NEED FOR TRAINED METEOROLOGISTS IN THE REGION

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The time is ripe for more trained meteorologists and hydrologists in the region.

Word  of  this  has  come  from  Principal  of the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) , Dr. David Farrell, who says numerous job opportunities are currently opening up  in the region due to a  “significant shortage” of  these professionals.

Dr. Farrell, who was speaking on the eve of the launch of the CIMH’s annual summer school programme, explained:   “There are wonderful job opportunities because most of the meteorological services around the region and are actually hiring. Most of their staff is now retiring and we have a significant shortage of both meteorolologists and hydrologists in region”

The CIMH spokesman said   efforts were   on stream to train  staff  due to the importance  which   meteorology and hydrology  played  in terms of  water  resources management,  aviation , and general  socio-economic concerns within the  region.

In terms of the institute’s programme he contended:  “The Disaster Management   programme in the Caribbean largely hinges on Meteorology and Hydrology so it is a wonderful opportunity for persons interested in this area to really get involved in our programmes.”

Noting that the institute had been consistently training regional personnel, Dr. Farrell pointed out that last year alone between 10 – 12 Trinidadians were trained, with that country’s Meteorological Office expected to send additional staff. He said that a similar situation obtained in the case of Jamaica.

“Persons within the Eastern Caribbean are either needed for data collection   or to man airport operations so there is a need for a core group of trained meteorologists in the reason,” he said.

With the CIMH recognised as one of the worldwide regional training centres, Dr. Farrell indicated that all of the meteorologists hired by government within the past 40 years came through the institute’s programme.

“This is the case in  all  of the English speaking Caribbean, every Meteorological  Director and  staff person   have been trained here ,” he noted citing  Barbados’ own  Director , Chesterfield Layne,  , and the Second  Vice-President of the World Meteorological Organisation, Tyrone  Sutherland,  as among its  prestigious graduates.

In this regard, Dr. Farrell  said persons interested in the exploring  options in this  field could enroll in the  summer programme  which commenced on Monday, July 7, and  offers four week   introductory courses in both Meteorology and Hydrology.

For persons embarking on a career in the field, he noted that they could either enroll in the Degree course in Meteorology at the Cave Hill campus,   or take professional courses at the CIMH. These include:  entry, mid and senior level technician meteorology courses which run for six, eight and 18 months respectively, as well as an eight month Certified Hydrological Technician course and an 18-month Higher Technician’s Course.

Courses which allow persons to function independently in the area of water resources management and planning are also available.

Additional information, including course fees may be obtained from the CIMH at telephone numbers: 425-1362/3/7 or the following staff members by email: Dr. Farrell at dfarrell@cimh.edu.bb; Kim Whitehall at kwhitehall@cih.edu.bb or Shawn Boyce at sboyce@cimh.edu.bb. (CG)

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