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Andrea BalbasAndrea Balbas is an undergraduate student in geology at Queens College (CUNY) in New York City. She is part of the Offshore New Harbor Project, which will collect data about the seafloor sediments below the Ross Sea Ice Shelf in Eastern Antarctica. Andrea hopes to attend graduate school and earn her PhD in geophysics.

Project Page: Seeing the Past with Sound

All Posts By Andrea Balbas

Mining Ice

OFFSHORE NEW HARBOR CAMP, ANTARCTICA-- You might be surprised to know that water is one of the most scarce resources in Antarctica. It makes Antarctic camping very difficult... {Read More »}

The Courage to Question

OFFSHORE NEW HARBOR CAMP, ANTARCTICA-- There’s something weird about staking bamboo flags into Antarctic sea ice. Plunging the remnants of a regal plant into an environment so different from its own rings untrue. The natural wonder of bamboo’s fortitude against majestic Antarctic landscapes gives me pause. It’s only then that the reality of my situation strikes me... {Read More »}

Two Kiwi Drillers

OFFSHORE NEW HARBOR CAMP, ANTARCTICA-- To me the cornerstone of any true friendship is the belief in someone’s integrity. Sometimes I will go years without gaining a true friend. Other times, I’ll just get lucky and stumble upon a few God-sent souls that say what they mean... {Read More »}

Nights in Antarctica

OFFSHORE NEW HARBOR CAMP, ANTARCTICA-- The sea ice pops and cracks beneath our camp. They said the cold would make me sleep. But the sound is eerie entertainment that keeps my mind from slumber... {Read More »}

Sizing Up the Dragon

MCMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA-- “Have your bags ready.” Everyday it seems we are on hold to leave for the sea ice. Our team is anxious to set up field camp. We are days behind schedule in our expedition. We’ve had set back after set back... {Read More »}

Hurry Up and Wait

MCMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA-- It’s hurry up and wait around here. We’ve had one set back after another. Our science sled wasn’t ready when we arrived. We’ve overcome obstacle after obstacle struggling to get it fit for the field... {Read More »}


MCMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA-- If you think all scientists are confined to the sterile environment of a lab, you’d be ill-informed. Science can take you around the world, to see places and things unimaginable. {Read More »}


MCMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA-- They keep asking, “Are you with the group that’s traversing the sea ice?” When they ask, they have this look -- a look that says, “ouch.” These are the old school Antarctic guys, the “winter over” people... {Read More »}

Ice Town: Monument to the Human Spirit

MCMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA-- The tiny stairs of the military transport airplane were difficult to descend in my giant plastic boots. The jet engines groaned and my goggles fogged with the first blast of Antarctic air... {Read More »}

Refusing to Call It Fear

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA-- It’s not surprising that a trip to the bottom of the world might provoke thoughts of death. It’s true the risks we… {Read More »}