There are a huge variety of online learning resources available. Below you can find a non-extensive list of resources that are related to SPARC research and which provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about the fundamentals of atmospheric science.
MetEd is a free online collection of teaching and training resources for the geoscience community. Free registration provides access to all MetEd modules and courses, including participation in quizzes where you can test your understanding. Lectures can be watched in your own time. Specific lectures relevant to SPARC would be, for example, lectures on the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO), atmospheric composition, global circulation, and stratospheric ozone monitoring and ozone depletion.
NASA offers webinars and tutorials on NASA Earth science data sets. The webinars are scheduled monthly and free of charge to join. They provide a great opportunity to learn more about NASA Earth science data sets, services and tools, and how to access and use these data. You can visit the online catalog for a schedule of upcoming events.
NASA also provides a website with basic information about Earth Observations and how they are made.
ECMWF provides a range of freely available educational material. For example, they provide course material about high performance computing, data assimilation, parameterization, and a lot more.
The NOAA Climate Program Office provides a series of webinars related to SPARC research. For example, the Modeling, Analysis, Prediction, and Projections (MAPP) program hosted a webinar on ‘Modeling the Stratosphere: Ozone, Reanalysis, Predictability, and connections with the Troposphere‘. The course material is still available online with no sign-up required.
NCAR provides a course on Geographic information systems (GIS) that can be used to visualise data from databases, allowing easier interpretation of data. Sign-up is required to access the course material.
Coursera is an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide to offer online courses available to all. Sign-up is free, as are the online courses, which are usually accompanied by assignments, exercises, and tests. There is the possibility of receiving formal recognition for your accomplishment with an optional course certificate once the course is finished, however, this certificate requires a small fee. While Coursera offers some courses related to SPARC research (e.g. ‘modelling climate change‘ or ‘creating simple climate models‘), it is especially useful if you want to start learning more about programming languages such as R or Python, or about ‘big data’ management. Courses are offered several times a year and usually run for 4 to 6 weeks.
Udacity is a for-profit education organization offering many open online courses. Udacity provides free access to these courses with the aim of advancing student’s education and careers. If you would like earn a degree, sign up to one of the Nanodegree programs, although monthly fees apply here. An example of a free online course is ‘Python for beginners’.
As SPARC-related research often requires data analysis and being familiar with large data sets, it is very useful to have good programming skills. Python is one programming language that is becoming more and more popular among scientists. Codecademy offers the possibility to take courses to learn how to program using Python as well as many other programming languages. The sign up and courses are free, however, to take a quiz or participate in projects monthly fees apply.
A very general website that offers a wide range of courses, including on Earth system science and the atmosphere. The sign up and courses are free, but certification at the end of courses requires a fee.
Open edX offers free online courses and lectures on a range of topics and scientific fields. Their goal is to increase high quality education for everyone, everywhere. To learn more about edX and how it works, take the first introduction course DemoX.
MIT provides a wide range of open courses on a wide range of topics. An example of a SPARC-related lecture series it the ‘Dynamics of the atmosphere’ course are available here.
Yale offers lectures and lecture notes that are freely available online without any sign up. For example, a lecture about the Atmosphere and corresponding notes are available here.
The 1st WCRP/WMAC model development training school on ‘Moist atmospheric processes’ took place in Hamburg, Germany, in June 2015. Nearly all the lectures were filmed and are now available as training videos here.
If you are looking for a specific topic, YouTube might be the answer to your questions. There are many webinars, lectures, and courses that you can listen to for free.