Survey party chief Allen Shaffett (Uintah Engineering & Land Surveying) has been working in the land surveying profession for seven years. “I used to do survey drafting. Occasionally I was sent into the field,” he explains. “I enjoyed being outdoors much more than the office, so I asked to be moved to the field crew full-time.”

On this recent day, an unexpected apprentice (on the left) joined him in the field while slope staking a new well pad for a gas well. 

“Nothing technical. Just a lot of stakes,” says Shaffett, who completes mostly oil and gas work. “I encounter lots of different wildlife, mostly snakes. I’m also into geology, so I’m always on the lookout for unique stones and rock formations.” 

Other than that, the most difficult part of his job is the weather: Hot and dry in the summer. Cold and windy in the winter. 

“It’s pretty dry here,” he says, but it is the perfect climate for his apprentice.

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A version of this article originally appeared in the July 2020 issue of POB Magazine.