89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 13 January 2009: 11:45 AM
COMET® Education and Traiing: Embarking on New Horizons
Room 125B (Phoenix Convention Center)
Gregory Byrd, UCAR/COMET, Boulder, CO; and W. Abshire and T. Spangler
Over the past 2 years, the COMET Program has developed an abundance of new training and embarked on several new initiatives that have broadened our reach in environmental education. Through a partnership with the National Environmental Education we have developed modules for use by the broadcast meteorology community to increase the public environmental literacy. To this end, we've recently published several interactive Web-based modules, including Weather and Health, and Weather and the Built Environment.

For our more traditional forecaster training, we've recently completed major efforts in fire weather, aviation- and tropical-meteorology, NWP, and hydrology. In March we launched the on-line version of the S-591 Advanced Fire Weather Forecasters Course, a 12-14 hour offering that was formerly a 3-day residence course. The capstone course activity is an annual fire weather virtual conference which had its inaugural offering in April. We are currently converting the S-290 Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior residence course to an on-line offering for firefighters and forecasters. In the aviation arena, work continues on the Distance Learning Aviation Course-2 (DLAC-2) with the recent release of modules on writing effective TAFs for convection, winds and wind shear. Recently, we embarked on an effort to produce an on-line textbook Introduction to Tropical Meteorology, with published chapters on remote sensing, clouds and precipitation, and tropical cyclones already being used by forecasters along the East and Gulf coasts of the United States, and in the Caribbean. In hydrology, we've published the on-line Basic Hydrologic Sciences Course for NWS forecasters, and have held 3 residence offerings: the Flash Flood Hydrology and QPE Workshop, the Advanced Hydrologic Sciences Course, and the International Hydrologic Forecasting Course, the latter of which was attended by forecasters from 25 countries. Forecasters now have new training in NWP on the use of high resolution models, RTMA and wave ensembles, all of which are elements of a new online course Effective Use of NWP in the Forecast Process, currently under development. We also support the professional development of SOOs through the revised COMAP curriculum. COMAP, originally an 8-week residence course, now consists of on-line prerequisite materials, a 3-week residence component, and follow-on activities, including research projects and virtual symposia.

A major development in the area of satellite meteorology is the launch of the Environmental Satellite Resource Center (ESRC). Primarily sponsored by the NPOESS, Program and NOAA, the ESRC will provide a searchable database of learning objects on all aspects of satellite meteorology. In the area of oceanography, we have recently released introductory modules on ocean models, ocean currents, and north wall effects. We have also translated several dozen of our modules into Spanish and, with the help of the Meteorological Service of Canada, have translated several into French.

This presentation will highlight the above activities, punctuated with select module demonstrations, and will conclude with our synopsis of future directions.

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