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 firstname.lastname@example.org; Kim Whitehall at email@example.com or Shawn Boyce at firstname.lastname@example.org. (CG)