A Scientist’s Voyage From the Peruvian Amazon to Nordic Iceland

National Geographic

Originally Posted: July 13, 2018


Andrés Ruzo is a graduate student in Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Geothermal scientist Andrés Ruzo is a restless spirit whose passion for science and adventure inspire him to always go further, dig deeper, and discover what’s next. In celebration of his thirst for endless exploration, National Geographic and Coors Light launched Ruzo on an epic journey and invited him to share his experiences with other explorers. In the first of four photo essays, follow Ruzo as he prepares for his trip and talks about what sparked his interest in the wild, rugged, and cold land of fire and ice—Iceland.

Childhood experiences—like playing on volcanoes and hearing the legend of Peru’s Boiling River (above)—sparked Andrés Ruzo’s fascination with the power of Earth’s heat. The water pictured in this image was nearly 170ºF at the time this photo was taken.


Igniting a Passion

I’ve always dreaded the question, “Where are you from?” For me there is no easy answer. My life has always varied among PeruNicaragua, and the United States. I am Peruvian on my dad’s side, Nicaraguan on my mom’s side, and I live in the U.S. My life continues to be shaped by all three countries.

My first real link to geothermal science started as a kid in Nicaragua. My big, agricultural family is from northern Nicaragua and, among other things, we grow coffee on the Casita Volcano. Some of my most vivid childhood memories happened there.

As a child, I would regularly spend my summers on the coffee farm, playing with my cousins in the jungles on the flank of the volcano. My favorite place was the Casita’s geothermal field, which is full of fumaroles (steaming openings in the ground emitting hot, volcanic gases) and hot springs. There, the intensity of earth’s heat made it impossible for trees to grow, and the area seemed barren compared to the lush jungle surrounding it. We would throw things in fumaroles and watch the steam blast them away. We’d throw hot geothermal mud at each another. Once, we even cooked eggs in a hot spring. READ MORE

By | 2018-07-16T08:01:48+00:00 July 16th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News, Graduate News|Comments Off on A Scientist’s Voyage From the Peruvian Amazon to Nordic Iceland