Surveyors and public relations. Do the two ever mix? The surveying profession has maintained a reputation for little-or perhaps lackluster-public awareness efforts. But this past February it became clear that this outdated and negative typecast of surveyors is on its way out. Traditionally one of the months for a compendium of surveyor state society meetings, this February was filled with events intended to heighten public awareness of surveying. February is also the month that traditionally features National Surveyors Week and National Engineers Week. With noticeable efforts, surveyors countrywide have promoted the importance and value of their work to the general public in appreciation and celebration of each other.
As is typical, chapters of state societies organized events to coincide with the annual meetings. In Arizona, professional land surveyors dedicated the center of the state's population. In Florida, professional surveyors and mappers worked to declare a city-, county- and state-wide Surveyors Week. Many state societies also focused on reinvigorating the profession by awarding scholarships to surveying students. And more than a few state societies acknowledged and applauded the hardworking status of select members by honoring them as surveyors of the year. In recognition of these efforts, POB is highlighting February's promotional events.
ArizonaOn Friday, Feb. 20, 2004, Arizona officially recognized the city of Gilbert--the fastest growing city in the United States according to the U.S. Census Bureau--as the state's center of population. The state's centroid is the point where an imaginary, flat, weightless and rigid map of the state would balance perfectly if all of its residents were of identical weight. (For more details on state centers of population, read Locating State Centers from POB's Archives.)
The Arizona Professional Land Surveyors Assocation (APLS) worked with the city of Gilbert to coordinate a dedication ceremony of the state's center of population. Since the actual centroid was located in a resident's private backyard, a monument was placed and dedicated nearby at McQueen Park. Approximately 100 people attended the dedication.
The APLS successfully increased public awareness of surveying with this event. To read the article that made the front page of the Arizona Republic, go to: www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0216center16.html.
FloridaIn Florida, recognition of surveyors started at the top level of government and continued down to the local level. Governor Jeb Bush recognized Feb. 16-22, 2004, as Florida Surveyors Week. Richard Crotty, Orange County chairman, signed a resolution acknowledging the work and contributions of surveyors in Orange County, Fla. Buddy Dyer, mayor of Orlando, Fla., signed a resolution declaring the same week as the city of Orlando Surveyors Week. The resolutions noted the historical influence of surveyors such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and proclaimed "the citizens of Florida recognize the valuable contributions of the surveying profession to history, development and quality of life." Dyer also acknowledged the importance of surveyors to the community at a city council meeting attended by many local surveyors from the Central Florida Chapter of the Florida Surveying & Mapping Society (FSMS). Perry Leavell, PSM, president of the Central Florida Chapter, spoke to the City of Orlando Council and was presented the signed resolution by Mayor Buddy Dyer.
IdahoThe Idaho Society of Professional Land Surveyors (ISPLS) held its 28th Annual Survey Conference on Feb. 11 - 14, 2004. It was a well-attended event with 180 registrants, five speakers, 27 surveying students and 10 spouses. At the conference, surveyors were encouraged to keep up-to-date on skills, equipment and developments. The ISPLS also hosted a scholarship auction during the conference to encourage students to continue on in the profession.
IllinoisIllinois Governor Rod Blagojevich proclaimed the whole month of February as Land Surveyors Month. The proclamation coincided with honoring early surveyors George Washington and Abraham Lincoln during the month of their birthdays.
The Illinois Professional Land Surveyors Association (IPLSA) held its 47th annual conference Feb. 18-21, 2004, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in Springfield, Illinois. It was the largest conference in IPLSA's history-with 1,090 participants in attendance.
At the annual awards banquet, Roy R. Frank Jr., PLS, was named the Surveyor of the Year, and Robert E. Church was honored by his family for celebrating his 30th year with IPLSA as executive director and lobbyist.
KansasThe Kansas Society of Land Surveyors (KSLS) named James H. "Tony" Brosemer as the Kansas Surveyor of the Year. Brosemer started surveying after he returned from fighting in World War II.
Brosemer was the survey party chief for the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) for 42 years. His career was distinguished by the work and services he performed for other surveyors. While working for KDOT, Brosemer wrote the design survey manual still in use in Kansas. He also indexed the General Land Office (GLO) field books and worked hard to preserve them.
Brosemer is a past president of the KSLS and currently makes his home in Florence, Kansas, and his tenure in the profession has set an example for his grandson who now works for KDOT.
MichiganThe Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors (MSPS) recognized its scholarship winners at the 2004 annual meeting. The Southeast Chapter Scholarship was awarded to Levi Ronk, Michigan Technological University (MTU), and Jacob Swoish, Ferris State University (FSU). Receiving the MSPS Scholarship were Steven Novak, FSU; Spencer Barren, MTU; and Max Clever, FSU.
MontanaThe Montana Association of Registered Land Surveyors (MARLS) is a staunch supporter of TrigStar, the high school math skill award program sponsored by the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS). More than 800 high school students in Montana are taking the exam. In 2004, MARLS will award $5,350 in scholarships and monetary awards to Montana's TrigStar winners.
North CarolinaThe North Carolina Society of Surveyors (NCSS) held its 40th annual convention Feb. 5-7, 2004, in Asheville, N.C. David Doyle, chief geodetic surveyor for the National Geodetic Survey (NGS), and Wendy Lathrop, LS, were the featured instructors. NCSS offered 15 professional development hours (PDHs) to convention participants who came from North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
At the convention, Richard M. Benton was honored as North Carolina's Surveyor of the Year.