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Cook Islands, Niue and Tonga Meteorological Services Staff begin training at Pacific Desk

2015 Cohort 3: 3 August to 28 August

Trainees for the third cohort of 2015 began training today at the Pacific International Training Desk at the US National Weather Service / Weather Forecast Office, Honolulu at the University of Hawaii.  Bates Manea (Cook Islands), Hingano Laufoli (Niue), Siutiti Tapu (Tonga) and Tevita Taufa (Tonga) were welcomed by Pacific Desk Director Christina Higa, Associate Director H. Gingerlei Porter, Instructors Jennifer Strahl, David Hitzl and Thomas Okamura and the staff of the Pacific Desk and US Weather Forecast Office, Honolulu.  Trainees will be in training with the Pacific Desk for 4 weeks covering meteorology and communication topics.

For more information on training, visit:

L-R: Jennifer Strahl (Pacific Desk), Hingano Laufoli (Niue), David Hitzl (Pacific Desk), Christina Higa (Pacific Desk), Bates Manea (Cook Islands), Siutiti Tapu (Tonga) and Tevita Taufa (Tonga). August 3, 2015.

L-R: H. Gingerlei Porter (Pacific Desk), Bates Manea (Cook Islands), Hingano Laufoli (Niue), Jennifer Strahl (Pacific Desk), Siutiti Tapu (Tonga), Tevita Taufa (Tonga), Jose Aquino (Pacific Desk) and David Hitzl (Pacific Desk).
Bates Manea is an Operational Observer with the Cook Islands Meteorological Service (CIMS). He started working at the CIMS in December 2008 and has been with the Cook CIMS for over 6 years.  Bates started working as a Trainee Observer.  He is a graduate of Tereora College in Rarotonga, Cook Islands receiving both NCEA Level 1 and Level 2 certificates.  After a year as a Trainee Observer, he was promoted to a full-fledged observer and started shift work. He attended several training workshops in the Pacific Region including the 2011 Greenhouse conference held in Cairns, Australia and October – December of 2014 training in Japan.
Hingano Tolitaue Tina Laufoli is a graduate of Niue High School.  She has completed NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3.  She started working for the Niue Meteorological Service in 2012 as a Meteorological Office Trainee.  She completed the competency requirements for Aviation Meteorology Personnel training in Apia, Samoa.  She also attended the Regional Observations and Calibration Training, in Nadi, Fiji.  She is a Meteorology Trainee responsible for carrying out meteorological and climate observations, record and archive climate data.  She also assists senior officers with putting together a three day weather forecast for the general public and media.  She also assists with the Niue Climate Outlook newsletter and represents Niue during the Regional Online Climate Outlook Forum.  Hingano is from the village of Avatele and is the third youngest in her family of 4 siblings
Siutiti Tapu works as an Assistant Forecaster at the Tonga Meteorological Service.  From 2009-2011, she worked as a daily worker at the Ha'apai office.  In 2012, she became a Meteorology Technician Grade 1. In 2014, she became an Assistant Forecaster and a Coastal Radio Operator at the main office in Fua’amotu Tongatapu.  During her time as an Observer (2009-2013), she was responsible for hourly weather observations, coding and reporting.  As an Assistant Forecaster, Siutiti monitor and prepares forecasts, code observations and collect data from outer islands.  She also monitors international frequencies at the Coastal radio and reports any activities.  Siutiti earned a certificate as a Meteorological Technician and Aeronautical Overseer in 2010. 
Tevita Taufa has been a Coast Radio Communication Officer with the Tonga Meteorology Service for almost 14 years.  He is a qualified Radio Maritime Operator and supports 24-hours Coast Radio Surveillance for the Tonga Maritime Boundary in order to ensure the safety of life and properties.   He works to assist in weather observations and monitoring and also to carryout and disseminate weather observations.  He also assists in tsunami watch operations.  He has attended several training and workshop including Hazards Early Warning for Developing Countries, Tide and Oceans Conversation Series, Search and Rescue Response and many more.  Tevita’s responsibilities include but are not limited to preparing weekly Key Performance Indicators for Coastal Management. He also manages staff overtime for the Met Services.

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