The COMET Program which helps train hundreds of thousands of meteorologists will now be asking for donations due to budget shortfalls.
An article was posted on the UCAR (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research) website Monday regarding the future need of donations for the COMET Program, which helps train over 275,000 meteorologists across the country and worldwide.
- New area to donate on the MetEd Site
I originally found out about the needed donations through an email, as I have used this site many times to access the 100's of training modules and more than 700 hours of training on everything from meteorology and climate to oceanography and even emergency management. Here's what the short statement said,
The COMET Program staff would like to let you know in advance that in an effort to partially and proactively work to alleviate anticipated funding shortfalls we will be adding a voluntary and tax deductible “Donate” button to the MetEd website.
Thank you for your ongoing interest and support of MetEd. Look for the button and additional information about the donation process coming soon to the MetEd website."
I actually started using the program in college as a way to get extra help and training and continue to use it every year for "refresher" courses when heading into severe weather season, winter, or if I happen to want more in-depth information on a given topic. I also always make our interns sign up and use these modules, as it helps them advance their knowledge and will help them excel in their courses once they return to school.
The MetEd website, as it's called, offers all of the courses free of charge, and has actually saved the government millions of dollars since its launch in 1997 by limiting in-person training which involves travel and lodging expenses.
If no additional modules are created, COMET says its initial target is to raise $400,000 to keep the site operational this fiscal year. That would translate to the site to cost less than $1.50 per user.
The site is hoping that it can garner support and donations from the thousands of users as well as from foundations and potential sponsors.
It's helped myself and many others become better forecasters throughout the years so I am hoping this site can stay afloat and receive the money it needs in order to survive this current round of cuts.