92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 1:30 PM
Creating Professional Development Series for Operational Forecasting
Room 348/349 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Joseph P. Lamos, UCAR, Boulder, CO; and E. M. Page

Poster PDF (811.9 kB)

A challenge for weather services is maintaining the currency of operational forecasters' skills and knowledge. As new science, technology and processes develop and need to be integrated into operations, a baseline of functional competencies and their corresponding skills and knowledge needs to be readily available to serve as a reference for modifying or enhancing existing training. In addition, there is a need for an effective way to represent the overall performance expectations for the operational forecasters in specific areas of job responsibility. The representation created also should serve as a means for forecasters to effectively and efficiently access training resources. Based on a white paper, "Operational Forecasters' Professional Development Series Training Program", by the lead author and with the assistance of the COMET Program, NOAA's National Weather Service has been exploring the development of professional development series (PDS) in the areas of fire weather forecasting, aviation forecasting, and marine forecasting. Also, two previous PDS specifications for climate services and severe convection forecasting and warnings have been reviewed and updated.

The Professional Development Series concept encompasses two distinct elements and corresponding processes. The first one is the identification of a major forecasting responsibility and specification of specific areas of competency that enable the responsibility to be fulfilled. Within each area of competency, forecasting abilities are identified and further analyzed into major skill and knowledge components.

The second element of the PDS concept is the establishment of a “community of practice” that encompasses key roles and processes for first establishing the PDS structure and then developing training requirements based on the PDS structure. This community of practice consists of an ‘executive producer' responsible for a PDS and individual ‘producers' responsible for each defined area of competency. These positions are typically filled by members of the forecasting community so that there is a strong connection between practicing forecasters and the eventual development of training requirements, which will provide the basis for members of the training organizations to develop training solutions.

The process of creating a PDS involves the use of concept mapping and wiki software to support conceptualization and communication processes. A fully realized PDS will provide a road map for practitioners at all levels of practice to identify specific training resources for the initial or continuing development of capabilities.

This abstract was funded by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research under cooperative agreement award #NA06NWS4670013 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NOAA or any of its sub-agencies.

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