NAO 216-102: NOAA Extension and Training Service (NETS)

Issued 03/28/91; Effective 03/18/91;
Revised 04/29/09

NAO 216-102: NOAA Extension and Training Service (NETS) PDF


This Order defines NOAA’s Extension and Training Services (NETS), outlines its organizational structure, and assigns related responsibilities. These services began pursuant to Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1970, which established the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Public Laws, 110-394 (National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2008), 94-265 (Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Management and Conservation Act), 104-150 (Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972), 110-69 (America Competes Act), 107-253 (Inland Flood Forecasting and Warning System Act of 2002), 109-424 (Tsunami Warning and Education Act), which prescribe extension and training services in NOAA. The NETS include all NOAA’s extension and training resources and has a goal to promote and disseminate knowledge to, and build capacity for, decision makers, the private sector, governmental and educational institutions, and the general public. The NETS’ purpose is to coordinate extension and training services in NOAA. A more informed NOAA constituency will result in enhanced public understanding and decision-making across NOAA’s mission.


NETS will guide and coordinate extension and training services related to NOAA’s priority themes. Topics may include: developing community resilience for natural and human made hazards, climate change, and the conservation, sustainable use, and management of ocean, coastal, atmospheric and hydrologic resources. NETS will support national and regional planning and strategy development, flexible regional, state, tribal and local implementation, and accountability of extension and training activities to the national level. The information and technical resources that provide data for the NETS will originate from a variety of sources including NOAA, other Federal agencies, state agencies, universities, private sector and other organizations as appropriate. Emphasis is placed on the use of available resources to provide practical solutions to existing problems.


The objective is to assist those who are interested in and responsible for, mitigating and adapting to the impacts of natural and man made hazards, climate change, and the conservation, sustainable use, and management of ocean, coastal, atmospheric and hydrologic resources, by enhancing the flow of NOAA-related information to users and building capacity for its use. This objective will be pursued by using an efficient and coordinated system to make available to users on a timely basis the results of research, services, private sector experience, and other sources of information, and by providing training and technical assistance to build skills and capacity.


The NETS leads and coordinates extension and training services as an element of NOAA’s engagement strategy administered by the Executive Committee on Engagement (ECE). ECE coordinates a wide range of engagement activities in communications, education, extension and training, and regional collaboration and is composed of the Chair of the Education Council, the Director of Communications, the Chair of the Regional Collaboration Executive Oversight Group and the Chair of the NOAA Extension and Training Services Committee. The NETS functions through a Committee comprised of the NOAA programs that deliver extension and training services including, but not limited to representatives from the National Sea Grant College Program, National Estuarine Research Reserve System, National Coastal Zone Management Program, Coastal Services Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, Climate Program Office and the National Weather Service. Based on NOAA’s priority themes and the broad engagement goals and objectives established by the ECE, the NETS Committee will develop specific extension and training goals and objectives. The NETS Committee’s goals and coordinated actions to implement those goals and objectives will be developed collaboratively with the NOAA Regional Teams and executed by NOAA’s distributed extension and training staff.


.01 The NETS Committee will establish direction and accountability for extension and training services and ensure that priority themes are communicated between the ECE and the distributed extension and training staff. It is the responsibility of Committee members to represent their respective Line Offices (LOs), reflect their LO priorities, and serve as a communication conduit between the Committee and their line and program office.

.02 The NETS Chair will have primary responsibility for the coordination of NETS.

.03 The NETS will work collaboratively with the eight NOAA regional collaboration teams to develop regional extension and training strategies and implementation plans for particular priority theme(s).

.04 Representatives from the regional collaboration teams will periodically recommend and prioritize national engagement themes to the ECE and the NOAA Regional Collaboration Executive Oversight Group (EOG).

.05 With guidance from the EOG and ECE, the NETS will prepare a multi-year plan that articulates priorities, projects, milestones and performance measures and the associated program responsibilities for accomplishing them. The plan will provide the framework to engage NOAA stakeholders and promote and disseminate knowledge to a wide variety of NOAA constituencies. The NETS Committee is responsible for developing and implementing appropriate metrics for monitoring and evaluating achievement of extension and training goals that are executed by NOAA’s distributed extension and training staff.


This Order supersedes NOAA Administrative Order 216-102 dated March 28, 1991.


William Broglie
Chief Administrative Officer
Office of the Chief Administrative Officer

Office of Primary Interest:
Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research

Extension is defined as sustained interaction with specific audiences using education techniques to transfer science-based information or skills that inform decision-making and/or change behavior.

Training is defined as a process of transferring knowledge and skills usingstandardized instructional methods and techniques to targeted professional audiences for the purpose of developing and enhancing professional competencies.