Editor's Points: Surveyors Care About Their World
While the tools and technologies of the surveying profession continually change, the profession itself is understandably tagged as forever evolving. And that may very well be.
One thing that seems constant, though, is the passion within the profession. “Who cares?” has definitely not crept into the vocabulary of surveyors. Don’t confuse the weather-beaten grumpiness of some with not caring; in fact, those curmudgeons are often the ones who care the deepest.
Over the past few months, surveying professionals have written within our pages a number of guest columns that have sparked considerable debate over licensure requirements. Certified Photogrammetrist and good guy Chris Ogier really got the ball rolling by sharing his own story in the April 2015 issue, explaining how 20-plus years into his career that surveying licensure is realistically out of his reach. From there, equally passionate professionals like Philip E. Adams, RPLS, and Harold Baldwin, PLS, put the proverbial pen to paper and delivered well-thought-out yet somewhat opposing views on the matter.
To them, and to all others who have called, emailed and participated in our online polls, thank you.
First off, it makes for interesting content that clearly resonates with our readers. For that, we are always and ever grateful.
But more importantly, it speaks to that aforementioned passion. If you can’t care about what you do, then you can’t expect others to. Evidently, that’s not an issue with this crowd.
As Professor Gary Jeffress, not only a Ph.D. but also an RPLS, wrote in a Letter to the Editor last month, “the sole reason the surveying profession is in the precarious position it now finds itself is due to lack of business sense to charge professional fees in proportion to the value we create for our clients.” Love that! Clearly, that’s not “Who cares?”
“We are worth much more than we are charging our clients,” continued Dr. Jeffress, of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. “I am not advocating price fixing or collusion; I am advocating charging an adequate fee that can automatically keep up with the value of our services and the liability we face if we do not produce quality, professional results.”
This month, J. Allison Butler, AICP, chimes in from Florida with a lengthy Letter to the Editor that hits on a number of points integral to the profession. A sample: “The rapid progress and introduction of new tools and technologies are acting to increase the pressure on state legislatures to see modern surveying as sharing little in common with the boundary surveyors of the last century, when most statutory foundations were established.” That goes right back to the top of this page … change, sure, but also constant fervor.
“While I agree that field experience is useful for boundary surveyors to be fully qualified for practice,” wrote Butler, “slashing through the brush to find the elusive monument is of little practical use to someone doing LiDAR, GIS or aerial photography.”
Read the full take on Page 18. Agree or not, you’ll undoubtedly have some thoughts.
As always, we welcome them.