By Joey Noszek ’20
Our last day in Hawaii was interesting. We began the day by canoeing in the Pacific Ocean. Afterward, we toured a coffee plantation in Kona. And we ended the day with dinner at Kanaka Kava, a kava bar, where I finally had some genuine Hawaiian pork. But I do not want to talk about today. No, I would rather reflect on this trip.
Hawaii is a beautiful place. I have been told that many times throughout my life and I was finally able to confirm it for myself. I have also been told, though, that I would not want to leave. That is something with which I cannot agree. While Hawaii is a great place to visit, I have a love for the bustle of cities that cannot be overshadowed by any physical beauty. I guess that this is proof that I belong in the Systems Core. Now, I only visited the Big Island. If I went to Honolulu, my outlook may be different as it is much more urban and they are currently building a new rail transit system there.
This was my second experience in research and I must say that it was substantially more exhilarating than the first. There is something about field work. Something arose from going out into the world and collecting data that gave me a particular feeling of ownership. I wanted to complete the project because I felt that it was my research. In addition, this research confirmed my love for data analysis. While I did not enjoy performing data analysis for the long durations that occurred on this trip, I definitely felt enjoyment for a significant chunk of the analysis time. There is a certain joy that comes from scouring a mountain of data until you create some representation of the data that actually makes sense.
And now that I am done blogging about TREX, here is a sunset.
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.