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2018 NSPS Student Competition Announcement

Wednesday, May 17, 2017  
Posted by: Amber Carpenter
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The 2018 NSPS Student Competition will be held in conjunction with a joint conference of four (4) professional land surveying associations: The Nevada Association of Land Surveyors (NALS), The Western Federation of Professional Surveyors (WestFed), the Arizona  Professional Land Surveyors (APLS) and the Utah Council of Land Surveyors (UCLS) to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The conference will be either February 21st thru the 24th , or February 28th thru March 3rd . The actual competition may begin a day or two earlier than the actual conference. The exact dates are still being negotiated.


The topic for the 2018 competition is Surveying Service”. You might think of it this way: “What would you do if you had an opportunity to be part of a team traveling to a developing country to provide surveying and mapping in support of an engineering design or construction project such as a community well, small bridge, new school or roadway/utility corridor?”


Many surveyors, students, and practitioners, have opportunities to work on projects in developing countries. This might be through organizations such as Engineers without Borders or other local, national or international organizations. One of the challenges they face is that they often must survey without all the “comforts of home” and go back to the basics. Sometimes this means that you are using outdated equipment that you see for the first time upon arrival, and sometimes it means that you have essentially nothing and must improvise and be particularly creative and clever to get the job done….and everything in between.


This year’s competition will be a head to head surveying and mapping competition. Teams will be given a parcel of land and using a very basic set of equipment complete, a project scenario meant to mimic what one might find on such short service trips. Teams will be given one day to do their field work, and a second day to create their map and prepare a presentation. On the third day, they will present their project and map to a panel of judges.


This year’s competition will require very little, if any, technical preparation before attendance, so that the earlier conference date should not be a concern. The final instructions are still being drafted, but what we know is that teams will be given a short list of equipment to bring. It will be the sort of stuff that is commonly used, easy to travel with, and not at high risk for theft or damage.


It is hoped that this year’s competition will accomplish three (3) specific things:

  1. Address the feedback from many students that they would like a head to head competition for a change.
  2. Limit the amount of “pre-competition” preparation so that more schools can attend for the first time.
  3. Help students see ways that they can utilize their professional skills to serve those less fortunate in a meaningful way.


Once the conference dates are finalized, the competition instructions will be drafted, circulated and placed on the NSPS website. We expect this to be on or before July 1, 2017.


For more information, questions and to be on the “direct” email list for future competition

information, please contact Competition Coordinator, Rich Vannozzi at

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

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