You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Senior at Austin’s Ann Richards School to join Antarctic expedition

She’s trading in her cowboy boots for snowshoes.

Lucia Hruby, a senior at the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, next month will embark on an 11-day trip to Antarctica to learn about polar science. The 17-year-old Texan is one of four U.S. students chosen from among 250 applicants for the Joint Antarctic School Expedition, an educational science program of the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Chilean Antarctic Institute.

Hruby (the H is silent) will join students from California, New York and North Carolina as well as a group of Chilean students for the expedition Dec. 9-20. The program aims to develop the students’ awareness of global scientific issues while building relationships in the next generation of scientists from the two countries.

“What I am most excited about is just to see how things have changed, how global warming has changed the Antarctic compared to how I imagine,” Hruby said. “I’m also excited to partner with the Chilean students and to make long-lasting connections with them.”

This is the third time U.S. students have joined the expedition. The first was in 2014.

Students were chosen from their responses on seven short-answer essays, including their interest in science, their Spanish background (to communicate with the Chilean students), different school projects they’ve participated in and why they wanted to join the expedition.

Growing up, Hruby spent summers with her maternal grandmother in Saltillo, Coahuila, where the immersion built upon her vocabulary. Last summer, she traveled to the Dominican Republic as a volunteer Spanish interpreter for a medical clinic that provides health care to a small village.

Hruby and her counterpart in New York will give a presentation to the Chileans in Spanish on the effect global warming has had on permafrost, permanently frozen soil.

For the past four years in school, Hruby has been studying different areas of engineering. She’s learned how to build a greenhouse, and has worked with circuits and computer-aided design software. However, she said the school offers few classes in environmental science, “something that has always interested me,” so the Antarctic trip will help fill that gap. She said the trip will help her determine whether she wants to study environmental science in college, as well as see firsthand what research is underway.

Among other activities, Hruby and the other students will study animal behavior, such as that of seals and penguins, at Elefanteras beach and on the Ardley Peninsula; tour international science facilities; and collect data on vegetation surveys at the margin of Collins Glacier, where mosses and algae could be found in the ice.

Hruby will miss all of her finals and might need to make up the school days on weekends, but she said her teachers and school are supportive of her adventure.

The average temperature in Antarctica in December (summer there) is in the low 30s, a tad brisk for Hruby. “It’s their summertime right now, but I was born and raised in Austin, so I’m a little worried about the cold.” She’s attempting to break in a new pair of hiking boots around the house and will have long underwear and heavy jackets in tow.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Legislature approves $216.8 billion state budget
Legislature approves $216.8 billion state budget

Both houses of the Texas Legislature approved a $216.8 billion state budget for 2018 and 2019 on Saturday that does little to improve the state’s widely criticized school finance system, boosts funding for scandal-plagued child protection agencies and maintains the state’s $800 million commitment to border security. The House voted 135-14...
Gov. Greg Abbott signs court safety law named for Judge Julie Kocurek
Gov. Greg Abbott signs court safety law named for Judge Julie Kocurek

Nearly 19 months after state District Judge Julie Kocurek was shot outside her West Austin home, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law named in her honor that aims to boost security for judicial officers. “The craven attack against Judge Julie Kocurek is deeply troubling, and Texas must be committed to protecting those who uphold the rule of law in this...
Chipotle: Breach compromised payment data at 22 Austin-area locations
Chipotle: Breach compromised payment data at 22 Austin-area locations

An investigation into a previously disclosed data breach at Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. revealed security breakdowns in about 2,250 of its restaurants — including 22 in the Austin metro area. The company said hackers installed malware “designed to access payment card data” from the restaurants’ registers between March 24 and...
WWII reenactment at Camp Mabry depicts battle for better weapons
WWII reenactment at Camp Mabry depicts battle for better weapons

Machine guns take out infantry rifles, but are disabled by tanks. Bazookas eviscerate tanks, but not armored half-tracks. This technological standoff of anything-you-can-build-we-can-build-better is the subject of a World War II reenactment going on this weekend at Camp Mabry. A few hundred people — some of them war veterans, some of them elementary...
Teens accused of burglaries in Round Rock, Florence

WILLIAMSON COUNTY Teens accused of burglaries in Round Rock, Florence Police have accused four men, including two they interviewed at Florence High School, of being involved in a burglary at a Florence business, according to arrest affidavits. Three of them were also accused of being involved in a burglary at a Round Rock pawnshop, the affidavits said...
More Stories