Point of Beginning

Newsline

April 1, 2007
Proposed Bill Reduces Educational Requirements for New Jersey Surveyors; Arkansas Bill Sets Term Limits for State Surveyors; Galileo Launches New Satellite; and Tulsa Community College Offers New Degree Program.



Proposed Bill Reduces Educational Requirements for New Jersey Surveyors

In December 2006, New Jersey Assemblyman Wilfredo Caraballo introduced Bill A-3753, proposing revisions to the minimum qualifications land surveyors and surveyors-in-training need to receive licensure and certificates of registration.

The current licensure standards for New Jersey specify that applicants must have a four-year degree in surveying and an additional six years of experience before taking the state test to become a licensed surveyor. Also, under the current law, the holder of a four-year engineering degree can become a licensed surveyor by obtaining at least three years of surveying experience and completing 30 to 45 surveying credits, following a transcript review determining which surveying courses are needed to fulfill a specific school’s surveying degree program.

Bill A-3753 proposes to reduce the amount of education required for a candidate to be eligible to take the surveyors’ examinations. Under the proposed legislation, a four-year engineering degree holder would need only 12 credits of surveying courses and three years of experience to be eligible for the test. Applicants with a two-year surveying degree and six years of experience would also be eligible to take the test. Additionally, the new law would allow graduates with “successful completion of high school; and at least an additional 15 years of apprenticeship under the supervision of a State licensed surveyor” to take the licensure exam.

The New Jersey Society of Professional Land Surveyors (NJSPLS) is opposing the bill. “[The proposed bill] would lower professional standards and expose consumers to poor quality work,” says NJSPLS Executive Director Mark Husik. Husik, along with other society members, is encouraging surveyors to contact members of the Assembly Regulated Professions (ARP) and Independent Authorities Committee in Trenton, N.J., to express their opposition to proposed Bill A-3753. In February, NJSPLS delivered a petition signed by more than 600 of its members to New Jersey Governor John Corzine requesting his support to retain the current educational and regulatory standards to license surveyors in New Jersey.

To view Bill A-3753, visit www.njleg.state.nj.us/


Arkansas Bill Sets Term Limits for State Surveyors

Arkansas Senator Jerry Taylor introduced Senate Bill 190 on January 30 to limit the term of office for the Arkansas State Surveyor. Under the current Arkansas law, the State Surveyor is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Commissioner of State Lands, after the Commissioner consults with the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors and the Arkansas Society of Professional Surveyors (ASPS). The State Surveyor heads the Land Survey Division of the Commissioner’s office and serves until he or she is dismissed by the Commissioner. According to Arkansas law, the State Surveyor’s primary functions are to establish, maintain and preserve “land monuments, section corners and other physical accessories” of the U.S. Public Land Survey within the state of Arkansas and to serve under the Commissioner, who is an elected constitutional officer.

The proposed bill would set four-year terms for the State Surveyor with a limit of eight years of service. Under the proposed legislation, a newly elected Commissioner of State Lands would not be authorized to reappoint the State Surveyor from the previous administration. Bill 190 specifies that State Surveyors would serve a term that runs “concurrently with the term of the Commissioner,” and removes language stating that the State Surveyor serves at the pleasure of the Commissioner.

ASPS members aware of the bill and in opposition of it have contacted Arkansas House Representatives to request that it be defeated. “[The bill] would take away from a constitutional officer of the state of Arkansas the right to choose the person he or she feels is the best person to fill the position of State Surveyor,” says Marie Dugan, ASPS president for the 2006-2007 year. “It is our position that the interests of the people of the state of Arkansas and the surveying community are best met by defeating this legislation.”

At press time, Senate Bill 190 had passed the Senate Committee, the Senate and the House Committee. Dugan says there is a proposed amendment to the bill to be considered. “This will call for additional consideration by the legislative committees and the legislature, and give us additional opportunities to attempt to get it defeated,” she says.

To view a copy of Senate Bill 190, visit www.arprofessionalsurveyors.com/pdfs_docs/SB190%20REVISED.pdf.

Artist’s rendition of China’s Beidou satellite in orbit. Image courtesy of Chinese Defence Today.

China Launches New Satellite

On February 3, China launched its fourth Beidou navigation satellite from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China’s Sichuan province. The Xinhua News Agency reports that the fourth satellite in orbit serves as a backup satellite for the Beidou satellite navigation experimental system, and that it may eventually replace the first Beidou satellite in orbit.

The agency also notes that China has plans to establish a new system, the Compass Navigation Satellite System, on the basis of the Beidou satellite navigation experimental system. The planned system is to include up to 35 satellites, and is anticipated to be fully operational in China and Asia in 2008, and expanded into a global positioning system in the future.



Tulsa Community College Offers New Degree Program

In preparation for the 2006-2007 school year, Oklahoma’s Tulsa Community College (TCC) combined its Civil Engineering Technology and Surveying Technology programs into a new Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Civil Engineering/Surveying Technology. The new degree program adds to TCC’s extensive list of Workforce Development Programs.

“The new program provides graduates with greater career flexibility,” says Civil Engineering/Surveying Technology Program Coordinator Derek Garvin. “It is designed to prepare graduates with the necessary skills and knowledge to work as a civil engineering technician or land surveyor.”

Through the addition of the AAS in Civil Engineering/Surveying Technology degree program, TCC’s primary objectives are to:

• educate and prepare future and existing technicians to become licensed professional surveyors and substantial contributors to the success of the profession;

• assist Oklahoma surveyors in educating the community on the invaluable services surveyors provide;

• host technical and continuing education courses in conjunction with the Oklahoma Society of Land Surveyors (OSLS);

• provide testing facilities for the National Society of Professional Surveyors’ (NSPS) CST certification exam; and

• partner with the Oklahoma Board of Registration for professional engineers and land surveyors to assure that the educational needs of those applying for the Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) and Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS) exams are met.

In addition to the Civil Engineering/Surveying Technology degree program, TCC also offers a certificate in Civil Engineering/Surveying Technology and a Construction Option for the AAS. For additional information on the Civil Engineering/Surveying Technology degree program, visit www.tulsacc.edu/page.asp?durki=1258; for a complete list of TCC’s Workforce Development Programs, visit www.tulsacc.edu/archive/cat06/133-236.pdf#page=25 .