David Albert Gallegos, PLS.

The Nevada Department of Transportation installed this control monument overlooking the Mason valley near Yerington, Nev., in honor of David Albert Gallegos (1959-2001).

Remembering and honoring a great surveyor.

It is not very often in today’s fast-paced business world that people take the time to appreciate the tireless efforts and contributions of an individual. Patrick Yeager, chief land surveyor for the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) wanted to tell people about a man he honors, so he sent POB a letter telling us about David Albert Gallegos, PLS, former manager of the Las Vegas Location Survey Division office. Gallegos was obviously pretty special because NDOT installed a monument constructed and named in his honor. David Albert Gallegos, PLS, died on Feb. 25, 2001, due to a long battle with lung cancer.

Yeager says Gallegos was more than an individual; he was an integral part of his Las Vegas survey crew. Born on Oct. 2, 1959, in Hawthorne, Nev., Gallegos graduated from Mineral County High School in 1977. He worked his way up from a highway construction aide to that of supervisor 3 in a Las Vegas survey crew and obtained his registration as a Nevada PLS in 1997. Gallegos managed a Location Division satellite office in Las Vegas since 1994. He was instrumental in establishing the Las Vegas control network NDOT used in the Las Vegas Valley and Clark County during his management. He was also involved in the 1999 re-observations of the National Geodetic High Accuracy Reference Network (HARN) for the southern Nevada area.

Gallegos was an active member of the Nevada Association of Land Surveyors. “Gallegos was always cheerful and helpful to other engineers and surveyors from private firms and other government entities by answering questions or helping to get them control data for our network,” Yeager says. Overall, Gallegos worked for the state of Nevada for 21 years.

The commemorative monument installed in Gallegos’ honor will be used as a first-order GPS control monument. It is located at a site overlooking the Mason Valley near Yerington, Nev. Gallegos picked out the monument’s location before his death. NDOT’s Location Division surveyed the location and sent the data to the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) office for review and adjustments. It will be added to the Nevada database to make it a legal GPS station.

More than useful for control purposes, the monument signifies the close ties many surveyors have, the general comaraderie shared in the surveying and mapping industry, and the impact that an individual surveyor can have on his colleagues.

You probably can name numerous people that shine like Gallegos. People who gave more than asked, people who cared about their jobs, their industry and the people involved in it. So think of this monument as not only a commemoration to David Gallegos, but also to all the surveyors who have enhanced and contributed to the surveying and mapping industry that exists today.