David Schmale is a full professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science at Virginia Tech. He received his B.S. from the University of California, Davis, and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. His laboratory uses drones to sample microorganisms in the lower atmosphere. Many microbes relevant to crops, domestic animals, and humans are transported over long distances in the atmosphere. The ability to track the movement of these microbes in the atmosphere is essential for establishing effective quarantine measures and forecasting disease spread. Popular Science magazine named David one of 2013's Brilliant Ten. David has attracted more than $12M in sponsored research grants in the last decade to support his research program. He is a member of the Academy of Teaching Excellence at Virginia Tech, and works closely with teachers in Virginia to develop unique interdisciplinary lessons for high school students. One of these lessons (Caging the Blob) has been distributed to over 10,000 student users in Virginia in the last four years.