MDL’s Goal


MDL's goal is to develop and implement scientific techniques into the operations of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Weather Service (NWS).  This includes furnishing a full spectrum of forecast guidance, providing interactive tools for decision assistance and forecast preparation, and conducting comprehensive evaluations of NWS products.  MDL has five branches which all contribute to achieving this goal.


MDL Branches


Decision Assistance Branch (DAB)


DAB develops techniques to help guide forecasters through the decision-making processes appropriate for specific weather situations.


Evaluation Branch (EB)


EB assesses the quality of NWS data, models, and forecasts.  Additionally, EB develops and maintains operational storm surge models for both hurricane and extra-tropical storm surge.


Mesoscale Prediction Branch (MPB)


MPB maintains the National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) and also develops short range (1-24 hour) forecast guidance techniques.


Product Generation Branch (PGB)


PGB prototypes digital products and services which enhance the value of NWS forecast products, especially those associated with the National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD).


Statistical Modeling Branch (SMB)


SMB generates statistical weather guidance products from numerical weather prediction models for forecasts ranging from hours to more than a week in advance.






Sample figures of MDL generated products (top-to-bottom and left-to-right):  National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) forecast temperature map; Aviation Forecast Preparation System (AvnFPS) generated wind rose; Flash Flood Monitoring Program (FFMP) threat basins display; and FFMP flash flood analysis chart





Contact Information


Carl McCalla, Sr. -W/OST24

Student Career Experience Program

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Meteorological Development Laboratory

1325 East-West Highway Room 10364

Silver Spring, MD 20910


FAX: (301) 713-9316






Development Laboratory



Career Opportunities






The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s)

National Weather Service (NWS)

Silver Spring, MD 20910



Text Box: “The goal of the Meteorological Development Laboratory is to provide a full spectrum of forecast guidance products in support of the National Weather Service mission.”





MDL's Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) provides work experience which is directly related to a student’s academic program and career goals.  Students in MDL’s SCEP may be converted to federal employment noncompetitively at the end of the program.  SCEP benefits our students, the National Weather Service (NWS), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  Students can gain exposure to public service while enhancing educational goals and shaping career choices.  The NWS can discover, first-hand, students' abilities and evaluate their performance in real work situations. 


Student Benefits


q      An opportunity to have a professional work experience with NOAA scientists


q      An opportunity to focus on specific career interests and goals


q      An opportunity to explore post-graduation employment opportunities both inside and outside the NWS


q      An opportunity to acquire new skills and  apply those learned in the classroom while building greater self-confidence and leadership skills




q      U.S. citizenship and a minimum college sophomore status


q      Minimum 2.0 GPA overall, 2.5 GPA in major


q      Current college enrollment with a major in meteorology, computer science, etc.


q      Demonstrated computer programming skills


q       Commitment to work 12 months at MDL

Salary and Benefits


q         GS-4 to GS-9 (See the current Federal Salary Table for details); conversion potential to permanent employment following successful completion of the SCEP appointment and graduation; promotion potential; generous leave program; and health and life insurance benefits



Sample figure of MDL generated product: Storm tide forecast for Hurricane Katrina from MDL’s Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model.


How to Apply


q         Contact your cooperative education coordinator or department chairperson to ascertain your school’s requirements regarding participation in a CO-OP program.  Next, Complete a SCEP application which is downloadable from the web page.


q         Mail your MDL SCEP application, resume, and college transcript to the SCEP coordinator using the contact information provided on the reverse side of this pamphlet. Alternatively, you may send these items via e-mail to or fax them to (301) 713-9316


The Hiring Process


q         After a review of your SCEP application, resume, and transcript(s), MDL may contact you to schedule an interview.  If you are unable to visit the work site for the interview, MDL will conduct the interview by phone.


q         As part of the interview process, MDL may request references. Therefore, be sure to select individuals who are willing to provide you with references and who are familiar with your academic background, computer skills, and work habits.


q         If selected, NOAA Human Resources will contact you by phone and in writing.


q         Housing arrangements are the student’s responsibility; however, MDL’s SCEP coordinator may be able to assist the student by providing the names of others wishing to share living quarters.




The Student Career Experience Program is a component of the Office of Personnel (OPM) Student Educational Employment Program and is regulated under the Code of Federal Regulations (5 CFR 213.3202)