Field Notes Archives

Trial by Fire: First Party Chief Experience

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This entry is part 6 of 31 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 7 of 31 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 […]

The DPPS Controversy

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This entry is part 8 of 31 in the series Field Notes

Why NALS should oppose the direct Point Positioning Survey (DPPS) policy outlined in the letter from NLM director Kornze to the governor of Alaska. (One Nevada surveyor’s opinion.) By Carl C. de Baca Some 86% of Nevada is comprised of Public Lands, and of that 60.8 million acres, according to the BLM’s own website, an […]

What Is a Professional Land Surveyor?

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This entry is part 9 of 31 in the series Field Notes

As I was recently completing the comprehensive NSPS questionnaire developed as a follow-up to the Forum on the Future of Surveying (see Multiple Choices by Gavin Schrock, PLS), I found myself contemplating the many descriptions of land surveyors included along the way. After completing the questionnaire and providing some personal feedback, I couldn’t help but […]

Technology: the Bane of Surveying Traditions?

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This entry is part 10 of 31 in the series Field Notes

I have been surveying going on 39 years now. It’s a darn good thing I have succeeded, or at least survived in this profession, because I never really learned how to do anything else. Never really wanted to. As I have watched our profession change drastically over that time, mostly driven by technology and the […]

“Sea Level Datum of 1929” — Did You Know?

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This entry is part 11 of 31 in the series Field Notes

I recently was consulted about the use of the term “Sea Level Datum of 1929” on plans and in engineering reports dating from the 1940-60s. The inquirer was concerned that this possibly meant that the work was based on something other than the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 (NGVD 29). As is often the […]