Business

Bermuda Weather Service looks to recruit

  • James Dodgson, director of the Bermuda Weather Service
  • James Dodgson and Michelle Pitcher of the Bermuda Weather Service
  • Michelle Pitcher, deputy director of the Bermuda Weather Service

James Dodgson, the new director of Bermuda Weather Service, is trying to recruit locals.

The BWS is apart of the CI2 Aviation Authority which is the parent company based in Atlanta.

The work is split into two parts. One involves weather observers, a task for which a high school-level education with a mathematical background and an interest in weather is generally required.

Mr Dodgson said: “We have no problem recruiting locals for this position as most Bermudians are educated even if they do not go to university specifically.”

Meteorological technicians, as these observers are known, watch and report on the weather every hour using coded messages for all the airport users.

On the other side of BWS are the meteorologists.

Mr Dodgson believes this role is harder to recruit locally, because it is a technical job for which you need a strong science background and a passion for weather.

“You will need to understand the physics behind the weather modules, and there is a lot of responsibility with this position,” said Mr Dodgson.

He added: “We are looking to recruit Bermudians, especially those Bermudians that have an interest in science and the weather. They go on and do a relevant degree, ideally a science, meteorologist degree or even an ocean science degree will do as long as they have a heavy science degree and an interest in the weather, we will train them further internally.”

Working unsociable hours is also necessary as, of course, the weather never stops.

And the service is “a 24/7 operation”.

The shifts are two days followed by two nights and the hours are from 6:30am to 6:30pm.

Mr Dodgson mentioned that although the hours are long, employees do get downtime, usually in the form of four to six days off.

Mr Dodgson said: “The Bermuda Weather Service has its benefits. When I lived in the UK, I was like a mouse in a big factory, but here you are the go-to person.

Currently there are 13 employees in total; five meteorological forecasters, five weather observers and Michelle Pitcher, the deputy director, IT systems and database manager, Ian Currie, and director Mr Dodgson.

Jennifer Smith, meteorologist with the service, started there earlier this year, having previously worked for Environment Canada on the aviation side.

She said: “Working here is as an adjustment because it’s the shift work lifestyle. There are pros and cons of shift work, but it’s the nature of the beast.”

“I would say having a passion for the weather, and caring about how other people use the weather to make decisions.”

Ms Smith believes that it is a service job — not just analytical.

“We are dealing with lots of different people like the media, the airport, and we were also evolved in the America’s Cup. We are only as good as how well we communicate the information.

“Our key job is to help others make public safety decisions,” she said.

Anyone interested in learning more about a career with CI2 Aviation should visit: http://ci2.com/careers/