Invest time in the future of the profession—fill out the questionnaire!Editor’s note: This column continues to provide monthly coverage of the Forum on the Future of Surveying (FFOS): a national initiative with representatives from 15 key surveying-related associations to examine paths forward for the profession. See the first installment in our March issue.
One of the key topics discussed at the inaugural (January 2016) meeting of the Forum on the Future of Surveying was how to come up with ideas to encourage surveyors to invest in the future of the profession. Here is an easy one: provide feedback to guide the forum by filling out the (initial) online questionnaire. The forum began with representatives from the participating surveying-related associations and organizations but does not end there—your participation is essential.
The questionnaire (not a survey or poll) is derived directly from the report of the inaugural meeting (download here): topics and ideas that came from the moderated discussions. The next phase is for the participating associations and organizations to gather feedback from their respective officers and/or general membership and to present this feedback at the June 2016 meeting. This feedback will guide and focus further activities of the forum and any initiatives that such discussions may bear.
The National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) has developed this online questionnaire as a mechanism for its members to submit feedback, both through the canned multiple-choice questions but also via open comments sections. The questionnaire is available as a resource for any and all of the other participating associations and organizations.
The questionnaire should take only five to ten minutes to complete, but the feedback can have a big impact. The questionnaire, of course, does not represent all facets of dialogue on the future of the profession; it is just the start. Please avoid general venting (this is not a YouTube “comments” section), but do add ideas that the forum may have overlooked.
As an aside, you might notice that the name of the commercial online questionnaire vendor used for this exercise has the word “survey” in the title. This highlights one of the discussion points: how little the public knows of surveying and how terms get misused.
A few topics covered in the questionnaire:
- Ideas for educating the profession, the public, and the education community
- Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for the profession
- Image, branding, and messaging
- Outreach and recruitment
- “Elevator speeches” (how to explain surveying to non-surveyors)
An additional (optional) question has been added to help the NSPS compile a comprehensive list of surveying and geomatics programs in the U.S. (surprisingly no such list exists). Preliminary lists have about 100 programs, but to verify and augment we ask if you to list all of the programs you can think of in your state/locality.