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The Environmental and Scientific Services Division (ESSD) manages regional programs for weather predictions, warnings, and services provided to the general public, military, aviation, marine, forestry, agricultural, federal, state, and local governments, and other interests. For these programs, the Division advises NWS field managers on the implementation and interpretation of policies and procedures of the NWS. It develops and recommends related regional policies and procedures. The Division conducts programs to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of environmental services and the methods in which the applicable policies and procedures are implemented. It coordinates with other regional Divisions on requirements for data processing and information technology in support of the region’s programs and services.

The Division coordinates with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), supporting FAA requirements for aviation weather and new observation systems. It conducts special studies or investigations, plans implementation of new or revised policies, programs, or procedures, and coordinates programs to integrate them effectively with related technical and administrative management programs of the region. The Division develops and tests new regional and local procedures and methods for adaptation of guidance materials and for preparation of forecasts and warnings. It appraises the effectiveness of guidance materials and the need for augmentations or revisions of these materials. The Division assists in preparing related reports to the various offices within the NWS Headquarters. It advises the Regional Director on the effectiveness of existing techniques and procedures, as well as, the need for research and development in the areas of analysis and prediction.

Specific program areas that ESSD manages are as follows: 

  • Tsunami Program
  • National U.S. Volcanic Ash Program
  • Warning Coordination Program
  • Performance Assessment
  • Air Quality Program
  • Climate Services Program
  • Satellite Services Program
  • Scientific R&D and Technology Infusion program
  • Staff Training & Professional Development Program
  • Marine Program
  • Fire Weather Program
  • Incident-Meteorologist/All Hazards Program
  • Public/Severe Weather Program
  • Public/Legislative Affairs Program
  • Dissemination Services
  • Aviation Weather Program
  • Digital Services Program
  • Radar Meteorology Program
  • Space Weather Program
  • Graphic Arts support