U.S. Senate recognizes surveyors; NGS releases L2C policy; USGS to host mapping sciences job fair; Illinois allows retired status.

U.S. Senate Recognizes Surveyors

On Jan. 31, 2006, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution recognizing the accomplishments of surveyors and encouraging support for National Surveyors Week, which was observed March 19-25. The National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) drafted the legislation for the resolution, which was sponsored by Senator George Allen, R-Va., and Senator Ted Stevens, R-Ala. The passing of this resolution was a legislative coup for NSPS.

The full resolution reads as follows:

Honoring professional surveyors and recognizing their contributions to society.
Whereas there are over 45,000 professional surveyors in the United States;
Whereas 2006 marks the 200th anniversary of the end of the Lewis and Clark landmark expedition through the upper reaches of the Louisiana Territory and the American West;
Whereas this journey is one of the most important surveying expeditions in the history of the United States because of the wealth of geographical and scientific information it provided about the new Nation;
Whereas the nature of surveying has changed dramatically since 1785, as it is no longer limited to the description and location of land boundaries;
Whereas hydrographic surveys are important to the use of all our bodies of water;
Whereas engineering surveys are utilized in the study and selection of engineering construction;
Whereas geodetic surveys determine precise global positioning for such activities as aircraft and missile navigation;
Whereas cartographic surveys are used for mapping and charting, as well as photogrammetry, the science of using aerial photographs for measurement and map production;
Whereas many services are provided through the use of sophisticated equipment and techniques, such as satellite-borne remote sensing devices and automated positioning, measuring, recording, and plotting equipment;
Whereas the role of the surveyor has been, and remains, of vital importance in the development of the United States;
Whereas since the colonial days of this Nation, surveyors have been leaders in the community, Statesmen,
influential citizens, and shapers of cultural standards;
Whereas former surveyors include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln;
Whereas it was the work of the surveyor that determined the boundaries of land, the greatest economic asset in the colonies that became the United States;
Whereas Thomas Jefferson chaired a committee in 1784 to devise a plan for disposing of lands west of the 13
original colonies;
Whereas Thomas Jefferson argued that surveying before sale was necessary to prevent overlapping claim and to simplify deeds and registers;
Whereas Thomas Jefferson reportedly wrote a plan, which was debated in Congress and in modified form was adopted as the Land Ordinance of May 20, 1785, establishing the Public Land Survey System (`PLSS'), the rectangular system that continues today in 30 midwestern and western states; and
Whereas the establishment of the third week of March as National Surveyors Week would be a fitting tribute to all surveyors: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate-
(1) recommends the establishment of National Surveyors Week;
(2) calls on the people of the United States to observe National Surveyors Week each year with appropriate ceremonies and activities paying tribute to professional surveyors and their contribution to society; and
(3) invites the people of the United States to look back at the historic contributions of surveying and look ahead to the new technologies which are constantly modernizing this honored and learned profession.

The National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) drafted the legislation for the resolution, which was sponsored by Senator George Allen, R-Va., and Senator Ted Stevens, R-Ala. The passing of this resolution was a legislative coup for NSPS.

NGS Releases L2C Policy

In response to recent strides in GPS modernization, NOAA's National Geodetic Survey (NGS) released a policy statement regarding the GPS L2C signal on Jan. 23, 2006. Dave Zilkoski, acting director of NGS, signed the memo.

The official policy states that NGS "applauds the efforts of everyone working on making GPS modernization a reality." It then explains that NGS will investigate and study the impacts of the L2C signal, as well as issues arising from the globally changing GNSS environment. The NGS states that "until such time as an L2C study is completed at NGS, NGS will neither mandate nor encourage the changing of receivers and antennas in the existing CORS network to receive L2C."

In addition, NGS affirms that the official Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) data format is currently RINEX 2.10, and this policy will be revisited when new software is made available to support RINEX 2.11. Finally, NGS notes that if any CORS partner does install an L2C capable receiver, NGS will not distribute that L2C data until after software capable of supporting RINEX 2.11 is made available.

USGS to Host Mapping Sciences Job Fair

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) mapping office in Rolla, Mo., formerly known as the Mid-Continent Mapping Center, is slated for closure within the next year due to a consolidation of operations at the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood, Colo. Personnel at the Rolla office will not be offered positions at the Denver office and will consequently be seeking employment once the Rolla office is closed. To aid this effort, USGS will host a mapping sciences job fair at its Rolla center on April 5, 2006 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The Rolla office presently consists of approximately 140 professional employees who have an average tenure of 20 years with the USGS mapping program. Positions currently at the Rolla facility include: IT specialist, physical scientist, geographer, clerical staff, facilities manager, cartographer, cartographic technician, computer scientist, system analyst, programmer, program analyst and manager. The work experience of the USGS Rolla employees includes all aspects of cartographic production, spatial analysis, geographic information science research, computer systems management, database development and maintenance, web design and maintenance, GIS development, software development, quality assurance, personnel management, project and contract management, and financial and administration operations. Prospective employers are encouraged to sign up for booth space at the fair. There is no registration fee to participate in the fair, and free parking is available at the USGS center. For more information, contact Morgan Bearden at 573/308-3591 or mbearden@usgs.gov.

Illinois Allows Retired Status

Effective Jan. 1, 2006, revisions to Illinois regulation law allow inactive surveying professionals to continue to use their professional license designation, followed by the word "Retired." This legislation was introduced as House Bill 900 and became Public Act 94-452. Retirees must be in good professional standing at the time they request this designation and place their licenses on an inactive status with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

This revised regulation also clarifies that inactive professionals are not allowed to practice surveying. The act specifically states: "The Department may grant the title "˜Retired' to be used immediately adjacent to the title of a profession regulated by the Department to eligible retirees. The use of the title "˜Retired' shall not constitute representation of current licensure, registration or certification. Any person without an active license, registration, or certificate in a profession that requires licensure, registration or certification shall not be permitted to practice that profession."

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