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August 10, 2012

ULM alum to head National Weather Service office in Atlanta

Keith Stellman, (B.S. ’96), an alum of the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s atmospheric sciences program, is the new Meteorologist-in-Charge of the National Weather Service in Atlanta.

Stellman said his time at ULM helped prepare him for his professional success.

“Going to ULM was one of the best things I could have done. The one-on-one time with professors benefitted me greatly,” Stellman said.

“The atmospheric sciences faculty were able to convey complex meteorology ideas to me in a visual way. I have been able to teach others because of the instruction I received at ULM, making my job easier.”

According to the NWS, the MIC is the head position in a Weather Service Forecast Office whose job is to ensure the office is running efficiently.

The MIC performs administrative duties, personnel management and forecaster responsibilities.

“We are extremely proud of Keith and his accomplishments,” said Dr. Eric Pani, ULM vice president for academic affairs.

“To be named an MIC at an important office like Atlanta is quite an achievement but what makes this exceptional is that Keith reached this level at a relatively young age.”

The Atlanta office is one of the largest National Weather Service offices in the country and Stellman’s appointment makes him the first ever MIC of any NWS office to have graduated from ULM.

During his time at ULM, Stellman was a pitcher for the ULM baseball team, earning Academic All Southland Conference in spring 1996.

Stellman was also pivotal in recruiting current Atlanta Braves pitcher and Olympic gold medalist Ben Sheets to ULM. 

“Keith's high work ethic and his abilities showed clearly as a student,” continued Pani.

“Baseball players travel a lot so it’s difficult to keep up with classwork, but Keith was the model student-athlete.  He was never late with an assignment, he never made excuses, and he always scored among the highest grades in the class.”

In 1999 Stellman graduated from Florida State University with an M.S. in meteorology. Throughout his career, Stellman has worked in locations across the south including, Tallahassee Fla., Fort Worth, Texas, and Shreveport.

Stellman, originally from Slidell, has also received numerous honors and awards for his work in meteorology including the 2011 Louisiana Emergency Management Association Leadership Award, the 2010 National Weather Association Charles Maxwell Special Award for 10 years of GIS innovation for the NWS and the American People, and the 2006 Regional Isaac Cline award for service provided during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Stellman’s accolades do not end there. He has seven NWS Directors Awards for teamwork and Service Improvement, and two NWS Directors Awards for Emergency Response/Decision Support in Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, and the Tornado Outbreak in 2011.

From 2008-2012, Stellman served as the NWS Shreveport Warning Coordination Meteorlogist correspondent for The Weather Channel, and has completed hundreds of television, radio, and newspaper interviews with media outlets, which include CNN, and The New York Times.

During times of emergency weather situations, Stellman has been charged with providing fast and efficient briefings to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, governors, and presidents, including a briefing to former President George W. Bush on the final day of Hurricane Rita.

Stellman also serves as the current developer of the RIDGE Radar GIS pages on NWS websites,, and the River Forecast Center Precipitation Analysis GIS website on

“Keith also played a pivotal role in ULM getting the Doppler radar grant so I'm grateful to him and wish him loads of success,” Pani said.

The Doppler radar system and generator located at ULM was funded by a $3 million investment in hazard mitigation grant funding from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP).

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