Professional Profile: Claire Martin, B.Sc., P.Met
An award winning Senior Meteorologist for CBC news programs, Claire Martin is helping to pave the way towards greater recognition and credibility for the meteorology sector. With over 20 years of experience, she is one of the first to bear the title of certified Professional Meteorologist (P.Met).
In this month’s profile we learn how her career has developed over time and she shares her forecast is for the future of the meteorology sector.
1. As a senior meteorologist for CBC news, what does your day-to-day involve?
A lot of very fast forecasting! I generate the forecasts for the CBC's flag ship newscast "The National", as well as for the local BC newscasts. It means that my day is long (I start at 8 am PT) and very full. The National weather maps have 18 cities on them - so I have to forecast for 18 cities and then concentrate on BC for the evening newscasts. I am on air from 4 p.m. onwards (which 7 p.m. ET) and am usually leaving work by 7 p.m. PT (10 p.m. ET).
2. What initially got you interested in meteorology and how did you get to where you are today?
I got interested in meteorology through a very engaging high school U.K. geography teacher named Miss Matkin! She loved weather and I caught the bug from her. I loved it when she took the class outside. Anything was better than staring at a blackboard! My career path has been anything but straightforward. I left Environment Canada in the 1990's, after weather observing and forecasting with them for several years, for a job at a local TV station in Edmonton - and I haven't looked back since!
3. What are some of the most exciting developments in the meteorology sector right now?
The greatest development in our field right now is awareness. Students are aware that there are viable, non government weather-related jobs out there. Those hiring, are now aware that academically trained meteorologists can be asset to the workforce in a variety of different roles. And the government is finally aware that the field of meteorology is "political" and needs respectful attention in matters pertaining to Canada's future.
4. Where do you see the industry in 5 to 10 years? What are some of the challenges and opportunities for meteorological professionals?
I see the industry growing in leaps and bounds. The challenge will be maintaining a widely recognized level of professionalism out there.
5. Why did you choose to get certified as a Professional Meteorologist?
I believe that it is time to start having a recognized certification process as our field continues to grow. Many meteorologists find themselves these days working in a "trade" type working environment, often with engineers and electricians - it is no-brainer that we work side by side with these people with an equal or similar grade of certification.
6. What value will the P.Met certification offer professionals and why is it important?
The P.Met certification covers a wide range of individuals in our general field. I would say value will come in time as those individuals who have the certification perform their jobs, their duties with a high degree of excellence. We - as a group - will only see value when enough individuals represent the certification in an exemplary manner.
7. What advice would you give to someone thinking of pursuing a career as a meteorologist?
Go for it! It's a fantastic job - that can be a little frustrating and humiliating at times (let's face it, the weather forecast can be wrong, and fingers will point right back at the forecaster!), but you'll develop a thick skin and a great skill - and it’s job that will never end. The weather's not going to go away!!