Steve Betchkal - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Chief Photographer

Steve Betchkal

Steve Betchkal joined the News 18 team in February of 2006 and is currently the Chief Photographer. He has been taping news and life in the Chippewa Valley for 25 years. If you've watched TV news in northwestern Wisconsin, you've seen his work.

Steve believes that great video lies at the heart of TV news, and his commitment to telling stories with images and sound has won him more than 60 state, regional, and national awards for excellence in videography. "If it wasn't for video," he is fond of saying, "We'd call it radio."

Steve attended college at Indiana University, Lawrence University, and UW-La Crosse, and worked in 3 National Parks before earning his degree in biology at UW-Eau Claire. He is a lifelong naturalist and environmentalist, with interests ranging from star-gazing and dragonfly watching to ornithology. He loves to backpack and camp and has compiled a bird list of more than 600 species in 46 U.S. states, and 900 species worldwide.

Steve is a published poet and author of All of This and Robbins Too: A Guide to the 50 or So Best Places to Find Birds in Wisconsin, and Make Birds Not War: Step by Step Instructions for Saving the World a Birder at a Time. He currently writes a column for the "Getting Out" section of the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, and "Wisconsin West" magazine. He has also been published in "Free Verse," "Cabin Life" and "BirdWatching." He also loves gardening and cooking, and believes that life is too short for bad movies.

Originally from Racine, WI, Steve moved to the Chippewa Valley in 1986 when his wife Julie was hired as a Special Ed Teacher. He has two sons, one a scientist in Denali National Park in Alaska, the other a strapping lad who loves conversation, politics, sports, and backpacking. If they're the "last kids in the woods," Steve takes full credit for it.

Send an email to Steve Betchkal.

Click here to read Steve's blog: Artist, Philosopher, Scientist, Camera Guy.

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