Last week, fellow grad student Maggie and I were asked to do a seemingly impossible task.
Because we travel on a tiny plane to get to Palmyra Atoll, there are both weight and volume limits on the gear we can bring with us. But we also have a mountain of supplies that are critical to getting our science done. So after all the ordering, organizing, and labeling was complete, we stepped up to the plate.
Our challenge: take all of this gear, pack it into 2 standard sized plastic crates, and make sure it weighs less than 100 lbs. Do not leave anything behind.
Maggie and I chuckled, and then sighed, and then set to work. I am a biologist, not a physicist, but I am pretty sure there is no way to shrink matter. We ended up packing everything into THREE boxes and, all together, the gear weighs 180 lbs. That is pretty close, right?