2012-Speaker Bios

LYNN P. MAXIMUK is the Regional Director of NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) Central Region in Kansas City, MO.  A meteorology graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Mr. Maximuk has over 30 years experience with the NWS.

He oversees 38 Weather Forecast Offices (WFO), two River Forecast Centers (RFC), and five Center Weather Service Units, which provide weather, hydrologic, and climate observations, forecasts and warnings for 14 states and adjacent Great Lakes waters. The NWS Central Region includes Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado. NWS observational and forecast data form a national information database and infrastructure used by other governmental agencies, the weather enterprise, the public, and the global community.

Mr. Maximuk has over 30 years experience with the NWS and has held a variety of forecast and management positions in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Missouri. He has extensive forecasting and severe weather warning experience having served as a forecaster, hydrologist and Warning Coordination Meteorologist early in his career. Mr. Maximuk was the Meteorologist In Charge of the Weather Forecast Office in Pleasant Hill, MO, for over 10 years before assuming the post as Regional Director. Immediately prior to that assignment he guided the NWS Central Region through a multi million dollar modernization and associated restructuring. As Regional Transition Manager Mr. Maximuk coordinated the development budgets, staffing models, construction of new facilities, and deployment of new computer systems, radar and observational technologies. Throughout his career he has been at the forefront of modernization efforts and the implementation of new technologies and service delivery methods.

A native of Cleveland, OH, Mr. Maximuk holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from Pennsylvania State University. Under his leadership the Pleasant Hill forecast office earned the Department of Commerce (DOC) Gold and Silver Medals, three DOC Bronze Medals, and numerous Unit Citations for outstanding service to the public. Mr. Maxmuk also has earned an individual NOAA Administrators Award, the NOAA Diveristy Spectrum Award, and in 2004 he earned the Kansas City Federal Administrator of the Year Award from the American Society for Public Administration. He has published several papers relating to the National Weather Service digital forecast process

GREG CARBIN is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM) at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma. Since 1996, Greg has performed as a severe weather outlook forecaster, fire weather forecaster, mesoscale meteorologist and lead forecaster at the SPC. Prior to starting his career with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1993, Greg worked in the private sector in New York and Vermont. He earned a B.S. degree in Meteorology from Lyndon State College in 1985 and has completed some graduate course work at the University of Oklahoma while an employee of the NWS.

CAITLIN MERTZLUFFT is a geographer and epidemiologist with the Geospatial Research, Analysis and Services Program (GRASP) at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Ga. She joined CDC as an ORISE fellow in 2009 with the Prion and Public Health Group and moved to ATSDR to work with GRASP in June 2011. Her interests include cartographic visualization and the integration of geographic information systems (GIS) into public health research, particularly in the areas of infectious disease and the One Health initiative.

DALE MORRIS
contributes to the Dual-Polarization Radar Training for NWS Partners Course and has worked with emergency managers and media since the mid-1990s.  He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma.  Dale designs instructional materials that are delivered via distance learning methodologies to forecasters, and supports a number of training initiatives, particularly those that involve displaced real-time simulations, partnerships among NWS stakeholders, and the technology refresh of the NWS AWIPS workstations.  He was also instrumental in integrating products from the NWS’ WSR-88D radar system into services for customers of the Oklahoma Mesonet.

TODD LINDLEY is a 2001 graduate of the University of Oklahoma (BS in Meteorology).   Senior Forecaster at the National Weather Service in Lubbock since 2005.  Previously served at forecast offices in Amarillo, Norman, Tulsa, and Midland.  Has been focused on Southern Plains fire meteorology since 2006, and has authored 11 journal and conference studies on the topic.  The results of this work were heavily utilized by the Texas Forest Service in preparation of the historic 2011 Texas fire season.

STEVE RUNNELS serves as the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in Springfield, MO.  In this position, he serves as a forecaster; works with emergency management and media partners to ensure products and services are effective; and oversees the severe weather operations.  Prior to his arrival in Springfield in 1995, he was stationed at NWS offices in Kansas City/Pleasant Hill and Evansville, IN.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Central Michigan University in 1987 and is a licensed amateur radio operator.

JOHN NIELSEN-GAMMON
is Regents Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station and serves as the Texas State Climatologist.  He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1990.  He is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.  He teaches weather forecasting and climatology and does research in computer modeling, drought monitoring, historical data quality, and jet streams.  He also writes a blog on weather and climate issues for the Houston Chronicle called Climate Abyss.

HAROLD HANSEN is a veteran of over 35 years of experience in the management of public assembly facilities and now is director of Life Safety and Security for IAVM, providing staff support to programs and projects regarding safety and security for the public assembly industry. His experience includes arena, convention centers, performing arts centers, as well new facility project management, from feasibility, through design, to construction, and the start up of business and event operations.

During 2004 and 2005 Harold worked closely with the DHS, TSA, and IAIP staff on the adaptation of the Vulnerability Self Assessment Tool (ViSAT) to the public assembly facility industry and its distribution to venue managers throughout the United States.  In 2005, Harold was also appointed the DHS Grant Coordinator for IAVM, organizing and coordinating all activities under a Competitive Training Grant awarded to IAVM to engage public assembly facility managers in the use of DHS’s Risk Self-Assessment Tool (RSAT), develop training on the use of the RSAT, and additional training programs on security and WMD for public assembly facility managers and other professional staff.

In 2007, Harold became the IAVM Director of Life Safety and Security, supporting all related IAVM programs and projects.  These in include AVSS oversight, DHS grant for RSAT course, Venue & Security Magazine, Life Safety Council leadership, NFPA, and others.

Harold has been committed to serving the IAVM and the professionalism of the industry. He has been a district vice president, vice chair of Life Safety Council, chair of the Senior Executive Symposium Board of Governors, committee member on the Professional Development Committee and the Certified Facility Executive (CFE) Board, chaired the Industry Profile Survey committee, and awarded Honorary Membership in the Association in 2006.

JIM LADUE is someone who likes to be a bridge between meteorological research and operations. That’s why he is an educator at NOAA’s Warning Decision Training Branch in Norman where he takes research results and applies them to operations through warning decision making courses for any type of hazardous weather.  He is also branching into teaching risk and crisis communication between the NWS and its major partners.  Being on the bridge also means that he also has many connections to researchers and forecasters within and outside of NOAA.  On the research side, Jim has been involved in several field projects including the Intermountain Precipitation Experiment in 2000, the International H2O Project 2002 and VORTEX2.  On the forecast side, Jim has close ties to NWS operations and participates in severe weather warning operations, both during and after major events.  In order to enhance the accuracy of post-event storm surveys, Jim has been created an EF-Scale stakeholder’s group to help connect NWS storm surveyors to those in the research community.  Jim has also conducted multiple damage surveys and serves as a damage survey consultant for severe wind storms and tornadoes.  His fascination with the weather and sky spans beyond his regular job to his hobbies like photography, storm chasing and even outdoor recreation.  Jim shares his life with his wife, Daphne (also a meteorologist with a newly minted PhD in Adult Education) and his son, Dylan.

J.J. BROST is the Science and Operations Officer with the National Weather Service in Tucson Arizona.  He has been in Tucson for just over one year.  Prior to arriving in Tucson, JJ was a forecaster with the NWS in Amarillo, Texas.  He has also worked in the Eureka, California and Phoenix, Arizona offices.  JJ’s primary interests involve the societal impacts of weather and disasters and how weather information is used by the general public.  He also enjoys working with the University of Arizona on various projects relating to dust storms and modeling.

BOB ROBERTS currently coordinates emergency preparedness, response and mitigation planning for Tulsa Public Schools. With 41,000 students and over 6,000 staff, TPS is the largest school district in Oklahoma.  Prior to that, he worked with communities, Tribes, and other government entities as a consultant in developing disaster mitigation plans. He previously spent 15 years with the American Red Cross coordinating disaster planning, training and community education, acting as liaison to special needs community organizations, and teaching courses in disaster and mass casualty response, and terrorism awareness. He is a certified instructor for FEMA and the Western Community Policing Institute, teaching Department of Homeland Security courses across the country.

He is a founding National Board member of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association, and President of Tulsa Partners Inc. (a public-private partnership dedicated to disaster preparedness and mitigation), a former state board member of the Association of Contingency Planners, and past President of the Oklahoma Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (OkVOAD).

RICK SMITH is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Norman Forecast Office. He organizes NWS Norman’s hazardous weather preparedness activities, leads a team of meteorologists who help train severe storm spotters throughout the office’s 56-county area of responsibility, and works closely with the media, emergency managers and other state, county and local government officials to ensure that communities in central and western Oklahoma and western north Texas are ready when hazardous weather threatens. Rick has been a meteorologist with the National Weather Service since 1992, working at offices in Memphis, (TN), Tulsa

CATHY ZAPOTOCNY is a Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Omaha/Valley, Nebraska.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She received an Associate degree in Business from Creighton University and a  Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.  Cathy has experience as a Meteorologist  in both the  private and public sectors.  She started out her career at Weather Central and Colorgraphics in Madison, WI and then moved to Omaha, NE where she worked for a consulting firm; Vortex Weather.  Cathy has been employed as a Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Omaha, NE for the last 21 years.  She is a member of the National Weather Association (NWA) and the Omaha/Offutt Chapter of the American Meteorological Society.  She currently serves on the National Weather Association Membership and Marketing Committee and has served as an officer several times for the local Omaha/Offutt Chapter of the American Meteorological Society.

MICHAEL ECKERT is currently a Senior Branch Forecaster at the NWS/NCEP Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC). He focuses on Quantitative Precipitation and Excessive Rainfall Forecasting, while supervising the many forecast desks in HPC. He graduated from Carl Albert High School in Midwest City, Oklahoma and received his BS degree in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma 1983. From 1983-85 he was the afternoon drive Meteorologist for WKY radio and TV-Met for OETA-TV in Oklahoma City. In 1985 Mike joined the NWS and has held several positions in Toledo, Cleveland and presently Camp Springs, MD, including the Warning/Preparedness Meteorologist at Cleveland. Mike is a frequent contributor to the COMET program focusing on QPF and Excessive Rainfall Forecasting.

RUSSELL SCHNEIDER was named Director of the NOAA-NWS Storm Prediction Center in August 2010 and led the Center through the historic 2011 Tornado season.  The Storm Prediction Center is responsible for protection of life and property through official 24×7 nationwide forecasts and warnings for hazardous mesoscale weather phenomena including tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and wildfires (see www.spc.noaa.gov ).  Dr. Schneider began his NWS career in 1992.

Dr. Schneider’s responsibilities span all facets of NOAA-NWS Storm Prediction Center (SPC) programs, from critical operational weather forecasting, to integration the latest science and technology into SPC operations.   He provides strategic direction for both the Operations and Science Support Branches, and assists NWS Leadership in establishing and executing strategic plans for NOAA nationwide severe weather services.

Dr. Schneider was the first Science Support Branch Chief at the Storm Prediction Center and served in this role from 1997-2010.  Russ earned B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Atmospheric Science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.  He led SPC NWS Convective Watch Decentralization efforts and received a Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for his contributions in 2007.  In 2011, Russ received the American Meteorological Society Kenneth C. Spengler Award for his efforts to bring diverse communities together within the collaborative environment of the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed.

KEVIN SCHARFENBERG is the Severe Storm Services Coordinator for the NWS.  In his role, Kevin is responsible for coordinating program planning and changes to policy for the severe local storms program.  Kevin will also soon take on a second role as acting Cooperative Network Program Manager.  Previously, Kevin worked at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, OK, and the NWS office in Little Rock, AR.  Kevin has a B.S. and M.S. in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma.

RICK SCHMIDT has been an instructor in earth and space science since 1993 for the Upper Dublin School District (PA).  In 2001, he launched and taught the first advanced geoscience curriculum in the school district’s history and has most recently earned university accreditation from the State University of New York for two high school geoscience curricula.  Since 2008, Mr. Schmidt has received several state and regional science teaching awards and is one of three finalists from Pennsylvania for the 2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the highest science teaching award in the nation.  Rick is also a twenty-four year veteran of the volunteer fire service and most recently served as a Chief officer in a large suburban Philadelphia fire company where he specialized in ladder and rescue company operations.  He has also participated in numerous large scale weather disaster and recovery operations.

Mr. Schmidt has degrees in both the earth sciences and education from Penn State University along with an undergraduate certificate in weather forecasting and is currently a doctoral candidate at Drexel University studying the impact of high school geoscience curricula on the geoscience workforce.

BOB C. MAYER has been Assistant Manager of the Myriad Convention Center in Oklahoma City, Assistant Director of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, and was Director of the Tulsa Convention Center at the time of his retirement in 2003.  He is a graduate of Oklahoma City University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree.  Bob has been a very active member of the International Association of Venue Managers, having been President of the Association in 1992-1993.  He has also served as a founding member of the Board of Regents and an instructor for IAVM’s School for Public Assembly Facility Management, Chair of the Association’s Leadership Institute, and as the Chairman of the IAVM Foundation.  He is currently Assistant Dean of the Academy for Venue Safety and Security and a faculty member specializing in Severe Weather Preparedness.  In 1987, Bob received the Certified Facilities Executive (CFE) designation for professional achievement and accomplishment in the management of public assembly facilities.  He is also a recipient of the Francis R. Deering Award and the industry’s highest honor, the Charles A. McElravy Award.

STEVEN LONG works for Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management in Bastrop, Texas.  Steven is primarily assigned as the Wireless Radio Systems Manager for the County where he manages a P25 trunked simulcast radio system with about 1,500 radio users.  He has worked in Public Safety and Communications for over 20 years.   He is also an IMT member for two Incident Management Teams in Texas. Steven has also been active with Bastrop County to help establish and recertify Bastrop County as a Storm Ready Community.   He is also an member of the Texas Severe Storms Intercept Team in Central Texas.

ERNST KIESLING P.E., Ph.D. (Pronounced Key-sling) is a Professor of Civil Engineering and Texas Tech University and is the Executive Director for the National Storm Shelter Association.  Dr. Kiesling served as Chairman of the Civil Engineering Department for 20 years and as an Associate Dean for 7 years. He leads the storm shelter R & D effort within the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center at Texas Tech.  Dr. Kiesling and his colleagues developed the concept of the above-ground storm shelter (safe room) capable of providing a very high degree of protection from extreme winds. He served on the committee that wrote ICC 500, the ANSI-approved standard for storm shelters. Texas Tech provided shelter designs and other input to FEMA publications on storm shelters.  He was instrumental in founding the National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA), a non-profit trade association formed in 2000 and dedicated to promoting quality in the shelter industry. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Association, a position he has held since 2001.

LAURA KANOFSKY is a forecaster at WFO St. Louis. In addition to routine forecasting and warning duties, Laura also serves as the GIS focal point and WSR-88D co-focal point for the office. Before joining the National Weather Service, she earned a B.S. in engineering from Harvey Mudd College and a M.S. in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma. Her M.S. thesis research involved retrieving drop size distributions from a vertically pointed Doppler radar.

PAMELA HEINSELMAN is a research scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), and an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma.  She works in NSSL’s Radar Research and Development Division, specializing in warning and forecast applications of weather radars, with an emphasis on phased array radar.  Dr. Heinselman recently received two prestigious awards commending her phased array radar-related research. In January 2010, she received the 2008 White House Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.  Later, in September 2010, Heinselman and co-authors were winners of the 22nd Professor Dr. Vilho Vaisla Award for their paper “Rapid sampling of severe storms by the National Weather Radar Testbed phased array radar,” published in the Weather and Forecasting journal.  She is a member of the American Meteorological Society, Sigma Xi, and the National Weather Association.

Dr. JACK ROZDILSKY is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Management at Western Illinois University where he teaches all-hazards, comprehensive emergency management.  Dr. Rozdilsky has been involved in emergency management higher education for the past seven years.  His research interests include natural hazards, post-disaster field studies, and long-term disaster recovery.  Specifically, in recent years he has studied how various Midwestern small towns recover from EF-5 tornado events including Greensburg, Kansas, and Parkersburg, Iowa.  Dr. Rozdilsky has worked in hazard mitigation planning and he holds a doctorate from Michigan State University in Resource Development-Urban Studies; a Masters of Arts from the University of Illinois-Springfield in Environmental Studies; and Bachelors of Science Degrees in Geology and Environmental Science from Bradley University.

KEITH STELLMAN is Warning Coordination Meteorologist at NWS Shreveport.  He earned his M.S. in Meteorology from Florida State University and has served the NWS in FL, LA, and TX in various capacities.  He received Regional and National Isaac Cline awards for his service during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, flash floods in the Texas Hill Country, and Tropical Storm Allison. He is the developer of the current RIDGE Radar GIS pages on NWS websites and the developer of the current River Forecast Center Precipitation Analysis GIS website on water.weather.gov.

PATRICK MARSH is the National Severe Storms Laboratory’s Liaison to the Hazardous Weather Testbed. and a PhD student at the University of Oklahoma’s School of Meteorology. His research interests lie in all things meteorological, particularly extratropical cyclones, taking complex information and presenting it in an easy to understand manner, data visualization, data mining, and the all important research-to-operations transition. Additionally, he has a strong interest in teaching, both meteorology students and the public at-large.  He earned a MS in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma in 2007 and a BS in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Arkansas in 2005.

BRYAN GUARENTE is an instructional designer and meteorologist for UCAR’s COMET Program. He earned his bachelor’s degree in earth science from the University of Northern Colorado and received his master’s degree in atmospheric science from the University of Illinois. He is a registered SKYWARN® Spotter who has conducted field research on tornadogenesis and mesoscale convective systems during the ANSWERS and sub_ANSWERS projects and the Bow Echo and MCV Experiment (BAMEX), respectively. He taught university-level introductory meteorology for three years and has served as an official weather observer. He has combined his experience in severe weather and introductory weather training to serve as COMET’s leader in developing online training for the SKYWARN Spotter program.  In his spare time, Bryan enjoys hiking, biking, stormchasing and birdwatching. Bryan is
originally from the Philadelphia area, and now calls Longmont, Colorado home.

JOHN FERREE is the Severe Storms Service Leader for the NWS, a position he has held since March 2006.  John manages current and future requirements for severe storms programs within the NWS.  His interest is in understanding the scientific, technological, and human aspects of decision making as it pertains to the issuance of severe weather warnings.  Previously John held the position of Instructional Resources Team Leader for the WDTB, where he designed and developed instructional materials and taught numerous classes.  John is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, and has worked for the NWS for 30 years including forecasting positions in AR, NV, KS, and MO.

JARED GUYER is an Outlook/Mesoscale Forecaster at the NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.  He also serves as a Program Co-Chair for the 2012 NSWW.  Prior to arriving at the SPC in 2003, Jared worked at NWS offices in Hastings, Nebraska and La Crosse, Wisconsin.  He earned his B.S. degree from Valparaiso University in 1999.