Point of Beginning

Remembering ACSM 2005

June 1, 2005


Luckily, not everything that "happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" as the slogan for Sin City now goes, and POB is happy to report on the 2005 American Congress on Surveying and Mapping Annual Conference and Technology Exhibition that took place in Las Vegas March 19-23. About 1,500 attendees "anted up" at the event co-hosted by the California Land Surveyors Association (CLSA), the Nevada Association of Land Surveyors (NALS) and the Western Federation of Professional Surveyors (WFPS). This year's host venue offered visitors a "sinfully" good array of sunshine, entertainment and social events like no place else, and an impressive lineup of speakers, technical workshops and networking opportunities. More than 70 exhibitors displayed the latest and greatest (and the older, still significant and valuable) technology, instrumentation, products and services. Continuing education credits continued to draw attendees to workshops and technology labs. And numerous individuals found themselves in the spotlight as award winners. Here's a snapshot.

ACSM Awards Ceremony and NSPS Surveying Excellence Award

The annual ACSM awards ceremony honored the following individuals for the noted awards:
  • Matthew P. Gotham, Ferris State University, Berntsen International Scholarship in Surveying
  • Nicholas Robert Malizia, Clark University, CaGIS Scholarship
  • Tae-Suk Bae, Ohio State University, AAGS Graduate Fellowship Award
  • Steven J. Novak, Ferris State University, AAGS Joseph F. Dracup Scholarship
  • Joseph Ryan LaBranche, University of Maine-Orono; and Buku Saliz, University of Alaska-Anchorage, NSPS Scholarships
  • David Gutierrez, California State University, ACSM Fellow Scholarship
  • James B. Gillis, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi; and Branden Lee Langley, New Mexico State University, Schonstedt Scholarship in Surveying
  • Alissa T. Pempek, University of Alaska-Anchorage, Mary Feindt Forum for Women in Surveying Scholarship
  • Katie R. Blake, St. Cloud State University, NSPS Board of Governors Scholarship
  • Katie R. Blake, St. Cloud State University, Nettie Dracup Memorial Scholarship
  • Alissa T. Pempek, University of Alaska-Anchorage, Cady McDonnell Memorial Scholarship
  • Steven J. Novak, Ferris State University, Tri State Surveying and Photogrammetry Kris M. Kunze Memorial Scholarship
  • Dr. David A. Woodward, Earle J. Fennell Award

Robert E. Church, executive director for the Illinois Professional Land Surveyors Association, was honored with the NSPS Surveying Excellence Award, proudly sponsored by POB magazine. In his 31-year career, Church has complemented the noble profession of surveying in many beneficial ways. A most notable endeavor, and the one in which we applaud him, is the Abraham Lincoln Surveyor Statue Project. Raising more funds than initially necessary, Church commissioned sculptor John McClarey to create a full-size bronze statue of Lincoln at 25 years old as a surveyor. In addition to overseeing and handling all logistics of the project, including those related to the artists, artwork and specifics of its unveiling on Oct. 4, 2003, Church obtained permission from the Illinois Historic Preserva-tion agency to place the statue on land owned by the state of Illinois. It is estimated that more than one million visitors to the Springfield, Ill., area will learn about land surveying and the role it played in Lincoln's life and career. Sincere congratulations and thanks go to Mr. Church from the staff of POB. For more information on the project, click HERE.

This year's student competition winners from the Community College of Southern Nevada don period clothing and pose for a moment during their rigorous plane table mapping project.

Student Surveying Competition

The fourth annual NSPS student surveying competition had a record 12 college teams participate in 2005, up from seven teams in 2004. This year's contest centered on plane table mapping. Although many of the gamblers in Las Vegas may have had their money on the three-time returning champions from The University of Akron, the locals were the big winners this year. The Community College of Southern Nevada came in first place, University of Akron came in second, and New Mexico State University came in third. University of Akron also received the Best Costume Award for their Civil War era dress. Remaining participants included teams from the University of Alaska-Anchorage, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona, Ferris State University, University of Florida, Michigan Technological University, Old Dominion University, Oregon Institute of Technology, Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi and Troy University. Next year's competition will center on the topic of astronomic surveying.

Managing Editor Kimberly Jensen congratulates this year's chain throwing winner, Marvin Myers of Michigan.

Surveying Sports Competition

University of Akron student Joel Metzger once again oversaw the Survey Chain Throwing contest at this year's Surveying Sports Competition held on March 22. Continuing its annual sponsorship, POB magazine supported the eighth annual game of chain throwing and coordinated a first place prize with Allen Precision Equipment of a $300 gift certificate. Top honors went to Ferris State University professor Marvin Myers, one of last year's runners-up. Myers clocked in at 40 seconds-six seconds faster than the winning time in 2004. Myers was closely followed by last year's winner, Ferris State student Paul Heintz, at 41 seconds. Coming in third at 43 seconds was Richard Brantley of Hattiesburg, Miss. Six other vendors sponsored various other games, including the annual Pacing Event, Guess the Angle, Guess the Elevation Difference, Guess the Bearing, Guess the Distance and Angle Turning Skill.

Additional News and Resources

For details on the 32nd Annual ACSM CaGIS Map Design Competition winners, click to www.acsm.net. Various session papers presented at the conference are also available. The ACSM Spring Conference 2006 will be held in Orlando, Fla., from April 21-26.