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The COMET Program's Support of University Education

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October 25, 2012
Liz Page
Hosted by Sue van den Heever


For over 20 years, COMET has engaged in a variety of educational activities in an effort to build a bridge between the academic and operational meteorology communities. With computer-based training, classroom courses, and support of operationally related research, COMET has worked with the university community to improve weather forecasting skill around the world. Originally formed to support the National Weather Service modernization efforts, we have expanded to develop training to support a wide range of international geoscience education.

The MetEd website ( now houses all training developed by COMET. Our free registration system has allowed us to track simple statistics about our user community. These statistics have highlighted that a large percentage of the people taking our training represent the educational community. The site provides access to training modules and a search engine for our content and image galleries. The Outreach Program has encouraged research projects between universities and operational forecast offices to help improve forecasters' understanding of and approach to challenging weather events. While funding for this program has declined, a great deal has been learned from past projects and important alliances have been formed between university scientists and operational forecasters. More recently, COMET has developed materials specifically for the university classroom that are having impact on the operational community as well. The online Tropical Textbook is a comprehensive overview of tropical meteorology developed by current and former university professors who identified the need for an updated textbook on this topic. As an extension, the Tropical Synoptic online course has been developed to give specific support of classroom activities and new content and advice for how to deliver an effective online course to a university audience.

This presentation will provide an overview of the COMET Program and opportunities for use of our materials in the university classroom, supplemental education, and future plans for additional opportunites.