America COMPETES Act directed NOAA to create a 20-year NOAA Education Strategic Plan which included developing a diverse workforce for the United States. NOAA CREST helps NOAA achieve its mission of preparing a diverse STEM workforce that can understand, and engage in NOAA sciences to address environmental problems. CREST will develop several enhanced aspects of and expand its unique and holistic education and training framework to support NOAA’s education goals, which are designed to yield a diverse workforce in NOAA STEM and social science fields. The framework includes four foundational activities that will be implemented Center-wide. Successful development of a workforce capable of satisfying NOAA’s future workforce needs begins with a strong recruitment and retention program.
Our approach to developing this future workforce is comprehensive by design. We begin with strong recruitment efforts to attract promising students to majors and programs at NOAA CREST institutions. Then, once a student is accepted to NOAA CREST, we will continually support students financially and through our retention activities that focus on students’ academic, professional, and social success and will ensure students remain at CREST institutions.
Technical or academic competencies in (1) Remote Sensing; (2) Socio-economics Drivers and Impacts of Earth System and Environmental Science; (3) Environmental Modeling and Algorithm Development; and (4) Data Analysis and Visualization will drive the core academic curriculum for students across all disciplinary majors and campuses. These competencies are well aligned with NOAA’s needs.
Additionally, CREST students will participate in year-round, individualized, professional development. The professional development offerings include career and academic seminar series, real-time workshops, and on-line modules designed to maximize each student’s professional abilities.
CREST students will also gain job-relevant experiences through experiential learning activities in university research laboratories, and NOAA laboratories and facilities with a NOAA mentor. The NOAA mentor will collaborate with the student’s institutional mentor to assure the NOAA mission-relevance of each student’s project.
At the end of a student’s education experience with NOAA CREST, NOAA CREST personnel will facilitate job placement to help connect students with NOAA related job opportunities.
CREST Professional Advancement and Career Engagement (PACE)