National Met Services Expressed Need for Met Officers

National Met Services Expressed Need for Met Officers

The National Meteorological Services of Belize is facing a challenge to meet the demand for meteorological officers due to a lack of courses offered in the country. Aspiring meteorological officers must go abroad to study, making it difficult to fulfill the need for qualified personnel. The demand for met officers has increased as the country faces more frequent and severe weather events. The National Met Services’ Chief Meteorologist, Ronald Gordon, explains that one of the main reasons for this shortfall is the lack of funding to finance their necessary education journey. He explains that working to address the issue by exploring options to provide local meteorology courses to meet the demand.

Ronald Gordon, Chief Meteorologist, National Meteorological Service: “There is a demand as I said before. We need capacity building within the department. We certainly do get people all the time coming in but this field is sort of unique in that it is not offered in Belize so for someone to advance in meteorology they have to go outside of the country to study. So that’s one of the shortfalls we have and as I mentioned before it would be good for us to dedicate some sort of effort to building that curriculum within the country building that profession within Belize. One of the good things that we have had over the years is that in this field we have been able to gain fellowship especially for persons coming into the department to go outside and study. Of course that has decreased a bit over the years due to different constraints but that has been one of the benefits that we have. People coming into Met can come in at a high school or maybe 6th form level and can easily get a scholarship to go and study and get a degree. However we do want to build the capacity in the country that you don’t have to leave the country because like you rightly mentioned there is that financing gap also that we need to address.”

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