of them to not only complete their assignments, but also do a PowerPoint presentation in front of their peers. This way they learn how to communicate; something Eichorn values and applied during his three decades on the air.

“I have to make my classroom presentations and lectures interesting, educational, engaging and relevant – just as I did at the TV station,” he says. “So for me, teaching was a natural fit. If I had known how much I would love this, I’d have done it years ago.”

Dave Eichorn is a member of the American Meteorological Society and he has a specialized background in mesoscale atmospheric modeling and lake effect snow forecasting. He is an adjunct professor at Onondaga, SUNY Oswego and SUNY ESF. He can be heard on the airwaves mornings on Y94 FM radio in Syracuse.