164 Weather and Water Go Hand in Hand: Education and Outreach at the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology

Monday, 11 January 2016
Andrea Sealy, Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology, St. James, Barbados; and K. A. Caesar and D. Farrell

Handout (2.2 MB) Handout (1.6 MB)

Since 2007 the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) has been hosting its annual summer school programme which is popularly known as the “Weather and Water Summer Camp”. The Weather and Water Summer Camp is based on a four week Hydrological and Meteorological Observer's course and caters to students entering 4th form and higher (USA equivalent would be 9th grade and higher). The course offers an introduction to Meteorology and Hydrology. It focuses on a few of the aspects of the fields of Meteorology and Hydrology such as basic concepts, observations and measurements, global and tropical weather systems, weather forecasting, climate change and applications of meteorology, hydrology and earth sciences. The students also go on field trips and tours that include the Barbados Meteorological Services, Barbados Water Authority, Ionics Freshwater Limited (desalination plant) and Coastal Zone Management Unit (coastal features).

The summer camp as well as all CIMH outreach and educational activities for youth, aim to stimulate interest in pursuing a career in hydrology, meteorology and other related fields. In addition, CIMH participates in the annual Barbados Association of Guidance Counselors (BAGC) National Career Showcase and makes presentations on request at various high schools across the island.

These efforts are bearing fruit. By academic year 2013-2014 of the twenty-six (26) Barbadian students enrolled as meteorology majors at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, six (6) participated in the CIMH Weather and Water Summer Camp and four (4) benefited from a career showcase or other CIMH outreach activity. That is approximately forty per cent (40%) of Barbadian meteorology majors. In the future CIMH aims to expand the Weather and Water Summer Camp to other territories across the Caribbean.

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