Celebrating COMET's 25 Years of Providing Innovative Education and Training

Johnson, Victoria ; Jeffries, Richard ; Byrd, Greg ; Schreiber-Abshire, Wendy ; Page, Elizabeth ; Muller, Bruce ; Alberta, Tim

Année de publication
The Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education, and Training (COMET)’s mission when it began in 1990 was to deliver professional development opportunities to U.S. government forecasters during the National Weather Service (NWS) modernization program. Since then, COMET has emerged as a worldwide leader in geoscience education. Its original objectives were to provide forecasters with classroom and distance learning training based on state-of-the-art science; support development and testing of new forecast methods; promote collaboration between the forecasting, research, and academic communities; and to advance forecasting and nowcasting by encouraging research. Over the years, COMET’s mission has expanded to disseminating and enhancing scientific knowledge in the environmental sciences, particularly meteorology, but also including diverse areas such as oceanography, hydrology, space weather, and emergency management. This paper reviews COMET’s evolution from a primary focus on educating U.S. forecasters on the application of new technologies (such as Doppler radar) to mesoscale meteorology problems into a program with a much broader scope. Those changes include offering learning opportunities that now cover a wider variety of topics and support the educational needs of diverse audiences worldwide. The history of COMET is a story of adaptation to technological changes, funding cycles, partner requirements, and service opportunities as well as taking on a more global mission. We will look at how COMET’s activities in geoscience education have changed, how its adaptability has contributed to the longevity of the program that was only supposed to exist until the NWS modernization was complete, and expectations and plans for the future.

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