The Utah State Board of Regents responsible for ensuring the fulfillment of the mission of the Utah System of Higher Education recently approved bachelor’s and associate of science degrees in Geomatics.

Geomatics, formerly known as surveying, is part of geospatial science and Earth science. This discipline encompasses the acquisition, integration, modeling, and management of geospatial data. Based on the scientific framework of geodesy, it uses terrestrial, marine, airborne, satellite-based sensors, measurement systems and technologies to acquire spatial and other data. Geomatics includes the process of transforming spatially referenced data into common information systems that have well defined accuracy characteristics. Geomatics also includes investigation, analysis and application of boundary/property laws and legal principles pertaining to specific public and private properties. A licensed surveyor has the obligation to protect the public and private interests in these matters. The department of Engineering Graphics and Design Technology hosting the new program is expected to begin teaching courses during the fall 2011 semester. To obtain a bachelor’s degree in Geomatics, a student will be expected to complete 36 credits of General Education, 51 credits of Geomatics Measurement Core, 13 hours of Legal core, 19 credits of Surveying Practices Core, and six credits of Electives. 

A graduate with the associate of science (AS) degree should be employable at an entry level with a surveying or civil engineering firm, while a graduate with a bachelor’s degree (BS) in Geomatics should be employable at a crew chief/supervisory level. A graduate with the Geomatics four-year degree will also be eligible and prepared to sit for the National Council of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES) exam.

Danial L. Perry, assistant professor at UVU and the developer of the program degrees, is excited about this new program because it will fulfill an industry demand for more educated surveyors in the state and region. The support of the Utah Council of Land Surveyors (UCLS), the surveying association in the State of Utah that controls the model law for surveyors, and Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) Geomatics Technology program, which offers a two-year AAS degree in Geomatics Technology, continues to be critical to the success of this new program. Today, there are over 40 people who have expressed interest in registering for classes pursuant to the Geomatics BS degree, so the program is off to a good start.