April 1, 2003
With the parties over and the exhibits only hours from being torn down, the mood at the conference today was light and casual. The Surveying Olympics were an attraction for many attendees. POBsponsored its annual chain-throwing competition. Students from Ferris State University volunteered their time to run the event, taking down names and times of contestants. One of the Ferris students actually held the No. 1 position with a time of 48 seconds for most of the competition, beating out his own instructor and almost 20 others who entered and tying with one. With about five minutes left in the event, last year’s winner came out to defend his championship, and he did so brilliantly with a time of 46 seconds. William Coleman, PLS, of Charlotte, N.C., retained his title as the ACSM show’s fastest chain thrower, winning a Schondstedt magnetic locator. He did comment that he only throws a chain twice a year—once at the ACSM show and once at the North Carolina show. The second and third place winners were the two who had previously tied with 48 seconds. A throw-off led to Richard Brantley of Hattiesburg, Miss., receiving second place and Craig Atwood from Ferris State University receiving third place.
Another of the day’s events offered students a chance to get involved and show off their surveying skills—the student surveying competition. Teams from Texas A&M Corpus Christi, New Mexico State Las Cruces, University of Akron and Renton Technical College participated in the event that required students to submit a research paper that focused on the actual surveying and mapping performed by Lewis and Clark prior to the event. Today the teams had to conduct an observation for latitude using a sextant; and lay out a base line using the basic surveying equipment that Lewis and Clark had. From this a simple sketch of a map of predetermined points was to be drawn. Points were given for authenticity of equipment acquired or reproduced and for speed and accuracy in the use of the equipment in the demonstration. The team from the University of Akron won the surveying competition. A separate award was given to the team from Renton Technical College for authenticity of clothing and gear that best portrayed the Lewis and Clark Expedition. When the students were presented the awards they were told that even though one team was chosen to win the event, they were all winners for participating.