In 1984, President Ronald Reagan paid tribute to the surveying and mapping professions when he proclaimed the third week in March “National Surveyors Week.” Reagan noted the role of the surveyor in the historical development of our country. In his 1984 proclamation, Reagan stated that “In the colonial days, surveyors were among the leaders in the community – statesmen, influential citizens, and shapers of cultural standards.” We believe that the same standards hold true today.
Surveying has been around for a long time (it’s one of the oldest professions on the planet), and of course, over time has seen a lot of technological advances. These days, surveyors get to use highly advanced equipment including GPS, CAD and GIS software, and drones, all of which have increased efficiency and accuracy of land surveys.
Sadly, not many people outside of associated professions actually know what land surveyors do. Turns out, we are a lot of things (map makers, boundary finders, historians, leaders, and explorers) and our land survey work is quite valued. Still, current trends show that fewer and fewer high school students are choosing to pursue a future career in land surveying. College curriculums have been decreasing and cutting back surveying education because of a lack of enrollment.
Did you know – the average age of a professional land surveyor is over 55 years. (We won’t reveal what our “number” is here at LSI, but let’s just say it’s close to the average!) Therefore, in the next 10 to 15 years, we expect to see a large number retiring, and most likely, a shortage of land surveyors will exist.
The good news is, land surveyors are aware of this decline and are taking action. The suite of new technologies are bringing exciting new opportunities for young surveyors, and adoption of them can expand our services and bring fresh faces into the field to explore these new emerging technologies.
The goal of National Surveyors Week is to educate the public about the land surveying career through contact, media, and public service. If you are a practicing land surveyor, you should be doing everything you can to support land survey education in your area. Use social media to reach the younger generation, and inspire them by showing what you do, the places you get to visit, and the technology you work with.
What are we, at LSI doing to promote our profession? Cevin currently serves on the Gillette College Engineering Department Advisory Board, where he works to advocate for awareness of surveying and engineering trades through education. Cevin also serves on the Wyoming Board of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors, which encourages professionals to work with schools to introduce engineering and surveying professions to kids in classrooms. Here, Cevin and Jessica share their excitement about land surveying and present an online webmap to 5th graders at Stocktrail Elementary.
This week – March 15-21, 2020 – we invite you to congratulate and thank a Professional Land Surveyor, especially those in our office – Cevin Imus, Ray Scott, and Troy Fields, who continue to represent and promote this honored profession.
Jessica Maycock, GIS Technician. As a GIS technician with Land Surveying Incorporated since 2017, Jessica is responsible for preparing a variety of map deliverables and managing office-wide data through ArcGIS and AutoCAD software. She processes raw survey data and loads it into client-designed geodatabases to meet company data standards. Jessica holds a Master’s Degree in Biology (2006) and has 12 years of previous experience as a wildlife biologist and office manager providing biological consulting services to energy clients in Wyoming.