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Pacific Desk News

October 21, 2014 | Honolulu, Hawaii
Pacific Desk welcomes last Cohort for 2014

Taumoa Bateriki (Kiribati Meteorological Service), Mellisa Kuleloto Talagi Douglas (Niue Meteorological Service), Edwin Neel Kant (Fiji Meteorological Service) and Maneatapu Edward Maretapu (Cook Islands Meteorological Service), participants of Cohort #4 arrived safely over the weekend to begin training with the Pacific International Training Desk (Pacific Desk).  "We seem to prelude our cohorts with weather events which makes for rather serious welcoming conversations with participants," comments Jennifer Strahl, Meteorologist/Instructor for Pacific Desk.  Cohort #2 arrived nearing the end of Hurricane Iselle and Tropical Storm Julio, and Cohort #4 arrived in the midst of Hurricane Ana.  Ms. Strahl said that "we are fortunate to have been spared, the Pacific Desk will continue to plan and prepare to ensure that arriving participants are safe, are aware of evacuation routes and procedures and provided with an emergency kit." 

Cohort #4 will spend the next 4 weeks, 20 October to 14 November 2014, in training with the Pacific Desk at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  Training structure include hands-on lab exercises and activities; real-time weather analysis and forecast practice; messaging and communication/ dissemination systems; field trips and site visits; and shift-shadowing and map discussions.    

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Clockwise from top left: 1. C4 participants: Edwin Kant, Mellisa Talagi Douglas and Taumoa Bateriki. 2. C4 with Christina Higa (Pacific Desk), Jennifer Strahl (Pacific Desk) and Tom Evans (NOAA/NWS). 3. C4 participants: Mellisa Talagi Douglas, Edwin Kant, Manea Maretapu and Taumoa Bateriki pose at the NWS Honolulu Forecast Office, site of Pacific Desk training.  4. C4 with H. Gingerlei Porter (Pacific Desk), Christina Higa (Pacific Desk), Jennifer Strahl (Pacific Desk) and Tom Evans (NOAA/NWS).
Taumoa Bateriki
Kiribati Meteorological Service
Mellisa Kuleloto Talagi Douglas
Niue Meteorological Service

Edwin Kant
Fiji Meteorological Service

Maneatapu Maretapu
Cook Islands Meteorological Service
Taumoa Bateriki is an Observer with the Kiribati Meteorological Service.  Taumoa was on assignment in the outer islands of Ocean Island (Banaba Island) for over a year and Fanning Island for five years. Upon returning to Tarawa, he was sent to the Maintenance and Repair and Calibration on Meteorological Instruments training in Fiji.  He attended the WMO Class IV (Basic Meteorology) as well as the Competency on Aviation training in Hong Kong.  Taumoa also attended the Tropical Cyclone meeting in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

Mellisa Kuleloto Talagi Douglas joined the Niue Meteorological Service in November 2004 as a Meteorological Trainee.  She was later promoted to Meteorological Officer.  Mellisa attended the University of the South Pacific in Niue and obtained a Foundation Certification for Social Sciences in 2001.  She also attended observer courses and received her WMO Class IV certification.  She has attended several meteorological and climate training courses in Fiji and Australia which include: Observers Training (Fiji); SCOPIC (Climate) Training (Fiji); Attachment to Fiji (Climate) Training; Forecasting Training (Tahiti); Basic Forecast Training (Fiji); Calibration Training (Melbourne, Australia); and Climate Training (Melbourne, Australia).  Mellisa's duties include: preparing daily weather forecast (0-3); public relations materials; monitor rainfall using SCOPIC; data input into the CLIDE system; media (TV); weather observations and many others.  She is married to James Douglas and have two beautiful children, Jeremy 4 and Bianca 1.  She enjoys helping her husband with hydroponics, fishing and gardening.
Edwin Neel Kant has extensive experience in weather observation and Aviation Weather Briefing. He has earned a certificate in Electrical Engineering from the Fiji National University. He attained his WMO Class IV Basic Observing Certificate and Q-1 Meteorological Certificate whilst in the course of his employment with the Fiji Meteorological Service. Currently he is focusing in a Bachelors Degree from the University of the South Pacific. He has contributed immensely to the Department having served three years stationed at a remote island stationed in Rotuma being more than 800 kilometers from the main Island of Fiji. Having weathered the conditions on a remote island has seen him gain valued experience of the ever so changing climatic conditions. Starting as a technical assistant at the Regional Weather Forecasting Center in (Nadi) Fiji Islands he has progressed his way to Aviation Briefing Officer at the Nausori International Airport (Fiji Islands).

Maneatapu Edward Maretapu is a 2010 graduate of Tereora College obtaining his National Certification of Education Achievement Level 1 & 2.  He joined the Cook Islands Meteorological Service the same year as a Training Observer.  He later became an Operational Observer.  He attended several in-country trainings and workshops.  In 2013, Manea became an Operational Observer.  He attended the 10th WMO Southern Hemisphere Tropical Cyclone and Public Weather Workshops in Nadi, Fiji.
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