The Team

Ship Location

Papahānaumokuākea MNM, USA

Andrea Balbas

Photo of Andrea Balbas
Science/Data Team
Postdoctoral Scholar
Oregon State University

Tell us about your work/research. What kinds of things do you do?

I specialize in geochronology, cosmogenic nuclides, and paleomagnetism. I aim to define the timing of natural events in Earth's past so I can better understand what may have caused them.

What sparked your initial interest in your career?

I grew up on the San Andreas fault in California and thus was always fascinated by Geology.

Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?

My kindergarten teacher (Ms. Steck), my undergraduate mentor (Hannes Brueckner) and my Ph.D. advisor (Peter U. Clark) have been my greatest academic cheerleaders. They have always tried to push me to be more confident and believe in myself. I love them for their sincerity and kindness.

What element of your work/study do you think is the most fascinating?

I am most fascinated by my research on paleomagnetic field reversals in Earth's past.

What other jobs led you to your current career?

I waited tables through college and this helped me improve my communication skills which are very helpful for being a successful scientist.

What are your degrees and certifications?

Bachelor of Science in Geology -- CUNY Queens College; Doctorate in Geology--Oregon State University

What are your hobbies?

I like listening to hip-hop.

What advice would you give someone who wants to have a career like yours?

If you want to be a Geologist or Geochemist, never let go of your love of science, because when things get tough, it is your love for our natural world that will keep you motivated.