Joint Antarctic School Expedition (JASE) Participants

The Joint Antarctic School Expedition (JASE) is a program co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Chilean Antarctic Institute, a major research base supported by the government of Chile. They have generously invited U.S. high school students to join a team of high school students from Chile for a week of hands-on learning at Escudero Station on King George Island, Antarctica.

The following U.S. students have participated in JASE:

JASE 2017-18

  • Maya Nunez, Bronx, NY

I can't believe I am going to Antarctica! When I first heard about the JASE program I knew right from the start that I wanted in. I had never been out of New York and being able to interact with other students from a different cultural background than mine, struck my interest. Applying to JASE was my first priority. When I received the email that I had been selected I couldn't believe it. I remember thinking, 'They must've made a mistake', but no, they didn't. Science has always been a strong suit of mine and I know that I will enjoy my time there. I hope that this journey will open my eyes to newer fields of science, and give me an idea on what I want to pursue once I've reached college. I enjoy drawing, playing the piano, swimming, and meeting new people. See you on the other side, Antarctica and Chile, here I come!

  • Michy Ramos, Kennesaw, GA

Traveling to the most remote part of the globe is the opportunity of a lifetime! I’ve always been curious about Antarctica and I'm so excited to experience the continent for myself. I understand how important collaboration is among scientists and that is another important part of this trip for me. I am looking forward to partnering with the Chilean students and learning about the work being done by the scientific community. At a time when climate change is at the forefront of all scientific discussions, I see this as an opportunity to first learn and then to share my experience with other young people and bring awareness about the important changes occurring in the polar regions.

My dream is to work for the space program and become an astronaut. I want to learn about other planets but I really feel like first I need to learn about life here on Earth, which is another reason this expedition is so important to me. Right now my plan is to study aerospace engineering and also get my pilot’s license at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where I’ve been recruited to play softball. I think people are surprised when they learn that I am both a STEM nerd and a jock. I also love musical theater, trying new foods, and traveling.

Read about Michy in the Marietta Daily Journal

  • Gigi Varlotta, Pittsburgh, PA

My whole life, my family has taken long rock climbing road trips to some of the most beautiful wilderness settings in our country, Canada and Costa Rica. So, I grew up constantly exposed to fun adventure in new areas and cool environments. I attend a creative and performing arts school where I major in visual arts. I’m very interested in sustainability, and started my school’s first environmental club. I also feel passionate about social justice and have spent a lot of time involved with issues of racial justice, education, and gender equality. This past summer I lived in Xi’an, China for six weeks and got to visit the Terracotta Warriors! I can’t wait for Antarctica and know that it will be another amazing experience.

  • Joshua Villanueva, Colorado Springs, CO

Hello! My name is Josh Villanueva and I am going to participate in the 2017-2018 trip to Antarctica. I would have never imagined that this year I would be a part of an expedition to Antarctica under a scientific exploration with a few other Americans and a lot of Chilean students, yet here I am. The program interested me for a variety of reasons the two that were the most profound on me were studying the effects of climate change on the south pole and the second is exploring the facilities that support life in an otherwise uninhabitable region of the planet. I am a lover of the outdoors especially over the summer, I love history for it tells a story of the path the world took to get to where it is today, and travel has become a lifestyle for me! I’m am very excited for the trip and to see the continents of South America and Antarctica.

JASE 2016-17

  • Cristopher Alvarado, Charlotte, NC
  • Lucia Hruby, Austin, TX
  • Audrey Reyes, Queens, NY
  • Annika Salmi, San Francisco, CA

JASE 2015-16

  • Daniela Montes Flores, San Diego, CA
  • Alex Kleinman, Croton-on-Hudson, NY
  • Madeline Moore, Boulder, CO
  • Andrea Mares, Sterling, VA


Maya Nunez

Maya Nunez 

Michy Ramos

Michy Ramos

Gigi Varlotta

Gigi Varlotta

Joshua Villanueva

Joshua Villanueva

The John Sloan Dickey Center