Training Program Overview
Part of SPoRT’s philosophy with being a research and transition organization is to provide support to our collaborative partners. This support takes many forms and ranges from surveys of transitioned products, to in-person visits, to training on specific products. The ultimate goal is to not just provide a better product, but to provide a product that is valuable to the decision making process with our National Weather Service and other collaborative partners.
The training component is a vital piece in SPoRT’s philosophy. Using new NASA Earth Observing System data sets, such as from the polar orbiting MODIS instruments to the total lightning network data, requires a shift in thinking from the tools currently available to operational forecasters. In order for a product to be successfully transitioned, SPoRT provides training to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of a product. Additionally, this training is built from the surveys provided by and direct communication with our partners. With this paradigm, the forecasters are an integral component of the transition process and not a passive recipient of data.
Training takes many forms. In a perfect world, in-person science sharing sessions would be done for every forecaster at every partner office. However, due to the nature of shift-work by our forecasting partners and the fact that SPoRT’s partners are located throughout the country, in-person dialogue is not always possible. The next best thing is web-based training. The early training modules are simply power point presentations online. However, SPoRT is now in the process of creating complete audio and visual web-based training modules for SPoRT specific products. This provides a more in-depth training and allows a forecaster to follow the training at their leisure or to review the training when necessary.