Isle weather-casters get certified
Justin Fujioka has a brand-new certificate of meteorology from Mississippi State University, after three years of study and straight A's, according to KITV.
Fujioka is also awaiting seals of approval from the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association.
He is among a growing number of certified broadcast meteorologists in Hawaii who have completed the online distance learning program from MSU, which offers degrees in geosciences with emphasis in broadcast meteorology.
It has no courses titled, "taking a wild guess," "what to do if you get it way wrong," or, "dealing with callers complaining that meteorologists never do anything about the weather."
At KGMB, branded as Hawaii's Severe Weather Station, Jeff Booth is the in-house certified broadcast meteorologist via MSU, membership in the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association, plus a seal of approval from the latter. He appears on "Sunrise on KGMB9" weekdays at 5 a.m. His colleague, weekend weather anchor Malika Dudley, is currently enrolled at MSU.
KHNL has two certified broadcast meteorologists. Sharie Shima earned her certificate in 1997 while at KITV. KHNL's chief meteorologist, she is a member of the AMS and NWA, as is fellow MSU-certificate-completer, Paul Drewes. He also has an AMS seal of approval.
KHNL morning weathercaster Angela Keen has left the station to tend to family matters and focus on advocating issues close to her heart, she said via e-mail.
At KHON, morning weather anchor and reporter Trini Kaopuiki undertook the MSU course, but KHON officials did not return calls to confirm whether she obtained her certificate.
The difference between a broadcast meteorologist and a National Weather Service meteorologist is that, if one is the latter, "you have to have graduated from a university with a bachelor of science in meteorology," said Derek Wroe, a forecaster and meteorologist with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Honolulu.
That comes with certain math and science requirements, such as four semesters of calculus.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org