Keynote Speakers and Workshops

Check out the downloadable conference booklet


Keynote Speakers

Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd

Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd is the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia and Director of its Atmospheric Sciences Program.  Dr. Shepherd was the 2013 President of American Meteorological Society (AMS). Prior to academia, he spent 12 years as a scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and was Deputy Project Scientist of the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission. Dr. Shepherd is the host of The Weather Channel’s Weather Geeks Podcast and a senior contributor to Forbes Magazine. In 2021, Dr. Shepherd was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  The only member of the University of Georgia faculty to ever achieve this trifecta. He has received numerous awards including the 2004 White House PECASE Award, the Captain Planet Foundation Protector of the Earth Award, the 2019 AGU Climate Communication Prize, the 2020 Mani L. Bhaumik Award for Public Engagement with Science and the 2018 AMS Helmut Landsberg Award. He received his B.S., M.S. and PhD in meteorology from Florida State University. He has two TEDx talks on climate science and communication that collectively exceed two million viewers. He is routinely asked to brief the media, Congress, and the White House on weather-climate-science related topics. Dr. Shepherd has almost 100 peer-reviewed publications on various topics. 

Dr. Karen Kosiba

Dr. Karen Kosiba is an Adjunct Research Professor at the University of Illinois and currently manages the FARM facility. She has a B.S. in Physics from Loyola University, an M.S. in Physics and an M.A.T in Teacher Education from Miami University, and a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Purdue University.  When she began college, she considered careers in architecture, patent law, and veterinary medicine, but ultimately decided that observational studies of severe weather combined all of her interests. Her research mainly focuses on the kinematics and dynamics of severe convective storms, characterizing the low-level wind structure in tornadoes, and understanding the boundary layer winds and small-scale structures in landfalling hurricanes. Key to her research is executing field projects to collect data that can be analyzed to better understand and predict these hazardous weather events. Additionally, she is passionate about science education, regularly participating in outreach activities at schools, museums, and festivals, and online and through media interviews and consultations. A strong believer in experiencing weather from the inside of a mobile weather radar, she has participated as a radar operator, project scientist, and project leader in a multitude of field projects. 


Dr. Mika Tosca

Dr. Mika Tosca is a climate scientist, a humanist, and an activist.  She is an Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an affiliate climate researcher at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in southern California.  Her current research and public outreach explores the synthesis of art and climate science and posits that engaging with artists, designers, and makers is instrumental to solving the climate crisis.  Mika is a proud transgender scientist (she/her pronouns) and a vocal advocate for the queer and trans communities in Chicago and beyond.  Dr. Tosca earned her Ph.D. in Earth System Science at the University of California Irvine .  



Analyzing Radar Data with PyART with Dr. Scott Collis

This workshop will cover introductory use of the Python Arm Radar Toolkit (PyART), a Python package used to read, manipulate, apply algorithms, and write radar data.  PyART is an open source collaborative software environment that is used by many in the field. 

About the presenter: Dr. Scott Collis is an atmospheric scientist and head of the Geospatial Computing, Innovations, and Sensing (GCIS) department in the Environmental Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory and a Senior Fellow at the Northwestern Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering (NAISE). Scott’s research is at the intersection of data informatics, atmospheric science, and radar meteorology. 


Satellite Data Analysis with Margaret Mooney and Dr. Scott Lindstrom

This workshop will help you understand what the different channels on geostationary and low-Earth-orbit satellites tell you, and what tools you can use to access the data and display it for yourself!

About the presenters: Margaret Mooney is the Education and Public Outreach lead at NOAA's Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS).  As a former National Weather Service meteorologist, Mooney has ample experience working with formal and informal audiences, leveraging early career experience with a degree in public policy to promote weather and climate education as avenues towards stewardship and sustainability. Dr. Scott Lindstrom is a weather weenie who grew up in State College PA, so of course he got a BS from Penn State, then went to the UW-Madison for graduate degrees.  He has spent much of the past 20 years advocating for the use of satellite data in forecast decision-making, and in that role has created and presented training to forecasters. 


Implications of Climate Change with Dr. Trent Ford

This workshop will walk you through the recent release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as the Illinois assessment on Climate Change and talk about what the specific climate implications are on the Midwest.  Dr. Ford will also go over various types of climate data, where they come from, as well as advantages and disadvantages to using different datasets. 

About the presenters: Dr. Trent Ford has been the Illinois State Climatologist since 2019. He and his team provide information online, through traditional and social media, and by speaking to interested groups across the state. In addition to his role in education and climate outreach, Ford also conducts research on the climate system and extreme climate events, like drought and heat waves; monitors current conditions; and studies climate change.