When Patty Solecki returned to Albion College in southern Michigan last month to start her junior year, she had a different story to tell about what she did over her summer vacation. While many of her peers were waiting on tables, flipping burgers and stocking merchandise, Solecki spent the summer working on a survey crew. It wasn't something she ever expected to do, but the experience will be invaluable for her future.
Resting within the 1,050,000 acres of Northern California's Sonoma County are 58,665 acres of vineyard lands, home to 191 wineries and more than 1,100 grape growers. One of these passionate grape growers is Ray Carlson, PLS, president and founder of Ray Carlson & Associates Inc. of Santa Rosa, Calif. With his unique background as both a surveyor and grape grower, Carlson understands and provides for the needs of his region's niche industry.
Boasting increased attendance and more sponsors, SPAR 2006, the third annual conference for the laser scanning industry, showcased the latest technology in this field and provided a robust forum for learning about its applications. The conference, organized by Spar Point Research of Danvers, Mass., was held March 27-28 in Sugar Land, Texas. Four hundred and twenty-seven people registered for this year's event, raising attendance 16 percent from last year.
"I'm known for being a grade point average wrecker," says Roy Frank, PLS, an assistant professor in the civil and environmental engineering department at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, which offers 27 credits of surveying courses. "Getting an "A' out of me is very tough. "A' is excellent, and I don't water down grades at all," he says. Frank believes that demanding a lot from his surveying students is the way to get them to rise to their potential, and he is satisfied his technique is working.