In my early days as an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin, I felt destine for a career with the National Weather Service (NWS). I had spent hundreds of hours volunteering at my local NWS field office as a high school student and I was keenly interested in the weather data visualization and forecast preparation technologies that the NWS meteorologists employed daily. After spending some time with the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies during my studies, I noticed that there was a marked disconnect between how research efforts were concluded and how that new knowledge filtered into operations. Furthermore, not all of the weather information that was available for conducting research was available to the field office staff, let alone the latest research products.
Since that time, I have embarked on an academic and professional journey to understand the different research topics in the atmospheric and oceanic sciences and learn how research is conducted in the public and private sectors to advance the field of operational meteorology. At the same time, there has become increased interest in identifying commonalities and developing a structure for transitioning research to operations (R2O). The concept of R2O is new, only dating to the turn of the century. As a community we are only starting to come to terms with how we can innovate to increase the value of our observations and predictions, and do so with the most efficient methods possible. While in some ways this challenge is uniquely related to meteorology, other scientific disciplines may be able to draw parallels to the challenges at hand.
I started this blog to share the best practices and lessons learned after years of unique, geographically expansive experiences transitioning imagery and products from research and operational satellite missions into NWS operations through proving grounds, testbeds, and other demonstrations. Hopefully in communicating these insights I am able to spur creativity in others to develop R2O exercises that support the weather community and beyond. I welcome the dialogue and invite ideas and comments from those that share my interest in R2O.
Thank you for reading. I would encourage you to review my recommended reading list, consisting of resources on adjacent topics that I have found interesting and useful in shaping my perspective of R2O.