1.4 17 Years of Interactions between NOAA and the WMO VLab Members in Regions III and IV to Ensure Satellite Usage through Training

Thursday, 11 January 2018: 11:15 AM
Ballroom B (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Kathy-Ann Caesar, Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), Bridgetown, Barbados; and B. H. Connell, M. Garbanzo, D. Souza, N. Rudorff, and M. Campos

Established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS), the Virtual Laboratory for Training and Education in Satellite Meteorology (VLab) is a global network of specialized training centres and meteorological satellite operators working together to improve the utilisation of data and products from meteorological and environmental satellites. VLab has become important to many users around the world because it gives a strong and easy-to-use platform on which to build capacity for training in WMO regions. Many times the pace of the VLab activities reminds one of a turtle: slow and persistent, as well as firm in holding ground – hard to budge yet supportive. We face training challenges but by being a part of the VLab community and communicating with one another, we share and learn about the different methods our colleagues use to overcome the challenges. Only some aspects of the training issues may be relevant to us, but often there is enough similarity that we can look at the challenges and adapt the relevant parts that help us develop outstanding training.

VLab was established to promote education and training. Over the years, recurring themes have emerged:

  • Users want inexpensive access to imagery and products, software to view them, and training to use them effectively.
  • Users like examples relevant to their specific regions and areas.
  • Trainers and users appreciate quality materials; review of materials is important.
  • Quality material comes about when researchers, trainers, and users interact, listen, collaborate, and offer support to each other and then continue to adapt their resources and efforts accordingly.
  • It is rewarding when a diverse group of people are able to work together to produce a significant training resource.
  • It is a pleasant surprise when you realize it has happened to you!

This presentation highlights successes over the past 17 years and the recent training activities within the past year for both current and new Geostationary and Polar orbiting satellites. It describes ongoing monthly virtual training activities as well as face to face events. It includes recent focus on data access through GEONETCast Americas, display of imagery through McIDAS-V and adaptations for learners of various skills. We highlight the many ways we have communicated across borders.

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