I recently had the chance to meet Maryland Senator Ben Cardin while he and his wife were visiting Panama and STRI. As a Maryland native with over 10 years in Baltimore and a UMBC alum twice-over I was very excited to get to meet some folks from home and to share about my work at STRI using drones for mapping tropical forest canopy phenology. Of course I was also proud to represent UMBC and my work in the Ecosynth lab at GES (thanks for the camo hat Jared). I gave a short introduction talk about my work and our STRI drone team and then we gave a brief flight demo over the fields in Gamboa. Afterwards I got the chance to take this great snapshot with the Senator and his wife and also our latest beast the 'QuadCruce' (a.k.a. Quad-Cross), which sports 16" APC props and recently packed in a 50 minute flight over the 50 ha plot under high winds (> 20 kph, or >12 mph at ground level). Back to work, I will have to post an update soon about some of the actual research we have been doing here, capturing the dynamics of the tropical forest canopy in ways never before possible!