If you’re planning a surveying career in Nebraska, there are a couple of interesting things you should know according to Professional Surveyors Association of Nebraska (PSAN) president Jeremy Feusner. “First, county surveyors are authorized to establish lost or obliterated corners set in the original government survey. Any other Nebraska registered land surveyor can only establish any corner not set in the original survey,” he explains. “The other great thing we have is a Survey Record Repository at the Office of the Nebraska State Surveyor. This is a huge advantage over states who do not have such a repository.”
Boasting around 222 members, PSAN membership is holding steady with no shortage of interesting projects for land surveyors looking to explore what the state has to offer.
What would you say is the marquee survey project(s) in Nebraska?
A few people noted the importance of the resurvey of the north boundary of Nebraska. The Interstate 80 project was also a large project for the state. From a boundary perspective, the resurvey of over 300 townships and establishment of brass caps along with the Independent Resurveys by W.W. Alt are well known in Nebraska.
As far as what’s going on right now … Throughout Nebraska, and especially the Missouri River area, there is significant work being done related to the 2019 flood damage.
What would you say is the majority type of work available to land surveyors in Nebraska?
There are obviously several variables that drive what survey work is being completed, such as the size of the company, geography, and specialization. We really have a little bit of about everything. Speaking in generalities, the majority of the work statewide is boundary surveying. The eastern portion of the state and near the metropolitan areas conducts significant survey work related to subdivision and land development, along with infrastructure construction staking.
What do you think is affecting the growth of the land surveying profession the most in Nebraska?
Overwhelmingly, our members feel that lack of awareness is the main reason for not recruiting people into the surveying profession. It seems like many people don’t know what a land surveyor does until they need one.
From a land surveying standpoint, our profession continues to change along with new technology. The basic principles are the same, but the use of the internet, UAV, GPS and GIS has changed how we complete our day-to-day work significantly. The days of 3-man crews is nearly extinct with one- and two-man crews being the norm. We have less entry level positions than before because the work can now be completed with less people.
What rules or laws are on the books that are having the most impact on land surveying?
We have a couple issues our lobbyists continue to monitor. One is LB946, a legislative bill that would implement sales tax on professional services. We are also monitoring the push to eliminate licensure and regulation of certain services.
From an association standpoint, the PSAN Board is working to revise the minimum standards for surveys. The current minimum standards were adopted by PSAN in 1989 and subsequently adopted by the Nebraska Board of Examiners for Land Surveyors into the Rules and Regulations. It was decided by the PSAN Board that it would be beneficial to update these standards to the current survey practices since they are now over 30 years old. We continue to work with our members to gain their input and draft more modern standards for future adoption.
About how large is the Professional Surveyors Association of Nebraska? How many members? Compared to previous years, is membership growing or staying steady?
The Professional Surveyors Association of Nebraska (PSAN) currently has 222 members. Our membership numbers have held fairly steady declining, and is down nearly 10 percent from 10 years ago. The Southeast Nebraska Land Surveyors Association (SENLSA) currently has 96 total members. Of those 96 members, 80 of those are also PSAN members.
Do you measure the ethnic diversity of your membership? Why or why not?
To my knowledge, our association has never measured our ethnic diversity. I suppose the “why not” simply comes down to the question never being asked. Membership to our association is simply meeting the requirements of one of the various membership types and paying the respective dues. Many of our members regularly attend our annual conference. With our relatively small group, many of us know each other either through the Association or through other personal/professional relationships.
How do you feel the PSAN has developed and grown over the years?
Our PSAN Board continues to work on being a proactive professional organization, not just an association that hands out continuing education hours. With that said though, we have been working hard in past years to improve our conference experience to maintain a high level of surveying expertise and educate our members.
We strive to provide a variety of topics where all surveyors can benefit. As a part of these conferences, we have also worked to improve our “Pre-Exam Workshop” for our aspiring land surveyors. We constantly seek feedback and have a group of dedicated land surveyors who prepare and present pertinent topics that will help our aspiring land surveyors attain licensure.
Another growth area for PSAN has been our involvement with NSPS. While we have had NSPS involvement for quite some time, we have more involvement now since we have gone to 100 percent membership. Information sharing and communication at the national level has allowed us to be a part of the issues affecting our entire country.
Do survey professionals need their license to be involved with the PSAN?
No. Our constitution has seven levels of membership. The most appropriate level for a non-licensed individual is the associate member. For this membership, our constitution states the following:
Associate Member – Any person engaged in surveying and interested in becoming a Nebraska Registered Land Surveyor or any student with a sincere interest in surveying shall, upon the recommendation of an Active Member, be eligible to apply for membership as an Associate Member. Associate membership does not include membership voting rights.
Once an individual becomes a member, they can indicate on their annual renewal if they are interested in serving on the board or on a committee.