6.2 Communicating NOAA’s Integrated Observing System Portfolio and the Work of the NOAA Observing Systems Council

Tuesday, 9 January 2018: 10:45 AM
615 AB (Hilton) (Austin, Texas)
Eric J. Miller, NOAA/NESDIS, Silver Spring, MD; and D. Bludis, A. Pratt, S. Sarkar, and A. Steckel

Observations are foundational to NOAA’s mission to describe, understand, and predict the Earth’s environment and taking the pulse of the planet. The NOAA Observing Systems Council (NOSC) serves as the Agency’s observing systems governance body and provides strategic advice to the Administrator on observing systems portfolio performance, integration, and investments. NOAA has developed datasets and a suite of analytical tools to cost effectively manage NOAA’s observing systems portfolio. The tools and specialized techniques mine the datasets with information on observation user requirements, observing systems capabilities, and mission products and services to provide tailored, on-demand decision support. These datasets and tools are managed by the Technology, Planning, and Integration for Observation division, under the purview of the NOSC.

In 2016, the NOSC held a strategic retreat to embrace a shared vision of the future of NOAA’s observing system portfolio management, and articulated a framework for the way ahead. The NOSC is moving towards an integrated portfolio management strategy which will require more coordination among the NOAA Line Offices. It is essential that the entire NOAA community is engaged in this process, from NOAA senior leadership to product producers and service providers. Two identified needs from the retreat was improved communication throughout the Agency on the role of the NOSC, and the tools used to manage NOAA’s portfolio of observing systems. The NOSC Communication Plan was developed to address the first need, and is being implemented by TPIO’s Communications and Outreach (TCO) team.

The NOSC Communication Plan includes communication priorities and identifies engagement strategies and deliverables to improve engagement with target audiences. TCO has developed a series of one page documents, case studies, briefings, and other products that highlight the role of the NOSC and the value of its tools not only for Agency leadership, but also the system owners and program managers within the line offices who contribute to the daily functioning of the agency. One of the NOSC’s most successful endeavors was the 2016 Emerging Technologies Workshop. Scientists from throughout the Agency were invited to present the technologies they are researching and developing that could impact the observing system architecture over the next several years. The second Emerging Technologies Workshop was conducted in August 2017 and included participation from all domains of the private and public sector in addition to NOAA.

These activities are just the first step in the NOSC's goal to better communicate and integrate NOAA's observing systems portfolio. With continued engagement between senior leadership and the Line Offices, the NOSC will increase the quantity and quality of their data as well as the database and tools that generate the analyses that help them provide advice and guidance to the Administrator now and in the future.The communication of better understanding and a healthy and frequent dialogue will not only improve TPIO’s analytical tools and capabilities, but also ensure that all of NOAA will be involved and fully engaged in building an efficient and affordable integrated observing system portfolio.

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