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For Immediate Release

Shortage of trained meteorologists expected

November 10, 2005 (Calgary, AB) - As weather continues to make headlines around the world, the importance of accurate, timely meteorological information grows in importance. While most Canadians link meteorological expertise with traditional sectors such as agriculture, meteorology also impacts transportation, construction, and tourism. Accurate and precise warnings and forecasts offer tremendous potential cost savings to the Canadian economy.

"Aviation, shipping, and trucking industries rely on accurate weather routing services for scheduling, "just-in-time" delivery and to save on fuel costs," says Susan Woodbury, President of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS).

The 2005 Changing Climate: Canadian Meteorological Employment Report, just released by ECO Canada, reveals that there are critical obstacles to growth of the sector that need to be addressed to ensure that it can meet its full economic and employment potential.

"It is important that Canadians understand the meteorological sector's human resource requirements in order to ensure its ongoing growth and prosperity," says Ian Rutherford, Executive Director, CMOS.

The report is intended to provide a greater understanding of the Canadian meteorological sector by outlining common activities of meteorological employment, documenting the existing and forecasted labour market conditions, and offering recommendations on steps that should be taken to support this important sector.

In total, 9,200 meteorological practitioners are currently employed in Canada, and this number is expected to increase. The projected future demand for trained practitioners is high-2,350 by 2010. At the same time, private sector employers are pointing to shortages in the supply of trained meteorologists, exacerbated by low enrolments in related academic programs. This could impact the quality of weather information that is provided to Canadians and Canadian businesses.

To obtain an electronic copy of the report, visit www.eco.ca and click on the 'Products' link. If you wish to receive a hard copy, send an email to info@eco.ca with the subject line: "Request for Meteorological Report."

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