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TREX 2018 Day 9: Two Beaches in One Day

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TREX 2018 Day 9: Two Beaches in One Day

By James Pruegsanusak ‘19

Today is another moving day. We moved out of the second place near Kilauea in the Southeastern part of the island to Hapuna Beach in the Northwestern area. Due to the geology of the island, we finally got to go from the rain to the sun. On the way there, we made a stop at Waipio valley.

The Waipio lookout sign.

The view from the Waipio lookout.

“I now have a photo to send to my mom,” said Josh.


At the lookout was a majestic view of the high cliff. We walked down a steep road (only four-wheel drives allowed), which led us to a beach. Along the path, there were a lot of trees whose branches created interesting patterns. We even saw a few horses when we almost arrived at the beach.

The steep path down to the beach.

A pond and trees along the path.

A horse next to the beach

The beach was covered by black sand. Everyone had a good time, and Josh and David even jumped into the water with a GoPro camera.

Meghan and Ju by the beach.

The two TAs, Josh and Ben.

While Ju and Meghan made another stop in Waimea to buy some groceries, the rest went to the new place first and unpacked. It’s called Hapuna Beach A-frames, as the beach is just a five minute walk away. In six A-frames, two bathrooms, and a large common cabin, our group basically occupied the whole area.

A Hapuna Beach A-frame, our new home for the next five nights.

We checked out the beach for a bit, and the sunset was sure rewarding. Since the public talk will be on Monday, we’ll have a few days left to do more soil chemistry, analyze data, and prepare the presentation at this new place.

Sunset by the beach.

Sunset behind my cabin.

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.