Appreciation in any sense of the word is good. When you appreciate something or someone, it’s good. When someone appreciates you, it’s good.

When one of your possessions gains value, it’s good. And with enough bad in today’s world (watch any morning or evening newscast), we could all use some good.

This is why I was surprised with a recent finding. The results of our February online poll on the topic of equipment protection (see our Table of Contents on page 2) reveals that a whopping 41 percent of respondents take no precautions to safeguard their equipment. The reason this disturbs me is not only because of the lack of importance placed on the expensive and essential equipment of field surveyors in light of rising equipment theft nationwide, but even more so because of the lack of importance placed on the employees who operate it. Reports of rising equipment theft in the construction industry--and more specifically in the surveying profession--continue to be published. As thieves realize the high value of surveying equipment, they’re showing up more at your jobsites. What’s more, surveying personnel are oftentimes threatened, injured or worse during these acts of thievery. The ways in which surveying firm owners and supervisors react to these dangerous circumstances will determine the rate at which they might continue. While larger firms have more management and perhaps more money and resources to establish methods that can protect their employees, smaller firms have choices as well. Sole proprietors also need to consider smart ways to safeguard themselves while alone in the field. While advanced technologies like robotic total stations allow field workers to be lone “crews,” it doesn’t mean they have to work solo. Some jobs are better completed--and safer--with two people. Appreciate your equipment and your personnel.

On a positive note, surveyors nationwide were appreciated during National Surveyors Week, from March 18-24. Throughout the week, surveying professionals across the country celebrated the historical profession and its impact on society. Firms, organizations, associations and individuals helped to market and promote the profession through various activities and celebrations (while trying to reel in news agencies for coverage of these events), and honored deserving individuals and groups with awards, rewards and tokens of appreciation.

A look at the lineage of surveying encapsulates the word appreciation. Through its foundation of maps, plats, monuments and drawings, property owners have known their boundaries and the nation’s infrastructure has been and continues to be developed. Through education, experience and technology, surveyors advance their skills for these purposes. In short, much of our world is built on the expertise of the surveyor. Many recognize this and celebrate it--appreciate it.

Let’s not lose our sense of appreciation--of our colleagues, ourselves or even our equipment. I hope more surveying firms and crews apply equipment and personnel safeguards in the field, and I look forward to hearing many fantastic stories stemming from the appreciation of surveyors and the profession during National Surveyors Week.

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