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TREX 2018 Day 15: Sensors and Green Sand

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TREX 2018 Day 15: Sensors and Green Sand

By Joey Noszek ’20

I know that I stated in a previous blog that the work part of TREX was over. Well, I was not entirely correct. There was still some work to do today, though not much. We are leaving some sensors behind on the island when we leave, so we had to place those sensors. In the morning, TA Ben grabbed Ju, Meghan, and I for this job. Then, we went on our way. We went to three sites: the Ocean View air quality station, the Volcano School, and the Pahala air quality station. At each site, we placed a particle sensor and an SO2 sensor.

Afterward, we decided to go to a green sand beach. To get to the green sand beach, one must follow a three-mile trail that goes by the coast. I expected the trail to simply be a means to reach the beach. However, it ended up being part of the fun. The field around us and the ocean to our right formed a wonderful scenery through which to walk. When we arrived at the beach, we went into the water for a time. Then, we got back on the trail to return to our car.

Green Sand Beach Trail

Green Sand Beach

On the walk back, we were surprised to see some extra movement in the ocean. We got to witness a whale’s spray. Though we never saw the whale, this was cool enough. When we reached the car, we drove the short distance to South Point and watched the sunset one more time.

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.