Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

October 30, 2012

Area grad tackles Last Frontier

Diane Raver
The Herald-Tribune

— Brad Maushart has been interested in the weather since he was in elementary school.

“My science projects were always weather related, and I was fascinated with storms in particular. Everything about the weather made me curious, and that curiosity carried through the years,” he admits.

The son of Neil and Karen Maushart, Guilford, is a 2008 East Central High School and 2012 Ball State University graduate who majored in meteorology/climatology and minored in emergency management and homeland security.

“Going through college, I knew that I wanted to focus on broadcasting for a career. I interned with John Gumm, WKRC, immediately after finishing my first year at BSU. I worked for the next three years with the student run, live news program NewsLink Indiana as a weathercaster, which gave me a great deal of experience that helped me apply for jobs this past spring.

“The hardest part of getting a job in broadcasting is getting your foot in the door. I applied to about 15 different television markets .... (across the country). When I saw the opening in Anchorage, Alaska, I didn’t even know if I wanted to apply at first. It was about 4,000 miles from home, and I was completely unfamiliar with Alaskan weather.

“I decided that it would be an exciting new adventure and sent my resume and resume tape to the news director at ABC/FOX. After just a half an hour, I received an e-mail back from the station requesting an interview. After a few weeks, I flew up for a week in Anchorage to check out the town and the station and then signed a contract before flying home to pack. The real adventure was a week or two later when I drove with my mother five days from Guilford to Anchorage.”

The young man emphasizes, “I’ve lucked out with my first job. I’m working Monday through Friday, 1:30-10:30, which is usually considered a chief or primetime position at other stations. Our company, Coastal Television, owns both KTBY, FOX 4 and KYUR, ABC 13. We’re known as ‘YourAlaskaLink.’ I’m the only meteorologist at our station at this time, as it is a rebuilding station.

“Our station is unique because we broadcast statewide on our ABC affiliate, including the Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau markets and over cable outlets to the more remote areas. That makes my job a little more tricky because instead of forecasting for a small area, such as an Indy market or a Cincinnati station, that covers small sections of a state or states, my forecast area is more than two-and-a-half times the size of Texas, not counting the multiple sea, inlet, sound and ocean areas. North to south, there is a difference of about 1,300 miles, and from east to west is a difference of about 2,000 miles or so .... It's a lot of ground to cover and the usable data for forecasting is sparse. The National Weather Service only has seven radar sites where there should easily be double or nearly triple that amount.”

Maushart announces, “Some of the hardest parts of the job were adjusting to the Alaskan weather patterns, the terrain and just being able to pronounce the rural village names correctly on air. The winter forecasting will definitely be pushing my limits, and it’s just around the corner.”

However, “I love the people I work with and the state I’m living in. Alaska, in general, is easily the most beautiful state just based off of natural surroundings. There is never a dull moment because even though it may be a boring rain forecast for five days straight here in Anchorage, there is always something more exciting to talk about in another part of the state to switch it up. Some other meteorologists don't have that luxury.”

Diane Raver can be contacted at 812-934-4343, Ext. 114; or diane.raver@ batesvilleheraldtribune.com.