About Amerisurv| Contact    
Magazine | Newsletter    
Flickr Photos | Advertise    
HomeNewsNewsletterAmerisurv DirectoryJobsStoreAuthorsHistoryArchivesBlogVideosEvents

Sponsored By

Software Reviews
Continuing Series
An RTN expert provides everything you need to know about network-corrected real-time GNSS observations.
Click Here to begin the series,
or view the Article PDF's Here
76-PageFlip Compilation
of the entire series
Test Yourself

Got Answers?
Test your knowledge with NCEES-level questions.
  Start HERE
Meet the Authors
Check out our fine lineup of writers. Each an expert in his or her field.
Wow Factor
Sponsored By

Product Reviews
Partner Sites







Spatial Media LLC properties




Home arrow Archives   The American Surveyor     

On the Level with NSPS: Closing Corner—Epilogue Print E-mail
Written by J. Anthony Cavell, Past President NSPS   
Saturday, 24 June 2017

A 534Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

It is March. The baton is passed. I ran my leg as President and it is now in the care of President Jan Fokens. The baton of NSPS, however, is in your hands. In fact, it is a race that never ends. As professionals, as surveyors, we must run our leg, our debt to the profession. Our colleagues depend upon us. The public depends upon us! Even when they are unaware.

NSPS officers for 2017-18 are:
• President Jan Fokens (Michigan)
• President-Elect Kim Leavitt (Idaho)
• Secretary Tim Burch (Illinois)
• Vice President, Lisa Van Horn (Wisconsin)
• Treasurer Bob Miller (Pennsylvania)
• Past-president Tony Cavell (Louisiana)

As in every leg of a relay, there are those moments in the race where there is a lapse of concentration or a stumble, for no effort is flawless. As officers or professionals we owe our members or clients our best. As Saint Matthew recorded, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." I apologize for stumbles and lapses during my term. The spirit was and is indeed willing but there were times when the results were less than intended. That said, I believe we enjoyed a good year. Progress was made, and we passed the baton to President Fokens in a good position.

As president I tried to follow my belief that, within reason, one should appoint good people to committees and give them concise charges, and then give them room to do their work (two heads are better than one). There were a couple of instances in which, looking back, I ought to have stepped in to correct the course and tweak their heading a bit.

One of my disappointments included getting ALL of our committees firing on all cylinders. Committee work did improve but attempts at using online applications for meetings didn't blossom for us yet. Vicepresident Lisa Van Horn will assume the "cat herding" position of program director from President-elect Kim Leavitt who made good progress. Ms. Van Horn has been a successful and very active committee chairwoman, and brings good experience into her position. So we may expect good things from committees.

We contacted the National Association of Realtors regarding its Code of Ethics, urging them to add "REALTORS® shall not engage in activities that constitute the unauthorized practice of Land Surveying and shall recommend that counsel of a professional land surveyor be obtained when the interest of any party to the transaction requires it." to its Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice document.

The NSPS proposed statement is similar to an existing statement in the NAR Code of Ethics related to activities that may constitute the unauthorized practice of law. After further interaction, and NSPS responding to a NAR request for examples of the types of activities we are concerned about, the NAR Interpretations and Procedures Advisory Board responded that it sees no reason to add the NSPS proposed statement, adding that it feels confident that NAR's overall Code of Ethics language is sufficient with regard to "surveying activities". Of course, NSPS disagrees with this and plans to readdress the issue.

Another was a faux pas on my part. After receiving an alarm about possible liabilities NSPS was assuming via copyrights, I acted swiftly (too swiftly) like a mother hen, insisting other collegial organizations cease what they were doing. In the end, the whole affair was making a mountain out of a molehill and was set aside. Despite trying to be deliberate and asking for and receiving advice from staff and others, a little more research may have prevented me from over reacting and some loss of face. My advice to President Fokens is to never hesitate to seek advice when possible.

More significantly, there is a litany of successes of which NSPS can be proud and potential successes still under development. The list is long but I hope to fit a few into this article. It is in alphabetical order not indicating degrees of importance.

Alaska /BLM Direct Point Positioning Survey Procedure:
NSPS reported on the effect of the DPPS proposal for establishing boundary corners for lands to be ceded to the Alaska as a result of statehood. The DPPS process uses calculated positions in lieu of monuments. A BLM official stated that "no fundamental technical issues" were found [in the committee report] related to BLM's proposed approach. A response is being developed. See: http://nsps.us.com/page/BLMDPPSAlaska.

American School Counselors Association:
NSPS sponsored a booth in New Orleans in July for the ASCA convention. It was a great success and has spurred similar activities by several states societies. NSPS Public Relations Committee has developed a series of new brochures for this.

Boy Scouts of America:
NSPS Seeks Financial Support for 2017 Boy Scouts Jamboree Participation in preparation for sponsoring the team of Merit Badge advisers, NSPS is seeking donations to its ongoing fund for the project. The 2017 Jamboree will be held at the Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia. Donors should contact NSPS Executive Director Curt Sumner (240-4394625, ext. 106; This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

New NSPS brochures have been developed, and printed. The brochures are available to members, the state societies, and educational institutions. See: nsps. us.com/page/PamphletsfromStates.

The Certified Federal Surveyor program has relied on the NSPS for website hosting, and on-line accounting administration. A next step in its development and evolution will involve expanding the governmental agencies that show preference for certified professionals as well as the program becoming, like other NSPS certificates, in which NSPS takes a major role in the program administration with QC provided by the CFedS Panel. Progress is slow but determined to see the program continue its success. Guaranteeing a sound fiscal footing is the largest complicating issue.

Interest in the joint NSPS/ASFPM Certified Floodplain Surveyor certification program has been rekindled. Currently the program is available only in North Carolina. Recent discussions regarding the expansion of the program are on-going.

Trig*Star, Map/Plat, and the Journalism Competitions could always benefit from greater participation, however at their cores, they are strong programs whose committees are always looking for ways to improve. 
• TrigStar had 38 state winners and all participants are eligible for a $5,000 scholarship serves as tangible incentive.
• Map/Plat drew 43 entries in 5categories. See http://nsps.us.com/?page=MapPlat. 
• Journalism had8 affiliates compete in 4 categories. See http://nsps.us.com/?page=Journalism.

Davis Bacon Act:
NSPS sent a letter to the Labor Department regarding Davis Bacon prevailing wage rates being applied to survey crews. NSPS Government Affairs Committee constantly monitors this. See: http://nsps.us.com/?page=DavisBacon and http://nsps.us.com/resource/resmgr/Davis-Bacon/NSPS_letter_to_Dept_of_Labor.pdf

Disaster Relief Fund:
The NSPS Foundation has approved payments to assist individuals whose homes and families were affected by flooding. Donations are the source of funds this endeavor. See: nsps.us.com/?page=DisasterRelief, and nsps.us.com/?page=DisasterRelief.

F.I.G. XXVII Congress and General Assembly 2022:
NSPS wants to bid on hosting the 2022 F.I.G. Congress and General Assembly. F.I.G.'s Congress and General Assembly meets every four years. The last F.I.G. meeting to be held in the US was in 2002. Perfunctory consideration was given to a couple of sites, then John Hohol and Curt Sumner met Disney hotel staff, and the Disney Event Group to discuss hosting the 2022 conference at Disney in Florida.

I wanted to establish the robust financial standing foreseen by Past President Warren. I am pleased that under the guidance of Treasurer Miller Strides have been made in this goal that will be ongoing. New certificate programs will help... but we still have a way to go.

Future of Surveying Task Force:
The group met in June in Baton Rouge, NSPS assumed the "lead" for future activities of the group which was originally initiated with NCEES support. Evidence of support is strong with16 of the original 18 organization continuing participation. Three committees were formed to focus on critical issues which need to be addressed. This is an ideal group for participation by the Young Surveyors Network.

HeroX Challenge:
HeroX is a company which facilitates "challenges" soliciting innovative solutions to perceived problems or opportunities. A company that builds nationwide was seeking to shorten the time required to perform ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys They assumed modern technology should be able to resolve boundary issues and features quicker and more reliably than the archaic methods used by professional surveyors. NSPS continues to monitor the challenge.

Hydrography Licensing:
A committee has been looking into the issue of whether hydrography surveys should require a license surveyor or simply a certified hydrographer, and is composing a recommended position for NSPS to take. NSPS Oregon affiliate has requested a position statement from NSPS regarding the question.

International Property Measurement and Ethics Standards:
The international coalitions of professional organizations, agencies, and academia have developed nonbinding international standards for property measurement and ethics. See: http://communities.rics.org/connect.ti/ipmscoalitionmembers/view?objectId=22613029#22613029 and http://ricstest.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/international-ethics-standards-final.pdf. Executive Director Sumner has been an active member of both groups since their inception.

Property Records Industry Association:
NSPS and PRIA will hold meetings aimed at establishing a way to link survey plats to property records so they are used for property information (as most legal precedent would require) rather than relying on GIS data. PRIA and NSPS intend to establish a working group similar to the ALTA/NSPS Committee to work on common issues.

The NSPS Foundation awards $30,000 in scholarships annually. See: http://nsps.us.com/?page=Scholarships. The Foundation always needs your support to continue and to grow in support of its mission.

Social Media:
Take advantage of the NSPS social media outlets.
• Don't overlook your delegates, the Directors. Talk to them.
• Don't overlook the NSPS officers and staff. Contact them.
• NSPS News & Views weekly newsletter,
• NSPS Radio Hour, web radio show, http://nsps.us.com/?page=RadioShow
• Twitter, http://twitter.com/NSPSINC
• Facebook, http://facebook.com/nspsinc/
• LinkedIn, http://linkedin.com/groups/4794194/profile 
• YouTube, http://youtube.com/channel/UCSWFUr5kRwt1FhRHxi6gLDw

Student Chapters:
NSPS is encouraging establish Student Chapters within the respective college programs throughout the US and Territories. NSPS has created a listing of programs of which it is aware.

Template for 2022 Datums:
NSPS along with NGS and others have developed template legislation for use by the state legislatures to revise state laws legally defining datums when the 2022 datums are promulgated. This link to the NSPS website will take one to the template: http://nsps.us.com/resource/resmgr/NGS/Template_Draft_-_Final.docx.

Workforce Development:
Workforce Development initiatives to create the framework for insuring the dignity of the surveying profession have been initiated in Maryland, Oklahoma, and Virginia. See: nsps.us.com/ page/WorkforceDev on the NSPS website.

Workshop Database:
NSPS is building a workshop speaker database for use in planning for educational activities. The list includes over 30 speakers, primarily those who are available nationwide.

Tony Cavell was 2016­17 President of NSPS, is a consulting surveyor, and works day-to-day at the Louisiana State University Center for GeoInformatics.

A 534Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

< Prev   Next >

 American Surveyor Recent Articles
Thought Leader: Land is Too Important to Be Left to Land Specialists
A while back I was searching the Internet for an old treatise on land titles. A Google query yielded a book published in 1914. The author was Charles Claudius Kagey and the book was titled "Land Survey and Land Titles, a book for boys and girls, a reference volume for property owners, a text ....
Read the Article
Jason E. Foose, PS 
Decided Guidance: Wacker vs. Price - Irony in Sevenfold
This month's case takes us to Phoenix, Arizona in 1950. The Arizona Supreme Court went all guns-a-blazin' in Wacker vs. Price (216 P.2d 707 (Ariz. 1950)). Maybe it's just me, but I'm sensing plenty of irony and have taken license to point it out along the way. I like what the Court did with this case ....
Read the Article
Allen E. Cheves 
Around the Bend - A Visit to Carlson Software
The Ohio River is one of America's greatest, running near 1,000 miles between Pittsburgh and the Mighty Mississippi. Much of the coal and other products that fueled our nation's industrial expansion flowed between the shores of this maritime ....
Read the Article
Lee Lovell, PS 
Surveying & Mapping Economics Part 3 - Customers & Services
This article continues an inquiry into the economic conditions of the Surveying and Mapping industry (NAICS 541370) using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. This time we will look at customers and services. The data comes from the Economic Census conducted every 5 years on American ....
Read the Article
Jerry Penry, PS 
True Elevation: Black Elk Peak
Black Elk Peak, located in the Black Hills region of South Dakota, is the state's highest natural point. It is frequently referred to as the highest summit in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. Two other peaks, Guadalupe Peak in Texas and ....
Read the Article
Larry Trojak 
Bringing The Goods - Mobile Scanning an Integral Component
When Jim Smith, Jerrad Burns and Charlie Patton left the Memphis division of a major construction company in 2015, they took with them the knowledge of how to get even the most complex jobs done and what equipment could best serve them in making that happen. So when they joined West ....
Read the Article
Lee Lovell, PS 
Test Yourself 41: Integers, Integers, and Integers
ABF is a 5:12:13 triangle, ACF is a 48:55:73 triangle, ADF is a 3:4:5 triangle, and AEF is a 7:24:25 triangle, all with integer sides and inscribed in a semi-circle. What are the lengths of BC, CD, and DE? ....
Read the Article
Wendy Lathrop, PS, CFM 
Vantage Point: Sunset or Sunrise?
While we often think of legislated government programs as static, they do change over time. Such evolution and opportunity for transformation are part of the dialogue in reauthorizing these programs. Every so many years there is a sunset on each government program, and this September is the ....
Read the Article


Amerisurv Exclusive Online-only Article ticker
Featured Amerisurv Events
List Your Event Here
contact Amerisurv


Laser Scanning
the Titanic

press [at] amerisurv.com
Online Internet Content


News Feeds

Subscribe to Amerisurv news & updates via RSS or get our Feedburn
xml feed

Need Help? See this RSS Tutorial

Historic Maps

post a job
Reach our audience of Professional land surveyors and Geo-Technology professionals with your GeoJobs career ad. Feel free to contact us if you need additional information.


Social Bookmarks

Amerisurv on Facebook 

Amerisurv LinkedIn Group 

Amerisurv Flickr Photos 

Amerisurv videos on YouTube 



The American Surveyor © All rights reserved / Privacy Statement
Spatial Media LLC
905 W 7th St #331
Frederick MD 21701
301-695-1538 - fax