Dr. Paul Roebber is the Founder of Innovative Weather, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences in the UWM Department of Mathematical Sciences, and Associate Dean of the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences. His research in synoptic meteorology has led to improvements in operational tools used by the National Weather Service, Weather Eye, Inc., and WE Energies. Dr. Roebber's background includes experience in mesoscale numerical model prediction, private forecasting, and editing the journal of Weather and Forecasting. He has been the recipient of the American Meteorological Society's Editors Award, the UWM Research Foundation Senior Faculty Award, and the Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award.
Director of Operations
Alex Bukvich stepped into the role as the Director of Operations in Fall of 2019, after years of experience at Innovative Weather. In his role, he manages the daily forecast services, product development/tech support, oversees the training and professional development of interns and senior staff, recruits/maintains partner relationships, and helps to manage the sustainability of the program. While earning his BS in Atmospheric Sciences at UWM, he joined the IW team as a student intern in Spring of 2016, becoming a Meteorologist by fall of that year. After graduation in winter 2017, he began his servant leadership with IW as the Assistant Director of Programming, which after two years led to the opportunity to step in as the Interim Director of Operations. Innovative Weather has been one of the shining experiences from his education, and he finds joy in the ability to give back and help lead the program, while adding value to the community and training the next generation of meteorologists. His time at UWM also saw him heavily involved with the UWM Atmospheric Science Club, as well as UWM Panther Rugby. When not watching the weather, you can find Alex around a rugby pitch or catching up on the latest Formula 1 race.
Director of Technology
Originally form central Minnesota, Michael received a B.S. degree in Meteorology with a minor in Computing from St. Cloud State University in 2019 where he also served as American Meteorological Society Student Chapter President. Also, while at St. Cloud, he served as an intern meteorologist with the Minnesota Golf Association for two summers. He received his M.S. degree in Atmospheric Sciences from UW-Milwaukee in the summer 2021 and is currently working on his Ph.D in Atmospheric Sciences at UW-Milwaukee. He currently researches tropical cyclone intensification over land with Dr. Clark Evans. Michael started at Innovative Weather as an intern in July 2020 and was promoted to Operational Meteorologist in December of 2020. Due to his extensive programming background, he was promoted to his current position of Co-Director of Technology in April 2021. He enjoys fishing and exploring the rural areas of southeast Wisconsin in his spare time.
Assistant Director of Operations
Born in Massachusetts but I was raised mainly in southeast Wisconsin in Port Washington. As a kid I always loved watching the Weather Channel for the local on the 8s along with watching weather forecasts from local news stations to see if I could wear short sleeves for recess at school. My desire to know more about weather grew from a plethora of fear of severe weather experiences. Now, I find severe weather awesome and fascinating, and even enjoy storm chasing when I get the chance. I started college at Milwaukee School of Engineering to study mechanical engineering which helped me realize that I all I wanted was to study Atmospheric Science, so I transferred to UW-Milwaukee. I joined Innovative Weather the Summer/Fall of 2019. Along with meteorology, I also enjoy playing sports such as volleyball and ultimate frisbee; and watching football and basketball.
Assistant Director of Programming
My name is Kacper Zaprzalka and I am currently a Junior studying Atmospheric Science at UWM. I was born in Poland, and as a child I would always watch the news to see weather updates across Europe. I moved to the states when I was 6 years old and found myself watching The Weather Channel all the time. Throughout my childhood I lived in many different places, including the Pacific Northwest and Florida, so I was fortunate enough to experience many different weather phenomena that further developed my interests in meteorology. For example, my family had to drive up to Wisconsin when moving from Florida, which happened to be during the March 2012 tornado outbreak. Seeing the tornado damage on the side of the highways made me realize just how powerful and dangerous the weather can be. I've spent the last 9 years living here in Milwaukee, so I chose to attend UWM to stay close to home. I started at Innovative Weather in the summer of 2021 and am looking forward to continuing my experience here! I am also involved in the Atmospheric Science club at UWM as well. In my free time I enjoy spending time outdoors, like biking along the lake trails, camping, and hiking.
Director of Operations Emeritus
Mike Westendorf has recently transitioned over to his new role as the Director of Professional Development for Innovative Weather, after holding the Director of Operations title for the last 13 years. His responsibilities include training staff members, mentoring senior staff, recruiting clients, and maintaining program sustainability. Westendorf graduated from UWM in 1996 with a BS in Atmospheric Sciences, and went on to complete his post-undergraduate research on high-resolution modeling and radar analysis with Dr. Roebber. In 2017 he was awarded the Outstanding Performance and Service Award and in 2019 was awarded the Inspiring Student Success Award for his role at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. His experience includes roles as Director of Operations at Weather Eye, Inc. and Severe Weather Assistant under then Chief Meteorologist Paul Joseph at WTMJ4, Milwaukee's NBC affiliate. Mike enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. He is also an accomplished singer/songwriter.