Field Notes Archives

Surveying Scientists: The USGS Does It Right

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This entry is part of 28 in the series Field Notes

As is often the case in our tightly networked profession, one thing leads to another. In early 2017 I was contacted by the US Geological Survey (USGS) hydrologist, Brenda Densmore, from the USGS Nebraska Water Science Center. Brenda had found me through the NGS State Geodetic Coordinator web page and reached out to me for […]

Getting out Is a Good Thing

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This entry is part 1 of 28 in the series Field Notes

Field Notes Although I have been active in the surveying profession in several ways over the years, including serving as the editor of Field Notes, I really haven’t ventured out much to seek face-to-face encounters in various venues and settings, but that recently changed a bit and has produced a new perspective for me. In […]

Professional Service or Commodity?

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This entry is part 2 of 28 in the series Field Notes

A Surveyor’s Thoughts on the QBS Process Editor’s Note: This month’s installment of Field Notes was submitted by James Nicolau IV, PLS, on the merits of using the quality-based selection (QBS) process to select surveyors for construction-staking services beyond where it is required under the Brooks Act (Public Law 95-582). When the QBS process is […]

Are HARNs on Death Row?

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This entry is part 3 of 28 in the series Field Notes

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 […]

Trial by Fire: First Party Chief Experience

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This entry is part 4 of 28 in the series Field Notes

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 […]

The Contrarian on The Young Surveyors Network

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This entry is part 5 of 28 in the series Field Notes

The Young Surveyors Network: Is This the Right Approach? Point-Counterpoint Editor’s note (Scott P. Martin): One of the biggest concerns and discussions our profession has these days is regarding the diminishing numbers of young people discovering and pursuing our profession. Combine that with the advancing average age of licensed professional surveyors across the country, other […]