11B.6 Linking Data Access and Display, Hands on Exploratory Training, and Adaptations for Learners of Various Skill

Thursday, 11 January 2018: 11:45 AM
Room 12B (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Bernadette H. Connell, CIRA/Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO; and E. L. Dagg, K. A. Caesar, M. Garbanzo, and D. Souza

In 20 years of interacting with WMO member countries, particularly those with limited resources, recurring “gaps” for real-time imagery and products include 1) affordable access to quality real-time data, 2) access to low cost software for both display and manipulation, and 3) training on usage. Although not the primary goal of the workshop, means to address these needs were incorporated into a Climate focused “Training Workshop on Satellite Data” at the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) in May 2016. Hands-on training examples were the focus and the freeware McIDAS-V was used to display and interrogate pre-selected “readily available data”. Due to time limitations, access to data via GEONETCast and the internet was only discussed (not done in real time). As a way to help overcome the steep learning curve for using McIDAS-V, step-by-step instructions with reinforcing visuals provided guidance to succeed in displaying the data and included thought-provoking questions to promote interrogation and interpretation of the data. Even among a small group of participants, we noted a wide range of user levels: some had more than 10 years of experience in forecasting and others with only a few years; some were adept with computers and picked up quickly on the exercises, while others were very interested in what was displayed, but had less computer expertise.

Use of the commercial satellite broadcast GEONETCast-Americas in the Americas and the Caribbean (WMO Regions III and IV) is a cost effective means to obtain real-time imagery and products. NOAA provides this service and is currently evaluating the geostationary (GEO) and low earth orbiting (LEO) satellite imagery and product suite to provide users with what they need. More users will consider GNC-A as a viable means to access data, particularly as the software and training issues are addressed and linked.

After the Climate workshop at CIMH, training materials were updated based on trainer observations and user feedback. They were next adapted for a NOAA/WMO Train the Trainer workshop associated with the NOAA Satellite Conference (NSC) held in July 2017 and an AmeriGEOSS GEONETCast workshop held at the University of Costa Rica in August 2017. The two workshops offered another opportunity to link the gaps mentioned above. For these two workshops, we attempted a “flipped classroom” approach, where participants were asked to review satellite remote sensing basics prior to coming, as well as download at least one case example for practice with the McIDAS-V software. The case examples utilized GOES-16 and JPSS imagery that are or will be available through GNC-A. Ideally this approach allows for more time during the workshop to focus on identifying aspects of the training that help different levels of users (intern, journey, advanced, expert) and exchanging ideas on how to follow up and supplement the basic training in order to promote a deeper level of understanding. The McIDAS-V data bundle option was used for a quick load of the imagery with supplemental detailed instructions available for those who wanted more in-depth information on how to load an image file on their own.

The goals for both workshops were to gather feedback on the following questions: Does the content of the background modules adequately address what is needed to answer questions posed in the hands-on exercises for the various levels of learners? How can the information be adapted to address wider ranges of learner needs and for “our region of interest”? How easy was the example to access and download? Would this approach work for a virtual course? Even though the training activities tend to focus on satellite meteorology with applications to the weather forecasting user, the training participants have included technicians, hydrologists, geologists, local government representatives focusing on water resources, sustainable development, statistics, and emergencies. A summary of the workshops and feedback since will be presented.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner