Each year, NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration, through its Emergency Response Division, provides extensive training on the scientific aspects of oil and chemical spill response and planning. Classes, workshops, and training materials help spill responders increase their understanding of oil spill science when analyzing spills and making risk-based decisions. In fiscal year 2014, these training efforts reached more than 2,000 representatives from dozens of organizations, including the U.S. Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, Navy, tribes, state agencies, industry, universities, and nongovernmental organizations.
Training events included classes in the Science of Oil Spills (SOS) and Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Technique (SCAT), as well as training in aerial observation of oil (overflights). NOAA staff also taught in-depth, half-day workshops on a variety of topics at the 2014 International Oil Spill Conference. In addition, the Emergency Response Division partnered with The COMET® Program to develop its first online training module, designed specifically for U.S. Coast Guard aircrews, who may spot oil spills in the course of their work. The online training provides a basic one-hour introduction to aerial observation of oil on water.