When Yahoo and Amazon were founded in 1994, the World Wide Web was in its infancy. That same year, the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory made its first web post.
Twenty-five years ago today, NSSL joined the information superhighway when two researchers —
David Stensrud and Harold Brooks — created the lab’s first website in November 1994 to “take advantage of the information explosion provided by the WWW,” according to a newsletter from that time.
The original site was organized according to NSSL’s administrative structure and organizational chart. Since then, Webmaster Vicki Farmer has overhauled the website three times, in 2007, 2010 and 2014.
“We realized individuals outside of NSSL were more interested in the content of our work and our website needed to reflect that,” Farmer said.
NSSL’s web audience includes the public, students, educators, collaborators, researchers, and Congressional staffers.
“A majority of our web traffic is from school-aged children in grades K-12 and we proudly provide information for those grades, including our Severe Weather 101 sites, information on research, and career options for meteorologists,” Farmer said.
Not only does the site provide general information about meteorology to the public but it also has a searchable publications database of all published NSSL authored articles. The website also has a thorough history of NSSL and lists of awards received by researchers at the lab.
“We’ve grown from one website to nearly 10 subdomains of content, research tools and data,” Farmer said. “Overall our web server hosts six terabytes of information, applications, and tools that scientists and the public utilize for research and information.”