2010-Speaker Bios

Biographical Information for 2010 National Severe Weather Workshop Speakers

(listed in order of appearance)

Vickie Nadolski

Ms. Naldolski NOAA’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for Weather Services and Deputy Director of the NWS. In this role, she is responsible for the day-to-day civilian weather operations for the United States, its territories, adjacent waters and ocean areas. Ms. Nadolski’s career spans more than three decades of dedicated public service at the NWS. Before assuming her current position, Ms. Nadolski served as Director of the NWS Western Region, where she was responsible for the management and operation of twenty-four Weather Forecast Offices (WFO), three River Forecast Centers (RFC), and four Aviation Center Weather Service Units.

Ms. Nadolski holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science equivalent in Meteorology from Pennsylvania State University. She became a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in January 2006. Her numerous awards include the Department of Commerce Silver Medal and several awards from local, state, and national organizations for her work on automating surface observations.

Lucas McDonald

Lucas McDonald is the Emergency Operations Manager for Walmart Stores, Inc. Prior to coming to Walmart in 2007, Lucas spent six years as a TV weather anchor in St. Joseph, Missouri and Joplin, Missouri.

Kevin Wisniewski

Kevin has been with State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company for 20 years, and currently works at the Company’s Corporate Headquarters in Bloomington, Illinois. Kevin’s department oversees Corporate Security, Emergency Management, and Business Continuity operations. His responsibilities include policy implementation, tactical and strategic planning, and tactical response to incidents. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps with a background in fire service, Kevin brings a unique Emergency Management perspective to the private sector, and an understanding of how the public and private sectors can work together.

Jeffrey Mitchell

Mr. Mitchell is a retired Air Force Weather Forecaster employed as an Air Force civilian instructor for the 15th Operational Weather Squadron (OWS), Scott AFB, Illinois. Mr. Mitchell has over 24 years observing and forecasting weather conditions for Army and Air Force locations around the world. Mr. Mitchell spent five years on a mobile training team providing instruction on tactical weather sensing and communications systems to Air Force and Army units around the globe. Mr. Mitchell currently teaches all courses in the Weather Forecast Lab and is the subject matter expert for the Flight Weather Briefing, Storm Prediction Center, and Aviation Weather Center backup courses at the 15th OWS.

Larry McCoy

Mr. McCoy is a retired Air Force Weather Technician employed as an Air Force civilian instructor for the 15th Operational Weather Squadron (OWS), Scott AFB, Illinois. Mr. McCoy has over 25 years experience observing and forecasting weather conditions for Air Force, Army, and Naval operations. Mr. McCoy spent nine years of his military career as a Master Instructor at the Department of Defense Weather School, specializing in severe weather analysis and interrogation using the FPS-77 and WSR-88D weather radars. Mr. McCoy currently instructs the live lab and radar portions of the Weather Forecaster course. He also teaches the Shift Supervisor and Aircrew Graphics Forecaster Courses at the 15th OWS.

Patrick J. Spoden

Pat Spoden is currently the SOO at the NWS in Paducah, Kentucky. He graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1986. In late 1986 he joined a weather company called Central Weather Service in a suburb of Chicago. A year later, in late 1987, Pat joined the NWS in Evansville, Indiana as an intern. In 1991, he was selected as an instructor at the Operations Training Branch (now WDTB) in Norman, Oklahoma. He became the SOO at WFO Paducah in 1994 and continues in that position today.

Michael Eckert

Mike has been a Senior Branch Forecaster at the NWS/NCEP Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) since 1999. He focuses on Quantitative Precipitation and Excessive Rainfall Forecasting over the lower 48 states, while supervising the many forecast desks in HPC. His father was transferred to Tinker AFB in 1973, and the first Oklahoma severe thunderstorm he experienced contained baseball size hail, which led to a career in meteorology. He graduated from Carl Albert High School in Midwest City, Oklahoma and attended the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a BS degree in Meteorology in 1983. From 1983-85 he worked for WeatherScan International and was the afternoon drive Meteorologist for WKY radio and TV-Met for OETA-TV in Oklahoma City. In 1985 Mike joined the NWS in Toledo, Ohio and was promoted to a forecaster position in Cleveland in 1987. In 1989 he became the Warning/Preparedness Meteorologist at Cleveland. In 1992 Mike moved to the former National Meteorological Center in Camp Springs, Maryland. Mike was selected as a forecaster for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

Jianming Yin

Dr. Jianming Yin is senior vice president of Tokio Marine Technologies, LLC (TMTech) in Duluth, Georgia. He has 15 years experience in natural catastrophic risk modeling and management from reinsurance/insurance perspectives and has developed financial loss models for tropical cyclones, tornadoes, hailstorms, earthquakes and floods. He completed his Ph.D. at Texas Tech University in 1996. He came to Texas Tech with his BS and MS degrees in civil engineering from Beijing Jiaotong University in Beijing, China. He was a principal research engineer with AIR, Inc. in Boston where he led a team of engineers, mathematicians, and meteorologists to develop probabilistic hurricane risk and financial loss models for Australia, Bermuda, the Caribbean Islands, Hawaii, Japan, and the United States. At TMTech, Dr. Yin has developed hail risk and financial loss models for the U.S. and Europe. He is also involved in earthquake and flood risk modeling. He supervises the development of software to support risk underwriting and management within the company. Dr. Yin is an invited speaker to government and university-sponsored seminars on natural hazards and financial loss modeling.

John Sanger:

John Sanger is President and Founder of Tele-Commuter Resources (TCR), a Minnesota non-profit applied research organization. His Distributed City Model integrates “rural” and “urban” communities through telecommunications and community development strategies; strategic telework is a prerequisite. During the development of  CR’s Regional Telecommuting Action Plan, John recognized that the region has a major role in supporting employer-based, telework supported, Continuity of Operations plans. By enhancing their individual ability to mitigate business interruption and reduce their recovery period, the region can aggregate these impacts to reduce a regional disaster’s cost and duration. And because of telework’s inherent capability to reduce energy consumption, emission reduction and to provide productivity benefits, many traditional costs are offset.

Adam Crowe

Adam Crowe is a Certified Emergency Manager who serves as the Assistant Director of Community Preparedness for Johnson County, Kansas Emergency Management & Homeland Security. He is well respected in the Midwest Emergency Management community as an expert in the application and utilization of social media and web 2.0 systems. He holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Jacksonville State University and a Bachelors Degree in Biochemistry from Clemson University. He also serves as an Adjunct Instructor for Park University. He lives in Kansas City with his wife, son, dogs, and iPhone.

David Jones

David Jones currently serves as video production manager and producer at NewsOK.com. David has actively led his department to win various national awards in video production including the Telly Awards and The Associated Press Managing Editor’s (APME) 2009 Innovator of the Year award for its “total approach” to video. David has 18 years of experience in various news organizations and media production. Prior to joining the NewsOK team, he was an instructor in the Communications Department at Oklahoma Christian University. He has an MBA and a BA in Broadcasting.

Jim LaDue

Jim is a meteorologist and has a passion for observing and talking about severe weather. He is presently employed by the NWS Warning Decision Training Branch in Norman, Oklahoma. He trains NWS meteorologists on topics such as the NEXRAD Doppler radar, forecasting convective initiation, tornado warning guidance, warning decision making, and winter weather. He also has led the development of the EF-Scale training to the NWS and other interested parties. Jim collaborates with scientists and practitioners in order to develop education through the web, simulations and in person. For the past year, Jim has served as a principle investigator for one of two photogrammetry missions in VORTEX2.

Josh Wurman

Josh grew up in Pennsylvania, bereft of any really meaningful opportunities to experience severe weather, hurricanes, even real deep snow. As a youth, I tried to impress friends and girls with my home weather station and insect collection. These efforts, among other factors, kept me well out of the running for homecoming king. Naturally, I moved on to a party school, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to search for a better social life. But hating schoolwork, I rushed through it, earning my MS at only 21. Then after some aimless additional years in school I dropped out for three years, working for the Air Force on nuclear winter computer simulations and other cheery subjects. Returning to MIT, I earned my Doctorate and moved to Colorado to work at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) on bistatic radar networks, a new type of weather radar system that I had invented. However, after seeing real High Plains thunderstorms close up, and tornadoes, I got distracted and conceived of building a network of big, fast scanning radars that could drive right up to tornadoes and fires, inside hurricanes, and into other nice weather. The DOW program was born, and I moved down to Oklahoma to be a professor for a few years, chase tornadoes and hurricanes, file patents, teach and write papers. In the middle of this, I traveled to Asia on a research project and met my wife operating weather radar on an island off the coast of Hong Kong and conned her into believing that Oklahoma was just like Hong Kong. After receiving tenure and the implied lifetime sentence at the university, I did the sensible thing:  I quit and moved back to Boulder and founded my own non-profit research institution, the Center for Severe Weather Research (CSWR). My wife and I run CSWR, manage the DOWs as National Science Foundation (NSF) Facilities, and conduct research programs such as the VORTEX2 study and hurricane studies. We have four young children who, so far, show no unhealthy obsessive interests in tornadoes, hurricanes or radars.

Rick Smith

Rick Smith is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the NWS’s Norman Forecast Office. He organizes NWS Norman’s hazardous weather preparedness activities, and 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 NWS since 1992, working at offices in Memphis, Tennessee, Tulsa, Oklahoma and Fort Worth, Texas before coming to Norman in 2002.

Mark Burger

Mark is a senior forecaster and incident meteorologist at WFO Eureka, California having worked at WFOs in Hanford and Monterey/San Francisco Bay, California, and Wichita, Kansas.

Phillip Bothwell

Dr. Bothwell serves as the Senior Scientist for the SPC in Norman, Oklahoma. He develops new applications in mesoscale and synoptic meteorology related to severe thunderstorms, fire weather, flash floods, and winter storms. He also serves as the Fire Weather Program Leader with primary efforts on forecasting lightning and in particular dry thunderstorms that start wildfires. Finally, he is the scientific and technical leader for the SPC for new technology, advanced forecasting techniques with special emphasis on applying computer technology to improve forecasts and guidance for hazardous weather.

Chris Siewart

Chris Siewert currently acts as the SPC’s GOES-R Proving Ground Liaison, interacting with the operational forecast community to prepare for and develop products to be made available on-board the next generation GOES-R satellite. His graduate research focused on the development of convective forecasting tools based on geostationary satellite data and he has worked for the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) to implement similar forecast products for operational use on-board the Meteosat Second Generation series of geostationary satellites.

Chris Novy

Chris earned a BS/MS in Administration of Justice (Law Enforcement/Public Safety) from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He is a volunteer communicator with Oklahoma and Canadian County Emergency Management and has been storm spotting since the late ’70s and chasing since the mid ’80s. He is an Extra Class amateur radio operator with call sign WA9V. He developed his first SKYWARN class in 1985 and has been teaching classes around the country ever since.

Leslie Chapman-Henderson

Leslie Chapman-Henderson is President/CEO of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc. – FLASH®, an award-winning national, non-profit corporation founded in 1998 by a collaborative of organizations dedicated to strengthening homes and safeguarding families from disaster. Today, FLASH is the fastest growing disaster safety education organization in the United States with more than 100 partners, including FEMA, Georgia Pacific, Institute for Business & Home Safety, International Code Council, Mercedes Homes, NeighborWorks, NOAA, RenaissanceRe, South Carolina Insurance Department, State Farm Insurance Companies, Texas Department of Insurance, Texas Tech Wind Science & Engineering, The Home Depot, University of Florida, USAA and WeatherPredict Consulting, Inc.

Ms. Chapman-Henderson and FLASH have championed the cause of disaster-resilient construction methods through the creation of groundbreaking consumer awareness programs like the recently-launched StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes® at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot® at the Walt Disney World Resort and Blueprint for Safety®, an educational program on disaster-resistant construction techniques for homebuilders, homeowners and design professionals.

Bill Proenza

Bill Proenza is the Regional Director of NWS Southern Region, managing all operational and scientific meteorological and hydrologic programs for the southern portion of the country, including critical severe weather warnings and forecasts, hydrologic forecasts and flood warnings, climatology and observing networks. He joined NOAA in the mid-1960s and has held a diverse array of field and management positions.

Ray Wolf

Ray Wolf is the SOO for the NWS WFO in Davenport, Iowa. He is responsible for managing operations, staff training, and local research. Prior to arriving in Davenport in 1994, Ray was a forecaster at the NWS office in Denver, Colorado where he evaluated new forecast and warning technologies that formed the basis of the NWS Modernization. He also served as an agricultural forecaster in the Midsouth, supporting farmers and producers in the region. Ray received an MS in Agricultural Climatology in 1985 and a BS in Meteorology in 1982 from Iowa State University.

Dave Freeman

Dave Freeman is the Chief Meteorologist of the KSN WeatherLab, KSNW TV, in Wichita, Kansas. He can be seen weeknights at 5, 6 and 10pm on KSN News. His weathercasts have the Seal of Approval of both the National Weather Association and the American Meteorological Society. Dave is the first person ever recognized two times as Broadcaster of the Year by the NWA. His coverage of the Greensburg tornado in May of 2007 was recognized with the NWA 2008 Broadcaster of the Year Award. Dave first won the award in 1992. Dave has been elected to a second term as a member of the governing Council of the NWA. And, he has also served as NWA national Broadcast Meteorology Chairman, and as Broadcast Seal Chairman.

Tara Jensen

Tara Jensen has worked as an Associate Scientist for the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) within the Research Applications Lab for much of the past decade. She transitioned to working within the Development Testbed Center a little over a year ago. Her experience as a research project forecaster, flight scientist, and mesoscale forecast system developer has provided her with an appreciation of the numerical weather prediction verification challenges faced by both operational and research communities alike. Tara participated in the Hazardous Weather Testbed Spring Experiment last year and plans to participate again this year. She is also currently active in the Hydrometeorology Testbed – West field experiment and forecast exercise.

Ed Calianese

Ed Calianese is the WCM with the NWS Tulsa Forecast Office. He has served in that position since October 2004. Ed’s career with the NWS began in 1991 as a Meteorologist Intern at the Weather Service Office in Asheville, North Carolina. In 1994, he was promoted to a Journeyman Forecaster at the NWS Office in Fort Worth, Texas. He became a Lead Forecaster at the NWS Office in Lubbock, Texas in 1998 and served as the WCM there beginning in 2001. Ed earned a BS in Meteorology from the State University of New York in 1990 and an MBA in Management from Texas Tech University in 2001. Ed lives in Owasso, Oklahoma with his wife Michele and son Bryan.

Valerie Ritterbusch

Valerie has worked in the industry since 1993, handling the public sector market for WSI during the deployment of NEXRAD. She worked extensively with emergency management agencies at a federal, state and local level and the NWS specialized centers that used the WSI radar mosaic. She spent over 5 years with Baron Service’s developing public/private partnerships which funded workstations for local emergency managers to access the privately owned C-band radars along with some of the Baron NEXRAD analysis products. She worked as a consultant to WeatherData prior to starting her own company, Media Weather Innovations in 2007 which developed the storm-based personal warning delivery system, WeatherCall. Valerie has a degree in geosciences from SUNY Buffalo.

John Robinson

John Robinson began his career with the NWS in Little Rock in 1974, one month after receiving his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Texas A&M University. He worked his way up from Meteorologist Intern to Forecaster at Little Rock then transferred to a Forecaster position at the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Route Traffic Control Center in Miami when that program began in 1978. One year later, he transferred back to Little Rock after being offered a Lead Forecaster position. He was promoted to his current position as Warning Coordination Meteorologist in 1998. In 1999 and 2000, he served on the National Transportation Safety Board’s Meteorology Group during the investigation of the American Airlines accident at Little Rock in 1999. He currently quality controls many NWS regional and national operational directives before they are issued to field offices. John is a certified instructor at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy, and is an instructor for the Arkansas Department of Correction, as well. He also serves as an Emergency Management Liaison Officer for the State of Arkansas. In 2006, he was named Arkansas Federal Employee of the Year in the Scientific and Medical Category. In 2008, John was awarded the U.S. Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for his service to emergency management.

Scott Blair

Scott Blair is currently a General Forecaster with the NWS in Topeka, Kansas. Prior to arriving in Topeka, he served as a meteorologist with the NWS in Goodland, Kansas. He graduated from the University of Louisiana at Monroe with a BS degree in Atmospheric Sciences. While in Louisiana, Scott was employed by KEDM-FM in Monroe, as a broadcast meteorologist, providing daily weather forecasts and on-scene live reports during several land-falling hurricanes. He was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. Scott is an active storm observer and photographer, driving thousands of miles each year across the Great Plains. Mr. Blair’s professional areas of interest are focused on storm-scale observational meteorology studies, emerging technologies to improve communication, and societal dimensions of meteorology.

Mike Magee

Michael J. Magee was born in Saint Helens, in the United Kingdom. The son of an U.S. Air Force ‘Chief’ and a British nurse, he was raised in Virginia. He enlisted in the Air Force in October 1968. After four years as a fighter aircraft avionics technician, he completed his studies at Eastern New Mexico University. He graduated with Honors in 1975 with a degree in Real Estate and Business Administration. The Air Force kept in touch and offered several jobs. He attended Officer Training School (OTS) in 1979. His next assignment was back to Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, as a Warranted Contracting Officer. He worked in the areas of research and development, services, supplies and construction acquisitions. While at Kirtland AFB, he earned a Masters Degree in Finance and Procurement Management. While with the City of Edmond, Mr. Magee established the Community Emergency Response Team program, instituted a cooperative Emergency Preparedness Program with Edmond Public Schools, trained, equipped and organized a Damage Assessment Team, conducted numerous FEMA courses, assisted the University of Central Oklahoma in their Disaster Resistant University program, and manned the State of Oklahoma Emergency Operations Center during the Katrina and Rita hurricane responses. He has been involved in many local, regional and state exercises, some as Exercise Director. He is an Oklahoma Homeland Security authorized Incident Command System instructor. He instructs for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, has taught at Oklahoma State University (OKC Campus) and often speaks at conferences. He is the past Chairperson for the Oklahoma County Local Emergency Planning Committee and a Project Manager and a stakeholder in the Central Oklahoma Urban Area Security Initiative.

Jamie Bielinski

Jamie Bielinski is the WCM for the NWS office in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jamie received her BS degree in Meteorology from Lyndon State College in Lyndonville, Vermont in 1999. After attending graduate school at the University of Nevada at Reno for Atmospheric Science, she began her professional career as the Chief Meteorologist at NBC station KNOP-TV in North Platte, Nebraska in 2000. Two years later, Jamie left broadcast meteorology and began her career with the NWS in North Platte, Nebraska. From there, she moved to the NWS office in Indianapolis, Indiana and then to the Dodge City, Kansas office. At both offices, Jamie was involved with numerous outreach efforts. Two such activities included the development and implementation of the first ever Central Indiana Severe Weather Symposium and Dodge City’s 1st Annual Kids Safety Day. In August 2008, she began her position as WCM at the Grand Rapids, Michigan office. Jamie has been instrumental in enhancing a seamless communications link with the State of Michigan Department of Homeland Security officials and the five NWS offices that serve Michigan. Most recently, this partnership led to the first state-wide Large Venue Workshop for weather safety planning in February 2010. This workshop involved support from the five NWS offices covering Michigan, Central Michigan University and the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division.

Bill Kalin

William (Bill) Kalin is a management and technical consultant providing support to the Department of Homeland Security Office for Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC) and the Chemical/Biological Research Division within the Science and Technology (S&T) directorate. Bill has over 20 years experience providing strategic business and technology consulting services to technology-based businesses and the Federal government. In this role, Bill has provided support to two Presidential sponsored e-gov initiatives, SAFECOM for wireless interoperability and to Emergency Data Exchange Language for data interoperability. Bill provides input and guidance to DHS to help define strategy, technology direction, and policy and management direction. Bill also works with the first responder vendor communities to represent their needs to federal agencies and industry partners to promote interoperable standards for the emergency management community. In his role, Bill helps to identify new and emerging technologies that will benefit DHS and the first responders. Bill holds an MS in Technology Management and a BA in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland.

Russell Schneider

Dr. Schneider has been the Chief of the NOAA Storm Prediction Center, Science Support Branch since 1997. His staff is responsible for the support of all facets of the SPC’s 24×7 national forecast operations for hazardous weather phenomena including severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, conditions supportive of wildfires, and intense winter and heavy rainfall event forecasts. The Science Support Branch leads SPC collaborative scientific research efforts including activities in the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed, supports improvement for new SPC forecast services, develops new forecast techniques and software tools, improvements in the SPC information technology system, and leads staff training efforts. Russ also occasionally works SPC operational forecast shifts, and has had a life long fascination with severe weather, including tornadoes, since a series of major tornado outbreaks in 1965 and 1967 near Chicago, Illinois.

Joseph Mastandrea

Joe Mastandrea is the Emergency Response and Crisis Plan Manager for Orange County Public Schools (OCPS), which is the tenth largest school district in the country and the second largest employer in Central Florida. In this role, Joe leads the all-hazards mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery programs for OCPS’ over 175,000 students and 21,000 employees. He is also an Adjunct Instructor at the Louisiana State University National Center for Biomedical Research and Training, where he is a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Certified Instructor of four DHS Certified Courses. The Florida Emergency Preparedness Association (FEPA) has judged that Joe meets all of the requirements for its highest certification, Florida Professional Emergency Manager (FPEM). Prior to OCPS Joe was the Emergency Program Manager for Sarpy County, Nebraska for over 12 years and a Red Cross Disaster Services volunteer and instructor for 14 years. He began his career as a volunteer storm spotter in 1988.

Lloyd R. Smith, Jr.

Lloyd R. Smith, Jr., a retired Air Force Colonel, has 25 years experience in Information Systems and 22 years in Disaster Recovery. As Director of Information Systems for the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center for five years, he and the Information Systems Staff were responsible for a disaster recovery operation when a 40 hour, 22 alarm fire threatened three critical operations centers and did $138 million dollars in damage to the logistics, maintenance and manufacturing facility and seriously disrupted critical government operations. Lloyd also provided disaster recovery assistance to a government client, on site after the Oklahoma City Federal Building Bombing. He was involved in the devastating F5 tornado in Oklahoma City and assisted an international corporation with hundreds of people at ground zero in their human and emergency response immediately following the terrorist attack on the United States. Colonel Smith, a graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland has a Masters Degree from the University of Oklahoma. Certified as a Master Business Continuity Professional (MBCP), he is an internationally recognized speaker and instructor and has become a leading advocate for corporate and government agency disaster prevention and recovery planning.

Brent MacAloney

Brent MacAloney is the national warning verification and storm data program manager within the Performance Branch at NWS Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. After graduation with a BS in Meteorology from Lyndon State College (Vermont) in 1999, Brent was hired as a contracted programmer in the Performance Branch at NWS Headquarters. After working for 5 years as a contracted programmer, he was hired by the Federal Government to oversee the programming of verification and storm data collection tools within the Performance Branch.

Chance Hayes

Chance Hayes is the WCM with the NWS office in Wichita, Kansas. He is primarily tasked with the day to day operations of the office and providing training to area storm spotters, businesses, and schools. He has been with the office in Wichita since 1995. Chance received his degree in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma.

Tom Bennett

Tom Bennett is the Vice President and sits on the board of directors of the National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA). He currently serves as General Manager of Jim Giles’ Safe Rooms, LLC based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tom is a meteorologist at the CBS station (KOTV) located in Tulsa. Since Tom’s life changing experience with an F4 tornado that moved through east Tulsa in December of 1975, Tom has been devoted to the study of severe storms and how to shelter people from devastation.

Aaron Sutula

Aaron began his career with the NWS as a student employee while completing a degree in meteorology from the University of Utah, graduating in 2005. With an interest in software engineering, Aaron’s early work with the NWS involved web programming and development related to weather forecasting using the Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE). More recently, Aaron has led the development of Interactive NWS (iNWS), an application that allows subscribers to access weather data and receive text message and email alerts on their cellular phones, and Iris, an effort to consolidate, streamline, and improve software development within the NWS.

Tanja Fransen

Tanja is the WCM at Glasgow, Montana, and has been there for nine years. She’s worked at NWS offices in Rapid City, South Dakota; Bismarck, North Dakota; Williston, North Dakota; Scottsbluff, Nebraska; and Cheyenne, Wyoming. She is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado. While in high school and college, she was involved as a volunteer first responder and wildland firefighter in Colorado. She is currently the Co-Lead for the NWS Skywarn Modernization Team, and is a past participant of the Weather and Society: Integrated Studies (WAS*IS) program. She serves on the AMS Board of Societal Impacts and Co-Chairs the Impacts Session at the annual AMS meetings, and is also on the newly formed NWA Committee for the Impacts of Weather and Climate. In 2003, she was the recipient of the NWS Isaac Cline Award for Leadership. In her spare time, she likes to travel with her husband and two sons, and is rarely without a book to read.

Dan Miller

Dan Miller is the Science and Operations Officer at NWS forecast office in Duluth, Minnesota. Dan is originally from Owatonna, Minnesota and earned his meteorology degree from Iowa State University in 1992. He began his NWS career in 1993 and has worked at four NWS Weather Forecast Offices during his 16 year career: Limon, Colorado, Twin Cities/Chanhassen, Minnesota, Norman, Oklahoma and Duluth, Minnesota. Dan’s primary areas of interest and expertise include severe convective storms and tornadoes, all types of weather radar data, including, TDWR, dual-pol, phased-array and CASA, and effective/timely communication of weather information and services to the user community. Since 2005, Dan has participated extensively in NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed activities, and has also participated on several national NWS teams working toward the operational deployment of the polarimetric upgrade to the current WSR-88D network beginning in 2010.

Dale Morris

Dale Morris holds BS and MS degrees in Meteorology from the University in Oklahoma (1991, 1998). Since 2006, he has worked with OU’s Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS) on assignment with the NWS Warning Decision Training Branch (WDTB). At WDTB, he designs instructional materials that are delivered via distance learning methodologies to forecasters. In particular, he 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. In the early 1990s, Mr. Morris helped to implement the Oklahoma Mesonet, where he was involved with real-time data collection and archiving, quality assurance, and development of display software for end-users. He was also instrumental in integrating products from the NWS’ WSR-88D radar system into services for customers of the Oklahoma Mesonet.

David Salmon

David Salmon has a previous association with community storm spotting dating back more than 20 years and was an EMD for 6 years. He is a meteorologist by trade, serving private clients trading agricultural and energy commodities with highly specialized products.

Lou Wicker

Dr. Wicker is a meteorologist with NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL). His research interests are generally focused on numerical analysis, simulation, and forecasts of severe convection and tornadoes. While earning his BS and MS degrees from the University of Oklahoma, he became an avid storm chaser. He worked on his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois. During the 1990s, he was a professor of Atmospheric Science at Texas A&M University. In 1999, he returned to Norman as a scientist at NSSL. His current projects include assimilation of radar data into cloud-resolving models as well as being principal investigator in the NSF/NOAA-sponsored VORTEX 2010 field program.

Sheldon Drobot

Sheldon Drobot is the Scientific Program Manager for the Weather Systems and Assessment Program (WSAP) within the NCAR Research Applications Lab (RAL). Dr. Drobot has a Ph.D. in Geosciences from the University of Nebraska. He oversees a group of scientists and engineers examining ways to mitigate the impact of adverse weather on transportation systems. These efforts include determining the viability of using vehicles as mobile weather collection platforms and developing decision-support systems to help transportation agencies better plan for and account for weather variability in their daily operations.

Paul Schlatter

Paul Schlatter is a Meteorologist Instructor with the NWS WDTB. He is the project lead for the NWS Dual Polarization Operations Course. He is happy to do media interviews related to the dual polarization upgrade. He earned a BS in Engineering/Physics from Westmont College in Santa Barabra, California and an MS in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma. He has been with WDTB for almost 7 years.