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Allie Balter-Kennedy '10

Allie Balter-Kennedy '10

Postdoctoral scholar at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory




Bates College, University of Maine, Columbia University

Ice drilling depths:

1,600 feet

The big chill

In the summer of 2023, Dr. Allie Balter-Kennedy ’10 became one of the first scientists in the world to collect bedrock samples from underneath Greenland’s Ice Sheet—an unprecedented feat that was profiled in national news outlets. But before she was drilling through more than 1,600 feet of ice seeking answers to rising seas, she was a Dana Hall student seeking answers in her science classes.

“My passion for geology began at Dana Hall, where my science teachers provided me with the skills and the courage to flourish in a male-dominated field,” she says. “In my junior year, I completed a program with the High Mountain Institute in Colorado, where I gained first hand experience in climate science and wilderness expeditions. Barack Obama had just been elected president and climate change was entering the public consciousness—by the time I got back, I knew I had found my calling.” 

Today, Dr. Balter-Kennedy is a postdoctoral scholar at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and conducts research around the globe to address ice sheet stability and subglacial erosion. “Whether I’m conducting fieldwork in Antarctica or analyzing data in the lab, I love what I do,” she says. “I hope future generations of Dana Hall students continue to find joy in the sciences and follow their own path.”