First Samoan doctor of meteorology at helm of MET division

Samoa’s first meteorology doctorate holder, Dr. Luteru Agaalii Tuvale, is the new man at the helm of the Samoa Meteorology Division.

The contractual appointment of the 33-year-old man from Safune, Savai'i as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Assistant Chief Executive Officer (A.C.E.O.) to the Meteorology Office was confirmed in the Public Service Commission circular last week. 

His appointment started on Monday, June 7, 2021. 

Dr. Tuvale graduated with a Doctorate of Science in Meteorology (PhD) from Nagoya University in Japan and returned to Samoa last year. 

He worked with the Samoa Meteorology Division prior to leaving for a study opportunity in Japan, which he said was a big motivator. 

Speaking to the Samoa Observer upon his return last year, the young man said he was relieved to be home after completing his “dream”.

"I am really happy that this journey has come to an end. This has always been a dream to achieve something like this and now that it's done, I am just happy,” he said.

Dr. Tuvale said like anything else in life, achieving his goal was not easy. The workload, long nights, being away from his families, and not having any Samoans around where he stayed, were some of the main obstacles he faced during his doctoral studies journey. 

However, he found solace in his family who were behind him throughout the duration of his postgraduate program.

"The nature of my job being a meteorologist includes forecasting the weather, so I wanted to make sure I am competent and have the right skills and knowledge to do the job, and hope to save lives and properties,” he said. 

"Not only that, but I want to contribute to the well-being of Samoa, Pacific, and our people. With climate change, the weather is changing so there is a need to get all the knowledge needed in my line of work."

Luteru Agaalii Tuvale holds a Bachelor of Science in Maths and Physics from the University of South Pacific, postgraduate qualifications and graduated with a Master of Science in Meteorology from the University of Reading in England.

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