Who We Are:
The COMET® Program was established in 1989 by UCAR and NOAA’s NWS to promote a better understanding of mesoscale meteorology among weather forecasters and to maximize the benefits of new weather technologies during the NWS’s modernization program. The COMET mission has expanded, and today COMET uses innovative methods to disseminate and enhance scientific knowledge in the environmental sciences, particularly meteorology, but also including diverse areas such as oceanography, hydrology, space weather and emergency management.
COMET has an outstanding, highly trained team of instructional designers, meteorologists, environmental scientists, graphic artists, multimedia developers, and information technology and administrative professionals. A COMET strength is the flexibility of its staff, which allows effective use of program funds and efficient production.
The COMET Program creates environmental science education and training in support of a diverse community of users by offering the following products and services:
- Media-rich, interactive, multi-lingual distance learning
- Internet-based synchronous and asynchronous courses
- The MetEd website with user tracking and assessment system
- Residence courses, workshops, and meetings
- Small grants program (Outreach)
- Leadership and consultation in science education and training
Parent Organization and Sponsors
Tthe COMET Program is part of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research's (UCAR's) Community Programs (UCP) and is sponsored by NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS), with additional funding by:
- Bureau of Meteorology of Australia
- Bureau of Reclamation (United States Department of the Interior)
- European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT)
- Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC)
- NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS)
- Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NMOC)
Community and Collaboration
A foundational principle of COMET is that all of the program’s activities are strengthened by collaboration with others. The COMET Program’s primary community includes environmental forecasters and scientists in all settings, including universities, government agencies, state and local governments, and the private sector, both in the U.S. and internationally. This community is often referred to as the “Weather Enterprise,” and COMET truly provides support to all parts of the Enterprise.
The COMET Program receives significant benefits and support from its community. In particular, the unique relationship with the university community has been especially important to COMET’s mission. COMET works closely with faculty and members of the operational community to develop distance learning lessons and teach symposia and workshops. Through these interactions, academic partners often become aware of operational research needs that can lead to joint activities such as the ones promoted through the COMET Outreach Program. This collaborative involvement promotes the transfer of science into real-world applications and strengthens the use of new data and tools provided by NOAA and other federal agencies. At the same time, operational forecasters who work with academic partners gain a deeper understanding of the science behind their work.