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TREX 2018: Packing and Arriving in Hawaii

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TREX 2018: Packing and Arriving in Hawaii

By Meghan Reisenauer ‘19

Our TREX journey has officially begun! After a refreshing long weekend, our class met up for a few hours on Tuesday to pack up all the equipment. We have lots of testing supplies, both from previous years and ones we’ve built ourselves: last week, each of us built two air particle sensors in class.

The air particle sensors we built.

The sensors went in their own crate, but we had three more big plastic bins to fill. After we spent the day playing Tetris to fit all our equipment in comfortably, we all went home to finish up packing and relax.

At 3:45 am on Wednesday, David, Josh, and I made our way to the airport to meet up with the rest of the group for our 6 am flight to San Francisco. Although some of us had a little trouble passing off our sleeping bags as our carry-on “pillows,” we all made it onto the flight safely. Unfortunately, I did lose my water bottle to the TSA security, but on the bright side I now have a new bottle with the Golden Gate Bridge emblazoned on the side. 🙂

Over the Rocky Mountains.

After the second long flight of the day, we made it to Kona! It was a good thing I got plenty of sleep on the flights; we arrived at the end of our day but near the beginning of Hawaii’s. We got settled into our new homes for the next week or so at Kilauea Military Camp, and relaxed a bit. We are all so excited to finally be here, and so ready for the fieldwork adventures to begin! The plan for tomorrow is a hike on the lava rock; I’ll write another post with updates shortly, be sure to check back soon!

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.