Point of Beginning

Meet Sam the Surveyor

June 1, 2004
This month's candidate: David A. King, PE, LS

Name: David A. King, PE, LS

Owner, A-2 Maps and Surveys, Oakdale, Conn.

Registered/licensed in: Connecticut (PE & LS), New York (LS)

Year started in profession: 1962

How you started in the profession: "My dad's chosen profession was architecture. His employer (and later partner) was a licensed surveyor, engineer, architect and owner of one of the oldest civil engineering and surveying firms in the Northeast-with records [dating] back to 1830! Once I was on a crew and started working, the business of surveying got under my skin and I knew it was what I was destined to do."

What you like best about land surveying: "Helping people and using mathematics."

What grinds you: "The public's lack of understanding of the complexity of the job."

What keeps you going in your job: "A great end product and a happy client."

Best surveying memory: "The accidental discovery of one of the best views in Connecticut. The normal sky view in Connecticut is above the road and about 50 feet wide. But, once in a while some great moments come along. While clearing an uphill line in heavy brush, [I] suddenly broke into the open just below the top of a ledge line. As [I] walked to the top, a western view of 270 degrees and 20 miles was revealed. [I was] on the cut face of an ancient granite quarry 100 feet above a bend in the Connecticut River. It was breathtaking."

Weirdest memory: "While walking down a snow-covered path with a client, I was just off the path looking for fence remains and had walked up an inclined boulder. It was just a short hop off and as I jumped I saw a blur below me. A six-point buck was getting to his feet just as I arrived. Both of us were scared out of our wits. He left in a flash. It took me a second longer to recover!"

Accessories you can't leave home without: "My HP41, a cell phone and the office key."

Personal philosophy: "Treat everyone fairly, do great record research, employ as much art as engineering and enjoy what you do."

Contributions to the profession: "I've shown up every day and have employed [more than] 50 people during my time as an employer."

Greatest personal accomplishments: "Obtaining the license and associated professional recognition that allows me to appear before necessary municipal and state agencies on behalf of"¦ land owners to develop their property within the limits of the law."

Reason why you're a role model for future surveyors: "I have made every effort throughout my life to be humble, honest and hard-working."

How surveyors can ensure future success in the industry: "Communicate, communicate, communicate."