Central Region Team

Improving NOAA's service to the Nation through collaboration

NOAA Regional Collaboration works to elevate understanding of our mission and priorities in order to convey the value and impact of that mission in ways that people understand and care about. Established in 2006, the Regional Collaboration Network is made up of eight regional collaboration teams. The teams are composed of senior staff in the region, led by a NOAA Leadership-appointed team lead, and supported by a full time coordinator. Team members maintain trusted relationships with partner organizations and stakeholders, creating a network of more than 500 professionals that enhances NOAA's capacity to serve the needs of local communities.

Many of the complex challenges that drive NOAA mission are place based, and require interdisciplinary approaches and regionally tailored solutions. The Regional Collaboration network addresses regional challenges by engaging and connecting people and resources within the regions and with headquarters, in ways that are rich in regional insight and that inform action. Through this work, NOAA’s Regional Collaboration effort improves the understanding of, and respect for NOAA’s broad mission and regional capabilities. Our vision of a unified and regional integrated NOAA is focused on service to the nation by meeting the evolving demands of regional stakeholders.


Central Region Team Members

John (JJ) Brost - Director, NWS Operations Proving Ground

Steve Buan -  Hydrologist-in-Charge, North Central River Forecast Center 

Kevin Deitsch -  Warning Coordination Meteorologist, Weather Forecast Office, St. Louis, MO

Mark Fox -  Meteorologist-in-Charge, Weather Forecast Office, Norman, OK

Greg Heavener - Warning Coordination Meteorologist, Weather Forecast Office, Boulder/Denver, CO

Kurt Hondl - Deputy Director, National Severe Storms Lab

Doug Kluck - Regional Climate Services Director, National Centers for Environmental Information 

Melissa (Missy) Petty -  Associate Director, Earth Systems Research Lab, Global Systems Laboratory 

John Ogren -  NWS Chief Learning Officer and Regional Team Lead 

Maren Stoflet -  Regional hydrologist, NWS Central Region 

Bethany Perry - Regional Team Coordinator  

Keli Pirtle - Public Affairs Officer, National Weather 

Dianne Suess -  Executive Officer, Space Weather Prediction Center 

Melissa Widhalm - Associate Director and Regional Climatologist - Midwest Regional Climate Center

Molly Woloszyn -  Regional Drought Information Coordinator, National Integrated Drought Information System


NOAA Central Region Collaboration Team Priorities

Enhance Regional Climate Services and Build Partnership in the Upper Mississippi River Basin
Resulting from a roundtable event held in 2021 focused on climate services for previously underserved communities, a pilot project is now underway to increase understanding of long-term flow patterns of the Upper Mississippi River as well as develop frameworks and strategies to improve delivery of regional climate services and products to diverse communities. 

Increase Awareness of NOAA Efforts on Topics of Importance
The series of "Three Minute Thesis Webinars" brings together a diverse group of NOAA experts to highlight innovative work, unique programs, and showcase the latest research and activities on NOAA's role related to many timely topics such as uncrewed systems, wildfires, hydrology, extreme heat, space weather, winter weather, drought and more. Check out the recording archive to view past events

Develop Research to Operations Connections
By bringing together experts and leaders from NOAA's operational and research communities, the Team strives to strengthen connections and creatively encourage the development of peer-to-peer relationships. Through this initiative, the Team is working to find ways to increase awareness and understanding of the bridge between operations and research in NOAA. 

Coordinate a Nutrient Runoff Information Network
The Team advances understanding of water quality issues and impacts by leveraging skills, knowledge, and connections of NOAA experts and partners through a network in the Mississippi River Basin. From Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, collaboration with partners is helping the Team extend NOAA's expertise through regular meetings, collaborative projects, and quarterly bulletins. 

Cultivate a Culture that Values and Supports the Mental Well-being of NOAA Staff
Through building connections and fostering collaboration related to a wide range of activities focused on many aspects of employee well-being, the Team offers support and assistance to increase collaboration and amplify initiatives and efforts to reach as many NOAA staff as possible, and promote exchange of these efforts among NOAA line offices. 


Contact Us
To connect with the NOAA Central Region Collaboration Team, please email: noaa.centralregion@noaa.gov or contact:

Regional Team Coordinator 
Bethany Perry

Regional Team Lead
JJ Brost