When Elouise Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet tribe in Montana, began her aggressive class-action lawsuit against the federal government in June 1996, she probably didn't realize what effects it would have on the country-and on the surveying profession. The case was established against the government on the grounds of mismanagement, ineptitude, dishonesty and delay by federal officials in accounting for billions of dollars belonging to approximately 500,000 American Indians and their heirs, and held in trust since the late 19th century.
Pride is a tricky word. While it can mean satisfaction, gratification or dignity, it can also mean conceit and self-importance. Being proud of something is usually looked upon as a good and admirable quality. But when pride gets in the way of appropriately serving others, it can be a bad trait.
"If you don't use it, you'll lose it." Sound familiar? This may not be the case for riding a bicycle but it has reigned true for me personally in other areas. Once upon a time, I was at the head of the class in rudimentary Spanish and also in sign language.I wouldn't be able to talk my way into or out of a conversation in either of these categories today. And that is unfortunate.
Keeping a watch on the entire U.S. coastline is a job of high order, one that defense and aerospace leader Raytheon has been overseeing since 1993 through its Relocatable Over-the-Horizon Radar (ROTHR) sites. Three continuously operating sites located in Texas, Virginia and Puerto Rico are staged to provide the country and surrounding areas with homeland security. The radar stations detect surface and air traffic within 500 miles inland and 1,500 miles off the coastline, and report to tactical forces defending our nation's interests and countering drug smuggling in the Caribbean Sea and South America.
Dan Collins has had a hard time finding good help. The project manager at Jordan, Jones & Goulding, a firm that operates in the south-eastern United States, maintains a staff of more than 500 employees with 30 in the survey department. But he is regularly challenged in filling positions for project surveyors and instrument operators.
Surveyors have really come a long way. Societal changes, population increases and territorial expansion, regulations and laws, technological advancements and professional evolution have changed the landscape of the profession drastically over the decades.
Bruises, stings, hives, rashes, cuts, sunburn, frostbite, over-inhalation of toxic gases. Sound unpleasant? How about hearing loss, broken limbs, drowning, debilitation and death? More unpleasant? These are some of the risks field surveyors take every time they head out for a job. For some surveyors, it is the thrill of the outdoors that keeps them motivated. But this thrill often dissipates when surveyors are faced with the undesirable hazards mentioned-and more. Fortunately, these unwanted effects from the environment that field surveyors regularly work in can be reduced or avoided with proper safety precautions. The NSPS Foundation is setting out to train surveyors on how to do just that.
I'm an "expert" daydreamer. I practice it frequently. Oftentimes, my thoughts involve the surveying profession. And oftentimes, they involve the betterment of the profession. Allow me to share with you one of my recent escapades of the subconscious...
Our publisher brought up the topic of branding our laptops recently after reading an article about a man who's making bank off the concept. Our publisher's intent was to promote our publication's identity, but I think the noticeable imprint has another purpose: theft prevention. An engraved logo might either deter a potential thief or perhaps aid in having the device returned to our headquarters if stolen and discovered.
In the January 2020 issue of POB, find out how surveying and monitoring played a key role in Long Island Rail Road's much-anticipated main corridor track addition. Also in this issue, learn about emerging trends for drones in 2020.