[1] NOTE: this page is in desperate need of updating ... most of the links it contains are now busted ... I don't know when it will be updated, though.

[2] In fact, my connection to the FFFC through the NWSTC was becoming increasingly uncomfortable to me, for this very reason. By participating, I was supporting implicitly another subcritical training program. I was ecstatic when the course was re-organized and our part in it was essentially erased ... I could exit without seeming to abandon the forecasters.

[3] The following is a summary: Suffice it to say that my dire predictions to my friends about how this would go turned out to be correct. NWS management has no respect for the skills needed for the development of successful training programs. Rather, they think they can take anyone in the organization, give them a 2-week course in training, and then use him or her to develop training materials. I wanted to be able to work with someone who really knew how to do this and do it well, because I recognized that my knowledge in this specialized arena was pretty limited. I asked for a knowledgeable person to work with me full-time on the project. I received many assurances that I would get what I asked for with no problems. What I got was, at first, a marginally-competent ex-forecaster, part-time. Then, it was decided that even this fraction of his time was desperately needed elsewhere, so he was replaced by a decidely incompetent ex-forecaster, whenever it was convenient for him. Finally, he was replaced by yet another ex-forecaster so abysmally incompetent that he didn't even realize how incompetent he was, and we had several shouting matches during the painfully slow process of developing the modules. This was NWS management's idea of providing me with the expertise I needed. I ended up saying that "Enough is enough!" and bailed out before I finished what I started, in spite of my promises to my friends. The cost in stress simply wasn't going to be compensated for by what we were going to be able to produce ... in spite of my reluctance to quit projects I've begun before they're finished. I will never work with NWS management again!!

[4] That is, how to twiddle the knobs to make the radar system do what you want it to do.

[5] If the merger is accomplished by moving all NWS training organizations into the new building being created for the NWSTC in Kansas City, this will have isolated NWS training from the diverse meteorological resources in either Norman, OK [OSF/OTB] or Boulder, CO [COMET] ... thus, I believe that it would be the worst of the three options to accomplish that merger in Kansas City.

[6] Obviously, I've concentrated on what I know ... the public sector. However, I think that much of what I am saying applies to the staff working as forecasters in the private sector, as well. The "bottom line" still seems to be reducing the payroll at the working level, and buying spiffy hardware to dazzle the users with technology, rather than substantive training. My suspicion is that private forecasting companies by and large operate with comparable implicit assumptions about education and training, and comparable commitment to providing continuing education and training.

[7] My Australian friends tend to chuckle when they hear us talk of "certification" since they connect it with the idea expressed by the phrase "He's certifiably insane!"

[8] Among the many hats the SOOs are required to wear is the supervision of "distance learning" programs and other on-station training exercises. In my opinion, given the huge range of responsibilities that have been dumped on the SOOs, it's unlikely that very many of them are qualified for all of them. If a particular SOO is not very qualified to provide training, and I'd guess that most of them aren't, then this job is likely to be done badly, if at all. Recall the lack of respect that the NWS gives to tasks outside its accustomed sphere ... learning how to be a trainer is not necessarily a trivial exercise that a SOO can carry out in his or her spare time, or pick up in a short course!