Meet Sam the Surveyor
Project Manager, Carter and Burgess Inc., Denver, Colo.
Credentials: Associate of applied science degree in engineering technology from Northwest Kansas Technical College
Other professional credentials: Land Surveyor Intern, State of Colorado
State where you reside: Colorado
Responsibilities: To develop creative solutions for client needs by integrating and utilizing technology, software and fundamental surveying.
Year started in profession: 1995
How started in profession: ""¦ As an engineering technician. [The] survey department got very busy and since I had a strong math background I was asked to fill in. [I'm] still "filling in' today."
What you like best about land surveying: "Every day is a challenge, nothing is ever the same and [I enjoy] being able to be creative in each situation."
What grinds you: "That the general public has such a limited knowledge of [the] technology and tools we use."
What keeps you going in your job: "What other profession can you be a detective (boundary surveys), play video games (software programs, always a hidden passage) and get paid to do it?!"
Best surveying memory: "In 1996, I stayed up late in a hotel room to calculate the "probable' position of a section corner given the physical evidence we had collected that day-it was the thrill of the chase. The next day we traversed our way [and] the pure excitement I got from digging a 2-foot deep hole to find a stone"¦ well, there was a rush of adrenaline."
Weirdest memory: "Outfitting ourselves in snake chaps, [using] machetes and sharpening the prism pole to work in a snake den."
Accessories you can't leave home without: "Compass, calculator, small scale and survey vest (with all sorts of odds and ends)."
Personal philosophy: "To take the combination of technology and sound survey theories, and meld them together to accomplish whatever task I am up against."
Contributions to the profession: "I just try to be as knowledgeable as possible, and be very creative and responsive."
Greatest personal accomplishments: "Accomplishing tasks for clients that no other firm could and hearing a client say that [it] is better than anyone else has done for him."
Reason why you're a role model for future surveyors: "I constantly have training classes for field surveyors, survey technicians and the RPLS staff. I try to get them to use all the tools of our trade, whether it is software, equipment or project approach."
How surveyors can ensure future success in the industry: "[A successful surveyor] challenges himself and has self-discipline to want to learn and expand his own knowledge, not memorize a series of buttons. "Back to the basics' should be the theme, along with the pursuit of wanting to know everything about such a wonderful profession."