Jonathan and I arrived in at Las Cruses Biological Station, outside of San Vito, early this week.  We are here  to conduct Ecosynth scans of plots in a forest restoration project.  I spent the last few months preparing for my first international research trip and expected all to go as I had planned out in my color-coded spreadsheets.  I even humored Jonathan and added the few extra days he suggested in case some unforeseen event occurred.  I figured I'd use that time to catch up on some reading before the new semester.  We are well into our fourth day and not one thing has gone as I expected.  My leisurely field research experience in the tropics has turned into 15 hour work days filled with nonstop flying, crashing, and repairing.  Luckily we discovered the cause of the frequent crashes, but not before we becoming dangerously close to exhausting our backup supplies.  On an upside, I have gained more experience with troubleshooting and repairing hexacopters in the past four days than all my previous time in the Ecosynth Lab.  Despite all hiccups we have completed 8 of 14 plots remain relatively on schedule which would not have been possible without our collaborator & tour guide Leighton Reid.

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Comment by Erle Ellis on January 21, 2013 at 9:21am
Great work! Sounds like the fieldwork is going just as it always does...
Hope you are getting some flying time too.
Hang in there!

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