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TREX 2018 Day 13: Presenting our work

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TREX 2018 Day 13: Presenting our work

By Meghan Reisenauer ‘19

Monday was the big day of our public presentation! In the morning, we did a final edit to the slides and ran through what we would say again. Our professors asked to hear our final talk at 11, so after getting their feedback and questions, we changed a few things.

Then we were able to take a few hours’ break before leaving for the talk! Although we were just next to Hapuna beach, we hadn’t been there yet during the day, as we’ve been working on our presentation pretty much from morning until bed. All of us went down to enjoy the sand between our toes and the Hawaiian waves for a while together.

Hapuna beach on Monday

We headed to Kona around 3:30 to make it to the talk, which was at 5. The organizer of the event, Rod (who was an MIT Course 6 alum!), gave us a brief tour of the facility, which is cooled by the tropical air and seawater, and uses solar panels for power. At first, almost no one was at the venue, but then more people arrived. Most were retired scientists and engineers who are interested in science on the island.

They all seemed to really enjoy our talk and asked some interesting questions of us afterward. One member of the audience was an MIT alumnus, who requested that we all sing the MIT fight song (otherwise known as the beaver call). To my surprise, I was the only student there who knew the song, so I swallowed my pride for a moment and performed it for the crowd, who were all very appreciative. 🙂

It felt great to share what we’d been working on for the past week! After our talk, we had some refreshments and mingled with the attendees. We knew that later in the week we would be paddling canoes in the bay, and it turned out that three of the audience members are frequent paddlers! They all said they would see us Thursday morning when we came for our paddling lesson.

After the presentation, we went to a restaurant for a rare treat to a dinner out. When we finally made our way back home, everyone was exhausted and went straight to bed. We were all excited for our trip up to the Mauna Kea summit the next day! Check back later for a blog about our time on top of the world! 🙂

Hapuna in the evening


Every year, a group of MIT students and professors travel to the Big Island of Hawaii to gain fieldwork experience through TREX (Traveling Research Environmental EXperiences). The first TREX trip was held in 2000, and since launching has taken students on research activities in domestic and international settings. For more undergraduate opportunities, click here.