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Dr Juliet Hermes to serve on Global Climate Observing System Steering Committee

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Dr Juliet Hermes, Manager of SAEON’s Egagasini Node for Marine Offshore Systems (Picture: SAEON)

Dr Juliet Hermes, Manager of SAEON’s Egagasini Node for Marine Offshore Systems, has been invited by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to serve on the steering committee of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).

The objective of GCOS is to provide observations of the Earth’s climate system necessary for monitoring the climate system; for detecting and attributing climate change; for assessing the impacts of climate variability and change; for supporting research toward improved understanding, modelling, and prediction of climate; and for application to national economic development.

The development of GCOS requires close cooperation between the research and operational components of the meteorological, hydrological and oceanographic services, terrestrial and ecosystem agencies, relevant institutions, and space agencies.

The GCOS Steering Committee is comprised of members who have been selected for their personal expertise and who, together, will provide a balanced representation of the main operational and research programmes requiring a global climate observing system.

Scientific and technical guidance

The Steering Committee plays a central role in formulating the scope of GCOS, defining its objectives and priorities, and providing scientific and technical guidance to the sponsoring organisations and other participating bodies. It normally meets annually, with other inter-session activities carried out by correspondence. Membership is for an initial term of two years, renewable to a total of six years.

Juliet admits that she’s excited about the prospect of serving on the GCOS Steering Committee as the goals of the committee are similar to those of SAEON and there will be many opportunities to interact with other people from international programmes working towards the same ends.

“I hope that I can provide valuable contributions to the Committee,” she says. “I am looking forward to attending the first meeting, interacting with other members and learning more about the work being done internationally.”

Aside from running the marine offshore component of SAEON, Juliet regularly interacts with the other SAEON nodes focused on observation and monitoring to gain a better understanding of variability and change within the different biomes, including coastal and various terrestrial nodes. She is also actively involved in education outreach and support through SAEON and, being a research associate at the University of Cape Town, co-supervises students and gives lectures.

“All of this will help me make informed decisions and provide sound advice and information to the GCOS Steering Committee,” she concludes.

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