Kaj earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from Iowa State University in May 2007. While at ISU, he was very active with both Iowa State Television and Iowa State Radio. He anchored weathercasts on Wednesday evenings and did play-by-play and color commentary for Cyclone football and basketball games. He was also very active with the Iowa State student chapter of the American Meteorological Society serving as Academic Chair his senior year.
Kaj is a professional member of the American Meteorological Society.
He earned the American Meteorological Society Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) Seal in December of 2008. To earn the CBM seal, broadcasters must hold a degree in Meteorology from an accredited college or university, pass a rigorous written examination, and have their on-air work reviewed to assess technical competence, informational value, explanatory value, and communication skills.
Kaj has also earned the nationally recognized Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM) designation by the AMS in August of 2021. The CCM designation is issued by the Society to highly qualified meteorologists providing research and services to a wide variety of users of weather information, including agriculture, business, industry, and various sectors of government. These services extend beyond the traditional public service functions and statutory responsibilities of the National Weather Service.
To earn the CCM credential, a meteorologist must make application for the designation, be recommended by three associates, pass a stringent written examination, and pass an oral examination before a national board of examiners. The CCM designation is granted only to those who demonstrate a broad background in meteorology together with detailed knowledge in a particular field of specialization. CCMs must demonstrate exemplary qualities of character and devotion to high professional standards.
Kaj was asked to present coverage of the 2008 floods as well as the devastating EF5 tornado that tore through northeast Iowa on May 25, 2008, at the National AMS Conference in Phoenix, AZ in January 2009.
Internships were found to be extremely valuable to get some experience. He interned at KCCI-TV in Des Moines while at ISU, and during the summers, interned at the KCRG-TV9 Weather Lab. In addition to interning, Kaj also completed an undergraduate research project involving severe weather forecasting in relation to the jet stream and was a teaching assistant for the Meteorology department at Iowa State University.
Kaj is originally from Iowa City and has loved the weather for as long as he can remember. He grew up watching KCRG-TV9 as a boy and credits their severe weather coverage of the Washington tornado in 1998 to truly igniting his passion to become a meteorologist. He graduated from Iowa City City High in 2003, and will always be a loyal fan of the City High Little Hawks.