North Carolina A&T State University to offer four-year degree in geomatics; new law makes removal of property boundary markers illegal in New York; and Galileo names satellites.

North Carolina A&T State University to Offer Four-Year Degree in Geomatics

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCA&T) is on schedule to begin offering a new four-year degree program in geomatics in the fall semester of 2006. While the degree program will serve a wide range of academic disciplines that apply geomatics, the initial focus of the program is the training of surveyors. The program will be the first and only four-year program in the state of North Carolina to serve the surveying community. It was created in response to legislation passed in the state in August 2005 that encourages a four-year degree for licensure.

The program is designed to be a 2+2 distance learning program to serve associate degree holders from community colleges. The first two years of the program will be offered on NCA&T's campus in Greensboro in conjunction with Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC). Alternatively, students may complete their first two years at a local community college that offers a surveying technology degree; currently, there are eight of these programs in North Carolina. Following that, students may apply to NCA&T to complete their junior and senior years on campus or through distance learning courses.

The first two years of the curriculum cover foundational surveying courses traditionally taught in the surveying technology programs at community colleges. The last two years of the curriculum encompass courses in cartography, photogrammetry and remote sensing, GIS, GPS, adjustment computations (statistics), facility analysis, subdivision and site design, boundary control and legal principles, geodesy and map projections, and professional ethics.

The coordinators of the program are Dr. Emmanuel Nzewi, PE, and Peggy Fersner, PE. Five faculty members are currently scheduled to teach geomatics and associated courses; two additional faculty members will be added within three years. The North Carolina Society of Surveyors (NCSS) is a core supporter of NCA&T's program, and a number of its members serve on the program's advisory board. In addition, an NCSS Education Foundation grant was awarded to NCA&T to develop distance learning courses and laboratories. The NCA&T geomatics program has no official corporate sponsors but welcomes partners who can regularly support the program and recruit students.

For more information on the program including tuition rates, contact Peggy Fersner at 336/334-7737 or at

New Law Makes Removal of Property Boundary Markers Illegal in New York

An action spearheaded by Senator John J. Flanagan and Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol of New York to make it illegal for anyone to knowingly damage or remove property boundary markers is now coming to fruition. In early November, the New York State Legislature passed the legislation, which seeks to protect the public's interest in land boundary disputes. Governor George E. Pataki signed the bill into law.

Removal or destruction of survey markers in New York is punishable by a civil fine of up to $500 and the cost of re-establishing the boundary marker. Residents are encouraged to report any suspected cases of property marker damage to their local authorities.

Karla Peijs, Dutch minister of Transport, Public Works & Water Management, announced the chosen name "GIOVE" for the first two Galileo satellites.

Galileo Names Satellites

On Nov. 9, 2005, the European Commission and the European Space Agency named the first two satellites of Galileo, the European Global Navigation Satellite System scheduled to be operational in 2008. Labeled GIOVE for "Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element," the names secure the frequencies the Inter-national Telecommunications Union allocated for the program and move the Galileo System Test Bed forward.

Karla Peijs, the Dutch minister of Transport, Public Works & Water Management, an-nounced the new names of the test satellites, previously known as GSTB-V2/A and GSTB-V2/B and now known as GIOVE A and GIOVE B, at the European Space Agency's ESTEC centre in The Netherlands.

Artist's impression of Galileo System Test bed satellite GIOVE A (left) and GIOVE B (right) in orbit. The spacecraft antennae are directed towards the viewer. Photos courtesy of European Space Agency.

The name GIOVE stems from physicist/ astronomer/philosopher Galileo Galilei, noted in part to be the first to discover the first four satellites on Jupiter. Galileo discovered that the formation of these four satellites provided a clock whose face could be seen from every point on the Earth. Tables describing the motion of the first four satellites were used to determine longitude at sea and on land. Galileo's method of determining longitude by observing the eclipses of Jovian satellites heralded a revolution in navigation, geodesy and cartography in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Photos courtesy of European Space Agency.

At press time, these first two GIOVE satellites, elements of the In-Orbit Validation phase of the Galileo program, were still in testing, readying their launch into orbit in late 2005 and an unspecified time in 2006. GIOVE A and B will be followed by four other satellites in 2008. GIOVE and its four successors will lead the deployment phase of the complete Galileo constellation of 30 satellites.

Managing Editor Kimberly Jensen compiles "Newsline." If you have a timely, newsworthy item, contact her at 248/244-6465 or E-mail Also visit for regular news updates.