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Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences Becomes a Heavenly Thing for Ladi Recac


Ladi Recac is busy working on his advance degree at Hampton University. “I am in the PhD program. I am trying to get a PhD so I have been in this graduate program for three years now almost. I am working on my dissertation right now so that really depends how fast I can proceed with my research and that is hard to predict,” he says. “ I don’t know myself how long I am going to be here really.”

Being at Hampton University isn't new for Ladi. When he left his country, he initially chose the university for his undergraduate studies too. “ I’m originally from Czech Republic which is at the eastern border of Germany, Europe and I came to the United States eight years ago and I came as an undergrad to Hampton University,” he says.

“I studies Computer Science and I initially came on a tennis scholarship, I play Tennis and I came to play on Hampton’s Tennis team so I go my undergrad [degree] this way and during my years as an undergrad I was a student worker in the Atmospheric Sciences Department and that is how I got to graduate college,” he says.

“Here, when I finished my undergraduate degree, I liked what I was doing during my undergraduate years here so that is the story basically.”

During his years as an undergraduate, Ladi became interested in his major Atmospheric Science. The 27-year old says a lot goes into the complex subject. “Atmospheric Science as the title says we study atmospheres not only on earth, but planetary atmosphere as well, but that depends on what your concentration is. You can study planetary atmosphere in general or the earth’s atmosphere,” he says.

“Its already a complex topic and it is further divided into say dynamics about the motions of the atmosphere winds and waves and stuff and also you can also concentrate on Chemistry. What chemical processes is happening in the atmosphere at different levels for example so we study the atmosphere as a whole and as a scientist you can concentrate on whatever you like, but at the end of the day you need to know everything because it is all coupled,” he says. “It is just one atmosphere, it doesn’t have separate parts.

Although a lot is involved when it comes to learning, Ladi says he enjoys being in the program and getting hands on experience. “I do very much actually. The program here is great because we cooperate with NASA and we have access to a lot of data from various instruments, from satellites and there is some great faculty here,” he says.

“Also I’ve taken all of my classes actually so I sample basically everything and from my experience I can’t complain. On the contrary, it’s been a great studying experience plus the hands on practice with the research that we are doing during the studies as you take classes you also do research on your own or whoever is your advisor assigns, you learn a lot in a very short time.”

When Ladi graduates, he says he would like to teach or work with a team of scientists who also are interested in Atmospheric Science matters. “I would like to get either a teaching position or even better if I could get a job as a scientist either in government or a private company that are contractors to the government,” he says.

“The government being NASA here and I would like that very much if I could join some team of scientists and just work on problems and atmospheric sciences,” he says. There are just way to many. It is a vast field and considering that if we take all the solar systems, all the planets and the atmosphere there is just much we do not know yet about those things as well as atmosphere on earth.”