89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Monday, 12 January 2009
Education outreach from a NWS field office: "no one left behind"
Hall 5 (Phoenix Convention Center)
Robert P. Wanton, NOAA/NWS, Mt. Holly, NJ
At the National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Office in Mount Holly, New Jersey, outreach comes from many different activities. These include storm-spotter training, community "Storm-Ready" training, school talks, teacher education, and participation in community events ranging from a few attendees to several thousand. Staff members are also involved with the Delaware-Philadelphia local AMS Chapter.

One of the largest events, and one in which we have been involved since its inception 10 years ago, is the New Jersey Emergency Preparedness Conference. This event is held annually in Atlantic City. It provides training, coordination, and promotes the development of public and private partnerships in planning, response, recovery and mitigation in all types of emergencies. It has grown from several hundred attendees in its infancy to over 15,000 individuals this past year. Other large events that we annually attend are the New Jersey Teachers Convention, the Atlantic City Boat Show, and Delaware's Coast Day.

We have been involved with several DataStreme courses (specifically Atmosphere and Water in the Earth System) as members of the Local Implementation Team. The courses began in 1996. Since that time, over 300 teachers have completed at least one of the courses through the Mount Holly NWS.

Staff members have attended many AMS Annual Meetings and have participated in all but one of the WeatherFests since they began in 2002.

School and group presentations continue to be a very large part of the outreach program. Members of the outreach team speak to students, including homeschoolers, from pre-school through college, and to various groups and organizations. We participate in school Science Fairs and Career Days as well. Also, many requests for presentations and merit badge forums come from Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Junior Girl Scouts. Over the past 20 years, more than 1400 presentations have been made to over 130,000 individuals ranging in age from 2 to 102.

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