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NSW Report to NSPS Board

Monday, March 5, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Amber Carpenter
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Report to NSPS Board of Directors

Frank Lenik, PLS

The theme for this year’s National Surveyors Week is communication. If you have received my emails, then we have been successful. If not, then this is an example of something which needs to be addressed by our organization. Communication is a two-way street and when executed well creates a level of understanding between parties. We have all taken those contract seminars which talk about a meeting of the minds, and this is precisely the nature of our focus this year.

A few years ago, then vice-president Cavell placed National Surveyors Week under the charge of the publicity committee, understanding then that the purpose of NSW is to get the word out. That the land surveying profession is vital to a stable democracy where land ownership is the basis for most family wealth accumulation. He never directed how it should be done, only that it become a part of the bigger picture of how the National Society of Surveyors engage with our constituents and the public.

There are many ways to address surveyors in general and the public and we have continued in those tried and true veins. The National Society has emailed every state director, every state society executive director or managing agent, and every state society president whose email addresses could be obtained. If you have not received that email, please let us know. Please also check with your society president and executive director to see whether they have received those emails and how they have followed up. The need to directly reach the surveyors in your state is vital to the overall health and wellbeing of NSPS.  We ask this only as a follow up exercise as there has been little feedback from the various states to the National Society about what they are doing locally. 

NSPS is again working with NOAA and the National Geodetic Survey on how to improve the geoid models for elevation so we can move towards better elevations from our instruments and migrate our data, both vertical and horizontal in 2022. This is a call for more GPS on Benchmark observations. We have done this for years but it is still an important educational tool for surveyors and the public. Many of you are already alerting the public and political entities in our regions through displays, news articles and proclamations. But there is more work to be done.

I often hear surveyors lament about how GIS has negatively affected our profession. This is a misunderstanding of the problem caused by a misreading of the symptoms. GIS was perhaps the second major event caused by the democratization of technology in our field. The hand-held calculator was probably the first but I expect this will cause many discussions (steel tape, edm, etc). The development of hand held computing devices coupled with GNSS antennas has placed the ability to locate oneself on the earth at everyone’s finger tips. Everyone now has an answer, but few know where it comes from or how it was determined.

This is an opportunity for the National Society of Professional Surveyors, and every state society to stake our claim as the experts in mapping points on the Earth. We can do that by opening our umbrella a little wider and reaching out to all those organizations who are using mapping tools in their work. This means departments of transportation, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the United States Geological Survey, the Department of the Interior, universities and technical schools, construction companies, geographic information systems purveyors, drone operators and others who may possess the tools but not the understanding of accuracy and precision. It should be an educational effort not a prescriptive effort, using our knowledge as doorway to attract new members and perhaps even new customers.

This is a call to arms that each one of you speak with, call, write or email someone in your circle and invite them to participate in National Surveyors Week. Remember that we are following in the footsteps of your forebears, Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and so many others. Rise to the challenge and make a difference.

More About Surveyor's Week

The purpose of Surveyors Week is to bring visibility to the profession. During Surveyors Week, land surveyors across the nation celebrate by educating the public on what they do & why it is important; encouraging students to consider surveying as a career choice; and participating in activities that promote and bring awareness to the surveying profession.  All licensees, governmental agencies, technical professional organizations and citizens groups are encouraged to join the celebration. Click here to read "National Surveyors Week, what's it all about?" by Frank Lenik, PLS

There are a number of ways that you can participate in Surveyor's Week.

  • Observe GPS on local (and visible!) benchmarks
  • Request a proclamation at your local government
  • Make a presentation:
    • Introduce elementary, junior high and senior high school students to the surveying profession. Surveyors in many areas stage demonstrations of new surveying technologies or displays of ancient and modern surveying instruments to which students and the public are invited.
    • Hold a panel discussion at Chamber of Commerce, Professional Association or University.
    • Collaborate with a STEM effort: Have a pacing contest, or have kids hold a 360 prism and try to "outrun" a robotic instrument.
  • Help with a surveying merit badge: One of the most challenging badges to earn is the surveying merit badge. As a licensed land surveyor, consider visiting a local troop to teach them about the tools you use and the importance of land surveying.
  • Prepare a Trig-Star competition - The National Society of Professional Surveyor’s Trig-Star program-through which a surveyor works with local high schools to promote a math competition in trigonometry is a ready made activity that can be used in conjunction with Surveyors Week. Please contact the NYSAPLS office if you are interested in participating in the Trig-Star program, 518-432-4046 or via email,
  • Sponsor or Advertise at other conference and events to promote Land Surveyors.

Helpful Volunteer Kit Available for Download from NSPS
For more ideas and step-by-step assistance, download the 2018 Surveyors Week Volunteer Kit.

NEW! Photo Contest!

The NYSAPLS Public Relations Committee has come up with a regional challenge for National Surveyors Week. To highlight the Land Surveying profession the Committee has created "A Day in the Life of a Surveyor" photo contest. Everyone is invited to take and submit one or more surveying related pictures from across the entire state. The goal will be to showcase the broad spectrum of activities, from deed research, boundary survey, topographic, utility studies, drones, 3D scanning, precise layout for steel erection, tunnel work, bridge work, etc. Photos could also show how you participate in surveyors week. Above all, the Public Relations Committee wants you to show your profession and make it public by sharing on Facebook, Twitter and with NYSAPLS.

To Enter Contest: Email photos to Heather at or share online using the hashtag #surveyorsweek and tag @nysapls so we can re-tweet it!

Here are some helpful tips for your photos:

  • Include an image with people!
  • Use humor
  • Make it personal
  • Tell a story
  • Show off your work (landmarks, historical scenes)

The winner of the photo contest will have their picture featured as the ESS cover shot for a future issue of the Empire State Surveyor!



146 Washington Avenue
Land Surveyors Building
Albany, NY 12210
518-432-4046 -- (f) 518-432-4055

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