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ASU student travels to Antarctica through a study abroad program

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - One of the most fascinating things about traveling to a place that few people have gone to is that new discoveries are constantly made.

Not only that, these discoveries can be used to teach us things about the world and its inhabitants.

Well, that is what Arizona State University student and Yuma native Julysa Urrutia hopes to learn.

Julysa Urrutia, a sophomore studying pre-veterinary science, recently went to Antarctica to examine the marine wildlife that lives down there.

"The experience was out of this world," said Urrutia. "I couldn't wrap my head around how just amazing the landscape was down there. It made me feel so small like no humans were in control [of their environment], so it was really cool to experience that."

She explains why she chose to go into the field of pre-veterinary science.

"I wanted to go into that field because I am a big fan of marine animals," said Urrutia. "I couldn't think of a better way of helping these animals by helping them medically."

During her trip, Julysa even dived into the freezing cold waters, a memory she says she enjoyed but does not plan on doing again.

"Diving in that water... never again," joked Urrutia. "It felt like a thousand knives were poking right into my skin. I got right out of the water so fast. It was the best shock in the world."

Urrutia explained how climate change is impacting the wildlife down there and how their ecosystem is constantly being changed.

"I expected it to be a lot colder [in Antarctica]. When we were there I could just walk outside with a long sleeve and a light jacket," said Urrutia. "To see the temperature not be as cold as it was, it was concerning with the warming of the waters and the effect it has [on the wildlife]. It causes them to go to other places and leave their actual homes."

Julysa's adventures do not stop here though. She said that she will be taking a trip to Africa this summer where she will be studying wildlife conservation and sustainability.

Article Topic Follows: Education

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Jalen Fong

Jalen joined KYMA in 2022 and is a morning anchor/producer. Send your story ideas to him at:


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