NOAA Training Graduates Are Safeguarding Coastal Communities

The Takeaway: Ninety-six percent of survey respondents credited Digital Coast Academy with providing job skills and knowledge.

A survey of Digital Coast Academy graduates shows an overwhelmingly positive response to its instructor-led and online courses, as 96 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “I gained knowledge and skills that I will apply in my job.”

Of those who have applied what they learned, 100 percent said they could attribute their ability to do so to the training, and many testimonials confirm this finding:

  • An “Adaptation Planning for Coastal Communities” graduate persuaded the board of an Alaska salmon hatchery to adopt more sustainable practices.
  • A “Coastal Inundation Mapping” graduate now produces flood-risk maps for Puerto Rico by downloading and incorporating Digital Coast data.
  • The “OpenNSPECT” training enabled an urban design company to locate Maryland’s watershed pollution hotspots and design the best mitigation strategies.
  • The “Planning and Facilitating Collaborative Meetings” course taught a Washington State instructor how to keep lessons on track by managing disruptive behaviors.
  • The “Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience” course gave an Oregon nonprofit leader the know-how to propose better waterfront resilience through strategic plantings.
  • The “Managing Visitor Use” training inspired a Guam official to partner with a coral response team to prevent visitors from aggravating stressed corals.
  • The “Seven Best Practices for Risk Communication” training helped a Delaware official add sea level rise visualizations to a local vulnerability assessment and encourage the community to come together on an adaptation timeframe.

Digital Coast Academy, from NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, also grew substantially from fiscal years 2012 through 2016. The number of trainings delivered annually rose from 55 to 304, online-training participants grew tenfold, and total yearly participants increased from 1131 to 1839. (2017)

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