Meet Sam the Surveyor
Credentials: B.S. Civil Engineering Technology, University of Tennessee-Martin
State where you reside: Tennessee
Registered/licensed in: Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama
Positions/Companies: Land surveyor, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); private boundary consultant, Savage Surveying & Mapping P.C.; adjunct faculty member, Cleveland State Community College
Responsibilities: Provide survey support services for the operation and administration of the TVA reservoir and power system (84,000 sq. mi. service area); provide expert witness services; teach geomatics, GIS and continuing education seminars
Year started in profession: 1981
How you started in the profession: "At age 11 I saw a surveyor on the side of the road and from that time on that's all I ever wanted to do for a living."
What you like best about land surveying: "I love every aspect of surveying-the constant quest for the truth and the challenge it provides."
What grinds you: "Surveyors who sell out to title companies. Surveyors who refuse to grow and learn. Surveyors who spend no time at all learning the qualitative principles (common law, etc.) that are the bedrock for our profession."
What keeps you going in your job: "The constant challenge required to stay on top and the internal drive to learn about my profession."
Best surveying memories: "Settling boundary disputes out of court... unraveling ancient surveying mysteries and [hearing] the high-pitched whine of a metal locator that just found the pin everyone told you didn't exist."
Weirdest memory: "Retracing the surveys of Thoreau on Walden Pond and finding the corners that Thoreau himself had set 150 years [ago]."
Accessories you can't leave home without: "Compass, tape and solar-powered calculator."
Personal philosophy: Esse quam videri ("To be rather than to seem").
Contributions you've made to the profession: "[I have been] constantly promoting surveying and actively seeking venues to explain the profession. I also believe it is each surveyor's reponsibility to insure the next generation of surveyors is properly trained and I do all I can to that end."
Greatest personal accomplish-ments: "The establishment of the Surveying/GPS/GIS A.S. degree program at Cleveland State Community College [and the establishment of my] private practice for 10 years."
Reason why you're a role model for future surveyors: "It is my daily goal to define the profession by serving with thought and integrity."
How surveyors can ensure their future success in the industry: "A surveyor is to be an expert in measurement and applied history. To maintain this expertise, surveyors must make learning a daily priority. Surveying is no longer subjugated to the field of engineering; surveyors have to realize this and act accordingly."