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

Wednesday, 25 January 2012
Satellite Training Activities: VISIT, SHyMet and WMO VLab Focus Group
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Bernadette H. Connell, CIRA/Colorado State Univ., Ft. Collins, CO; and D. Bikos, J. Braun, A. S. Bachmeier, S. Lindstrom, A. Mostek, M. Davison, K. A. Caesar, V. Castro, L. Veeck, M. DeMaria, and T. J. Schmit

Poster PDF (1.4 MB)

This presentation highlights the training activities being carried out collaboratively through the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) and the Virtual Laboratory for Training and Education (VLab) that falls under the guidance of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS). Over the past 15 years, training for satellite matters for forecasters has been used to supplement gaps in education and as means to present new and improved operational products. The Virtual Institute for Satellite Integrated Training (VISIT) was launched in 1998 to provide distance training to US forecasters. VISIT training focuses on individual topics: image interpretation, winter weather, severe convective thunderstorms, tropical, hazardous weather and others. The Satellite Hydrology and Meteorology (SHyMet) program was launched in 2006 with a focus on organizing modules into coherent topics. This program utilized the structure and content developed by VISIT as well as content from other sources such as the Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training (COMET), and developed new content where it was lacking. International training has included close interaction with WMO Regional Training Centers of Excellence in Costa Rica and Barbados since 1996, and Argentina and Brazil since 2006. Training has included both face to face events and distance methods. The VLab was established in 2000 to promote effective use of satellite meteorology by WMO Members located in all parts of the world. The WMO VLab is a collaborative effort joining major operational satellite operators across the globe with WMO regional training centers of excellence in satellite meteorology. One activity of the VLab that is different from VISIT and SHyMet has been monthly virtual sessions of the Focus group of the Americas and the Caribbean. This has been a very successful way to engage forecasters, researchers, students and others in real time usage of satellite imagery and products.

In the coming years there will be significant changes in the environmental satellite user community requiring training, the way teaching and learning is carried out and the subject matter of the training. There will be significant advances in e-learning technology and increased availability of high speed low cost communications across the globe. Increased satellite capabilities will lead to new data and product application areas, over and above the traditional weather forecasting, which will become increasingly important. This presentation reviews the training approach and content directed towards the US community that has been directly applicable to the international community and vice versa. It also touches on those aspects that have been different. Through education and training, are we addressing basic, advanced, and experienced user needs? Reflecting on the past 15 years of experience from the US and from a WMO perspective, what training and education should be reemphasized and what areas can benefit from improvement? As we look to the future, what opportunities do we see?

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