Bill Bunting - Chief of Forecast Operations - NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center

Bill Bunting has been with the National Weather Service for 34 years, and is currently the Chief of Forecast Operations for the NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center.  In this position, Bill has first-line responsibility for the day-to-day operations  of the center and supervises the 22 forecasters in the Operations Branch.  Prior to coming to the Storm Prediction Center in 2012, Bill was the Meteorologist-In-Charge of the Dallas/Fort Worth NWS Weather Forecast Office for 10 ½ years, with responsibility for forecasts and warnings for nearly 6 million people in northern and central Texas.  Bill also served as the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the Kansas City NWS Weather Forecast Office for eight years, and was the NWS official responsible for external working relationships with local elected officials, first responder agencies, and the broadcast media.

Bill is from Virginia Beach, VA, and attended Old Dominion University and the University of Oklahoma, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree from OU majoring in meteorology and psychology. Bill’s professional interests include the role of judgment and expertise in weather forecasting, and wind storm damage assessment, and he has co-authored peer-reviewed articles on both subjects.  He is a member of the National Weather Association and the American Meteorological Society.

Nestor Flecha - Chief Meteorologist - KXTX

Meteorologist Néstor Flecha is a bilingual meteorologist originally from Humacao, Puerto Rico. Before joining KXTX as Chief Meteorologist in 2013, he was weather expert/meteorologist for WAPA TV in San Juan, P.R. Néstor, is a nine times EMMY award winning meteorologist by the National Academy of Television Arts & Science Lone Star Chapter. As an undergraduate student,he performed multiple research for the National Weather Service (NWS) in San Juan, PR, Memphis, TN and Fort Worth, TX. He participated in various research presentations in conferences on weather and forecasting, such as the 20th Conference on Numerical Weather Predictions in Seattle Washington. Néstor achieved a B.S. in Theoretical Physics & Meteorology from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus and a Master’s of Science in Applied Meteorology from Mississippi State University. 

Dr. David Gutzler - Professor - University of New Mexico

David Gutzler is Professor of Earth & Planetary Sciences at the University of New Mexico. He and his students use observed data and climate model output to evaluate the causes of global and regional climate variability, and to improve the skill and application of climate and hydrologic projections on seasonal and longer time scales. He holds degrees from the University of California at Berkeley (B.S., Engineering Physics), the University of Washington (M.S., Atmospheric Sciences) and MIT (PhD, Meteorology).  He has served as Editor of the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate. He is a Lead Author for the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's fifth assessment report (2013) and its sixth assessment, now being developed for release in 2021. He has received the outstanding teaching award from the UNM College of Arts and Sciences and presented UNM's annual Community Engaged Research Lecture in 2018. 

Dr. John Schroeder - Professor of Atmospheric Science - Texas Tech University

Dr. Schroeder has developed a nationally recognized research program focused on the measurement and characterization of low-level wind fields, created a unique suite of atmospheric observing technologies, pioneered the usage of radar to measure wind farm complex flows, and executed numerous atmospheric field campaigns.  Dr. Schroeder has successfully published numerous peer-reviewed papers and spoken at conferences across the world on topics related to atmospheric measurements and boundary layer structure.

Brad Smith - Predictive Services Department Head - Texas A&M Forest Service                     

Wildland Fire Analyst Brad Smith has been a wildland firefighter and active participant in the wildland fire community since 1980. He joined the Texas Forest Service Predictive Services Department in 2000 and has worked to identify and communicate wildland fire potential and risk to firefighters across the state. Brad has been a part of national fire management teams and regional decision support teams providing fire behavior forecasts for individual wildfires or fire potential forecasts for geographic regions. He has served as a member of the national Predictive Services Working Group, cadre member of the Advanced Fire Behavior Interpretation course and currently represents the eastern US states on the National Fire Danger Rating System committee.

Additional Keynotes Will be Announced at a Later Time