All posts by Scott Martin

surveyors

Surveyors: An Identity Crisis

It seems that during my entire career as a proud professional land surveyor, surveyors have been waging an image battle. We often hear that we aren’t perceived by the public as—or paid on par with—other professionals, such as our next-of-kin, engineers, and even lawyers and doctors. I continually hear and read discussions that we aren’t...

Field Notes Silver Survey

A Silver Survey in My Golden Years

This summer I had the joy of experiencing the best boundary retracement “job” of my 40-year surveying career, and it came about quite by accident. For most of my life I’ve had the privilege of visiting a cabin on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains owned by the family of a childhood friend....

NATRF/NAPGD2022 HARN

Passive Survey Marks Get a “Stay” under the NSRS

My first order of business is to thank Dr. Dru Smith and the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) for their response to my “Are HARNs on Death Row?” article. When I wrote the piece, my objective was to increase awareness and incite action among the surveying community regarding the perpetuation of historical passive survey marks under...

Destiny: I Was Meant to Be a Surveyor

Even though I didn’t realize it at the time, I had two experiences in my youth with direct links to me becoming a surveyor. Were they omens or simply coincidences? There’s no way of knowing, but I like to think they were part of my early survey indoctrination. My father was a high school teacher,...

HARN

Are HARNs on Death Row?

In the late 1980s, the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) launched a program, in cooperation with State partners, to establish a High Accuracy Reference Network (HARN) across the United States. HARN’s History With the rapidly increasing availability and use of GPS equipment, NGS recognized the need to establish a network of high-accuracy, passive survey monuments with...

Whisky Pass Colorado, 1935. Credit: NOAA National Geodetic Survey

Trial by Fire: First Party Chief Experience

As we ponder the many challenges presented by the rapid transformation of the land surveying profession, the topic of mentoring often comes up. I have written about that topic a couple of times in past editions of Field Notes. (The image above is Whisky Pass Colorado, 1935. Credit: NOAA National Geodetic Survey.) I attribute much...