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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Homeland Security and Emergency Management (OHSEM)


2017 Guest Emcee and Speakers

For the 26th Annual Advanced Weather Seminar, the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management would like to introduce the following Guest Emcee and Speakers (Presenters and topics are subject to change without notice)

Tammie Cropped with Boarder 2017 Tammie Souza - Guest Emcee

As a certified meteorologist Tammie is one of a handful of women in the nation and one of only a few meteorologists in Chicago that holds both the prestigious AMS/CBM Certified Broadcast Meteorology Seal of Approval, which is the highest seal awarded by the AMS, and the NWA Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association. This summer she will also complete the work for a Masters Degree in Applied Meteorology.

Tammie was honored to be chosen the first female chairman of the National AMS Board of Meteorology and has served on the National Boards of Broadcast Meteorology for both the AMS and the NWA and acted as an evaluator for new Seal applicants. On the local level she also serves on the board of the Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

After 17 years in Chicago Tammie has just accepted an exciting job as the Monday-Friday evening meteorologist for NBC in Philadelphia, but she promises to make many visits back home to Chicago. At Fox 32 Chicago Tammie has acted as both the morning and noon meteorologist and the weekend meteorologist. Previously, she worked across town at NBC 5 Chicago for 6 years and was also the first female Chief Meteorologist in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida. Early in her career she worked in Milwaukee and Chico, California.

Tammie has been honored with 18 Emmy nominations and 7 Emmy Awards for Best Weathercast, Best Science Report and Live Reporting. Plus, a first place award from the Associated Press for a report on Shipwreck Diving in Lake Michigan which was done underwater on a 125-year-old Shipwreck.

Weather seems to run in her family. Sister Patty is also a broadcast meteorologist in Sacramento and brother Matt is a pilot for Fed-Ex. Tammie's dad even worked as a design engineer on the Saturn Boosters for the Apollo Space Program. Here's a fun fact, years ago she was a contestant on The Price Is Right and won a car.


James Spann - Guest Speaker James Span 2017

James has served as the Chief Meteorologist for ABC 33/40 for 20 years, and can be seen weeknights at 4, 5, 6, and 10 o'clock. In all, James has been a television weather anchor for 38 years. James has received the two highest awards in the nation for a broadcast meteorologist. One is national "Broadcaster of the Year" by the National Weather Association, which he accepted in September 2012. According to the NWA, James was selected to receive the award "For his passionate dedication to serving the Central Alabama community with critical weather information for over thirty years, especially during the deadly April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak."

James also was the winner of the AMS (American Meteorological Society) "Award for Broadcast Meteorology" in January 2013. The AMS stated he was the winner in part because of "his tireless efforts to advance the public's awareness of and engagement in the science of meteorology, particularly severe weather forecasting and response".

James won an Emmy for best television weather anchor in the Southeast U.S. in June 2014, and was elected to the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle in 2013. Essentially, it is the ultimate Emmy Award. It represents outstanding achievement spanning at least 25 years in the broadcast industry with a proven record of mentoring and community involvement. And, James received another Emmy for live coverage of the deadly tornado which hit Tuscaloosa on December 16, 2000.

James was one of the first weather anchors in the nation to earn "Certified Broadcast Meteorologist" status from the American Meteorological Society. To earn the CBM, broadcasters must hold a degree in meteorology or equivalent 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. He also has been awarded the seal of approval from the National Weather Association and holds a certificate in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University.

The University of West Alabama conferred an honorary doctor of laws degree to James in 2013. James is in the Theta Tau professional engineering fraternity Alumni Hall of Fame, and the University of Alabama School of Communication Hall of Fame. 

James is the Chairman of the Board of Grandview Medical Center, serves on the Board of Southeastern Bible College, and is a member of the University of Alabama College of Communication Board of Visitors.

James and his wife Karen have been married for 35 years, and they have two sons. James leads Children's Worship every Sunday at Double Oak Community Church in Mount Laurel. In his spare time, James enjoys tennis and amateur radio. He earned his first ham radio license at the age of 14, and holds an extra class license.

Paul Sirvatka   Paul Sirvatka- Guest Speaker

Paul Sirvatka is a Professor of Earth Sciences at the College of DuPage and has received the College Of DuPage Outstanding Faculty Award and Division of Natural Sciences Outstanding Faculty Award. He is also recognized for receiving National Science Foundation Grants to develop a complete curriculum of eleven courses in meteorology. COD has the most successful and largest meteorology program in terms of course offerings of any community college in the nation. COD is a member of UNIDATA, a nation-wide consortium of institutions dedicated to sharing and developing data resources for education and research. The COD “NEXLAB” web site is one of the most popular in-depth weather information web sites, used by thousands of users in education, government, military and private companies.


    Victor Gensini - Guest Speaker Victor Gensini 2017

Victor Gensini is an assistant professor of meteorology at the College of DuPage. At the University of Georgia, he studied the impacts of numerous climate change scenarios on severe weather across the United States and received his doctorate degree. Victor has a deep passion for hazardous weather and the societal response to such events. Along with Professor Sirvatka, he helps maintain the COD “NEXLAB” website. It continues to be a wealth of weather information for thousands of users in education, government, military, and corporations. 


Skip Talbot 2017 Skip Talbot - Guest Speaker

Skip Talbot is a storm chaser and software developer from Illinois. Captivated by and compelled to witness tornadoes since the 1990 Plainfield F5 tracked near his childhood home, Skip has been roaming the plains in search of supercells and tornadoes since 2003. He’s participated in endeavors from forecasting for a Tornado Intercept Vehicle IMAX movie, piloting small aircraft for aerial supercell shoots, to driving for the College of DuPage’s Thunderstorm Lab, but Skip can be spotted most often with his regular chase partner, photographer Jennifer Brindley Ubl. Combining his programming skills with his passion for storm chasing, he created the software for the El Reno Survey, a study of the deadly and record breaking El Reno, OK tornado of May 31, 2013. Skip also helps run an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that raises money for storm victims called Storm Assist.


 Mike Bardou - Guest Speaker Mike Bardou with boarder 2017

Mike Bardou is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the Chicago National Weather Service Forecast Office in Romeoville, IL where he serves as the primary interface with NWS partners.  Mike previously held a senior forecaster position and led the Aviation Program.  Prior to arriving at the office in 2010, Mike served as a meteorologist and Aviation Program Leader at the Minneapolis Weather Forecast Office, meteorologist-in-training at the Forecast Office in Davenport, IA and as a student volunteer at the Northern Indiana Forecast Office.  In addition to having a particular interest in aviation meteorology, Mike appreciates the challenges of forecasting for Lake Michigan, enjoys working with key partners to better understand their forecast needs and aid them in their efforts to be prepared for weather and looks forward to conducting storm spotter training each spring.  Mike earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology from Valparaiso University in 2003.


Stephen Rodriguez 2017 w/ boarder Stephen Rodruiguez - Guest Speaker

Stephen Rodriguez, Jr. has been a forecaster at the National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Office in Romeoville since 2007. Before working for the Chicago office, Stephen worked for the National Weather Service Forecast Office in St. Louis, MO.  Stephen graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma in 2004, and a Master of Science degree in Meteorology from Saint Louis University in 2007.  During his Master’s work at Saint Louis University, Stephen conducted research on Mesoscale Convective Systems, and enjoyed this research transferring over to his work within the NWS. He has an appreciation for the various modes of severe weather, as well as working with the public and NWS’ partners to help improve preparedness and resilience against extreme weather.


Scott Lindstrom  - Guest Speaker Scott Lindstrom w boarder  

Scott Lindstrom grew up in State College PA, about a mile from the Department of Meteorology on the Penn State Campus where he received a BS in the subject.  Having tired of the cloudy winters, he moved to Wisconsin for grad school in 1982 and earned Masters' and PhD degrees from the University of Wisconsin. 

After a couple of years in Rhode Island, he returned to Madison in 1995, where he remains.  He is a computer programmer for McIDAS-X, he develops training modules for the VISIT (Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Studies) Program, and lately helps train National Weather Service Science and Operations Officers (SOOs) on the GOES-R Series using GOES-16 ABI and Himawari-8 AHI data. 

He is an enthusiastic advocate for Satellite Data, and blogs about satellite data in two places:  the CIMSS Satellite Blog ( and the CIMSS 'Fog' Blog (