The future looks bright for student John Pavacic ’18, who is studying climate change as an Interdisciplinary study in environmental science major, with a minor in mathematics.

Under the expert tutelage of the LIU Post environmental science faculty, Pavacic’s passion and curiosity for climatology and meteorology have grown exponentially.

The kicker/punter on the LIU Post Pioneers football team experienced a rewarding internship at Brookhaven National Labs that exposed him to a diverse range of science study and practice, helping to shape the focus of his study post-Post. He is preparing to pursue his PhD in planetary atmospheres after graduation.

“Basically, I want to look into studying the futures of crops and working for a company that delves into the production rates of crops, and determines how they will grow according to climate change,” Pavacic said.

While Pavacic’s internship at Brookhaven National Lab was in the renewable energy department, his curiosity took him all over the lab.

“What I really loved was that in your own time, you could explore other departments,” he said. “I wanted to check out the heavy ion colliders and talk to scientists and ask them questions.”

His work was mostly focused on the 32-megawatt solar farm, where he was immersed in field work, taking readings of solar radians or repairing instruments. He also learned a lot of computer coding at the lab, something he based a 10-week project on.

The internship experience definitely “helped shape my focus on where science is going and the technology behind it,” Pavacic said.

As he prepares for his last year at LIU Post, he is reflecting on the deep well of knowledge and expertise he received from the professors in environmental science.

“I love everyone in my department,” he said. “They’re all really cool people. Dr. Demaria is really passionate about climate change and inspired me. Dr. Scott Carlin is so knowledgeable about the social and economic aspects of climate change and how they will affect the future. They are all beyond what I ever imagined what they could be.”