By Evan Wasuka, Pacific freelance reporter
|Maria Ngemaes, Palau Met Services Director|
2 July, Nadi, Fiji - She may be the only female taking part in the opening day of the 2nd Pacific Meteorology Council but Palau’s Maria’s Ngemaes is no stranger to regional meteorology.
As the Meteorologist in charge of Palau’s National Weather Service, Ngemaes has worked more than 17 years in meteorology.
She holds a degree from University of Hawaii at Manoa, and a weather forecasting certificate from Guam.
As a regular face at regional meteorology meetings, she points out that the PMC is unique as it provides a chance for met services in the North Pacific to come together and network with counterparts in the South Pacific.
“It’s a great opportunity to come and share our issues as well as help each other in areas of similarities.”
As for the 2nd PMC, which is meeting in Nadi from July 1- 5, Ngemaes has been impressed with its format, particularly with the introduction of summarized country reports.
“In the past meetings, the country reports tend to be very long. People would lose track of what the topic is. Now that we have the agenda it is shorter more concise and interesting.”
As a US territory, Palau receives its funding from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is responsible for funding her office and staff of nine.
One of the major developments underway in Palau is the construction of a new US$3.3million office complex for the National Weather Service.
Looking ahead Ngaemaes says the key areas that Palau needs support in are in addressing inundation, sea level rising and mapping.
“Along with these areas we need training for our staff to improve the skills capacity of our people.”