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Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors Newsletter The

Pennsylvania Surveyor Summer 2016

Surveying Beyond Boundaries

Perspective of an Army Surveyor

By: Douglas M. Allwein, SIT


urveying can be hard sometimes. We, as surveyors, have all been there. We are expected to perform our duties regardless of what the environmental conditions are at the time. We go out if it is a record high temperature, with ultra-high humidity. We go out in the freezing cold, relying on our faithful bibs or coveralls to keep warm. In some rare cases, we might get an office day to tune up our equipment if there is a monsoon or a tornado. Have you ever had to traverse up the side of a mountain, cutting line the whole way, picking ticks out of your hair on a steamy 90 degree day? I’m sure you have dealt with poison ivy, nosey neighbors, biting flies, stinging nettles, mosquitos, thick underbrush, electric fences, inattentive motorists, multiflora rose, rattlesnakes, overhead tree canopy, that electric pole that is on the stakeout line, the constant traffic, the scent of sanitary sewer manholes, and a grader that moves right past your instrument, shaking it out of plumb. On top of all of these nuisances, and I am sure there are others which I have failed to mention, you are expected to collect and provide quality data using sound principles. Upon this data, million dollar projects will be designed and built. And we all are aware that a slight mistake can cost you thousands of dollars and your hard earned reputation. But, no pressure, right? Why would anyone want to do this for a living?   I am writing this to offer a little perspective of what some surveyors do for not only themselves, but for their country. I am referring to the surveyors of the United States Army. I wish to Digging Monuments

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Inside... Perspective of an

Army Surveyor...1

President’s Message...3 NSPS Report...4 Volunteer Opportunities...5 Code of Ethics ... 8 Sustaining Firms...12 Public Relations...16 On the Lighter Side...18

Member News..20

Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors Officers Michael D. Kreiger, PLS, President Shaheed A. Smith, PLS, President-Elect Scott R. Reeser, PLS, Vice President Brian Yorkiewicz, PLS, Secretary Mark E. Hummel, PLS, Treasurer Adam Crews, PLS, Past President Brent L. Birth, PLS, NSPS Director

2016 Board Meeting Dates September 23, Western PA October 21, Harrisburg, PA December 9, Hamburg, PA

State Directors Allegheny Heartlands Chapter Joseph P. Hood, PLS & Bill Lehman, PLS Bucks Chapter Robert J. Snyder, PLS & Jonathan J. Tabas, PE, PLS Delaware Valley Chapter Bruce E. Lewis, PLS & Richard Shewman, PLS Harrisburg Chapter John Clark, PLS & James Hartman, PLS Laurel Highlands Chapter Joseph Allegra, PLS & Alexander R. Wood Lehigh Valley Chapter Stephen D. Ombalski, PLS & Arthur A. Swallow, PLS Mid-State Chapter Fred M. Henry, PLS North Central Chapter K. Robert Cunningham, PLS & Charles G. Lang, PLS Northeast Chapter Glenn L. Johnson, PLS Northwest Chapter Jeffrey P. Gilmore, & Edward E. Northrop, PLS Pocono Chapter Gregg A. Davis, PLS & Brian J. Zick, PLS

Funding Needed! PSLS Political Action Committee - Provides the necessary funding to help PSLS cultivate political support from legislators who take interest in issues that are important to Pennsylvania surveyors. The PAC is especially important when we are trying to upate the Registration Law and make other changes to protect the profession from encroachments. If you have questions regarding the PAC Find, please contact PAC Treasurer, Adam Crews at a.crews@ For questions on the current legislative issues, contact Legislative chairs John Huck ( or James Hartman ( .

Reading Chapter John G. Fuehrer II, PE, PLS & John M. Huck, PLS

Donations by personal CHECK ONLY.

South Central Chapter Thomas E. Farcht Jr., PLS & L. Bradley Foltz, PLS

PSLS Mission

Southwest Chapter Donald R. Housley Sr., PLS & Terry R. Siefers, PLS Susquehanna Chapter Mark J. Brinkash, PLS & David A. Drumheller, PLS

PSLS Staff

Laurie L. Troutman, Business Manager Lisa Diehl, Administrative Assistant


Donald E. Rife, PLS


Contact or call 717.540.6811.

Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors 801 East Park Drive, Suite 107, Harrisburg, PA 17111 P: 717.540.6811 F: 717.540.6815


The Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors, a statewide professional organization, exists for the purpose of supporting, improving and enhancing the profession, its members, and the practice of land surveying. To these ends, the critical work of the Society focuses on providing education, legislative involvement, enhancing the public awareness, and the promulgation of the ethics of the profession.

The Pennsylvania Surveyor is published by the Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors (PSLS). Articles or opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of PSLS, but are published as a service to its members, the general public, and for the betterment of the surveying profession. Articles may be reprinted with due credit given. We welcome submissions via e-mail in MS Word format. Please forward to or call 717.540.6811.

President’s Pen

Benchmarks Michael D. Kreiger, PLS hether you provide Professional Services through being self-employed, W consulting, direct hire, or as the owner/manager; weather your direct role is in the measurement of the details, mapping of the details or analysis of the details; weather you use Leica, Topcon, Trimble, etc; whether you use AutoCad, Carlson, Microstation/Bentley, etc; we are striving to accomplish the same purpose.

This purpose optimistically has provided for each and every one of use to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Summer has come and is over by the calendar but continues as realized by the daily weather trends. Some of the best days to practice the Surveying Professional Services are in the upcoming months as the weather transitions into the next season. As our seasons transitions, our profession transitions. As our profession transitions, prayerfully your career transitions and you are pursuing the next opportunity. Your career and our profession is not a closed book but an open book waiting for the next adventure on the next page. The summer adventure is closing for the Professional Society of Land Surveyors and the next adventure is directly in front of us. I hope your adventure was prosperous and you have an adventure planned for the next page. Over the summer, the Professional Society of Land Surveyors Society has been hard at work. The Geospatial Committee continue to monitor the Davey Resource Group Case while considering the Profession's options. Please feel free to contact Terry Siefers, Committee Chair for additional information; The Legislative Committee has reviewed the lessons learned from the Davey Resource Case to prepare altered language to the Engineer, Land Surveyor, and Geologist Registration Law. This approved language has been submitted to the Society Lobbyist, Wanner Associates, for insertion into the HB 1704. Furthermore the Committee continues to meet with the Geologist and Engineers Societies, collaborating for the purposes of supporting the Registration Law. Please feel free to contact James Hartman, Committee Chair for additional information; Various Webinar Wednesday, titled, “Contracts and Letters of Agreement”, “The NRCS CN Method to Compute Runoff Depths”, “UAS Aerial Photgrammetry”, “ Did the Registration Law Change” have been presented, hope you have had a chance to participate. Please feel free to contact John Fuehrer, Education Committee Chair for additional information; The Society sponsored a Stormwater Management Seminar in August, a seminar that was absent a current sponsor. Please feel free to contact John Fuehrer, Education Committee Chair for additional information; Summer Conference geared to technical aspects of the Professional was in Monroeville, PA. A first ever conference in the western portion of Pennsylvania. This conference planning and attendance wavered but was a success after all. Thanks to the presenters, facilitators and attendees for this success. Next year’s Summer Conference is planned for the Eastern portions of Pennsylvania. I would like to extend my personal thanks to Mark Hummel and Chris Jackson for thier hard work on the Exam Review program of the conference; and to Lukas Duruttya and Kevin Chappell for thier work on the hands-on technical workshops. Excellent presentations by all! Continued on Page 11


Director's Report Brent L. Birth, PLS, NSPS Director of Pennsylvania

Since our last issue the NSPS continues to work on various items and issues. First and foremost is the up and coming NSPS 2016 Fall Conference to be held at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler, AZ next Thursday and Friday, September 29th, 30th, and October 1st. Council and committee meetings will be held on Thursday with the Board of Directors meeting held on Friday. Because the many of the NSPS western state affiliate Directors will be attending it was considered convenient for the WestFed Delegates to hold their meeting on Saturday. •

Thursday September 29

NSPS Committees/Boards/Foundation/Young Surveyors/etc.

Friday September 30

NSPS Board of Directors; evening - joint NSPS/WestFed reception

Saturday October 1

WestFed Delegates meeting will be held. (I will not be attending)

I plan to attend and be active as the Pennsylvania Affiliate Director of the NSPS and will be reporting on this at the following PSLS Board of Director’s meeting as well as the next issue of the Pennsylvania Surveyor. American School Counselors Association Conference was held on July 7-9th in New Orleans. As mentioned in the last volume flyers were created and refined to present as handouts and at the exhibit area at the conference. The final publications were sent to our Public Relations Chair to be used for PSLS events, and members can request this information by contacting Laurie Troutman or Adam Crews. These can be used at local events or at local high school presentations. I am waiting on a response how the NSPS presentation and publications were received but was a little slow on inquiring to the committee chair in charge. Other topics that are being researched and correlated is how many states require the recording of survey plats. Initial responses are that most are similar to PA with mainly subdivision plans have time limits to be recorded as requirements by the municipality or county. However, there were a few that stated they have state requirements to record survey plats. One of the other inquiries has been how many states appear to maintain the bullets listed below. Again, not all affiliates have responded however, it appears initially that it is a mix of responses. ·

every jurisdiction in the U.S. requires one to be licensed to practice land surveying.

· There are no arrangements with other licensed occupations to practice land surveying based on reciprocity · The one exception is in many jurisdictions engineers licensed to practice civil engineering may perform some surveying related to a project they are engaged in but are not permitted to perform boundary related work. Other items that the PSLS has concerns with are also being addressed at the national level and will be reported on at the upcoming NSPS meeting in addition to resolutions or as next steps transpire. Continued on Page 10



The Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors has opportunities for members to be active in the society and the profession by volunteering for a variety of tasks and programs. Different programs require a different level of commitment varying from short term as little as one day or long term over one or more years. Each of these activities offers members a chance to learn, network, and grow in the profession, while helping the profession to grow and flourish. Contact us at for more information or to volunteer. Creating and Maintaining Publications •

The Boundary Retracement Principles and Procedures for PA book needs to be edited and updated for the next printing.

The Municipal and County Boundary Descriptions book needs to be updated and edited.

The PA Manual of Practice needs to be updated to be more in line with NCEES standards and to address changes in the industry.

Brochures: Volunteers are needed to help write and maintain brochures about surveying for a variety of uses such as promoting surveying to high school students, educating the public, and educating township and municipal supervisors. Brochures written on these topics could then be used a PSLS exhibit opportunities in order to directly target the area of interest.

Professional Articles and Opinions: Articles written by society members make publications such as the PA Surveyor and the PSLS website more valuable to surveyors. You don't need to be a professional authors or editors. Some of the best material published has been written by Surveyors for Surveyors.

Year Round Activities •

Pennsylvania Reaching New Heights: PSLS is asking volunteers to recover bench marks published in the NGS database and occupy them with dual-frequency GPS receivers for a minimum of four hours and to document the occupation by taking photographs. This is a program that will benefit surveyors directly as well as the public and anyone using geospatial data with a vertical component for years to come

Conference and Webinar Planning: The PSLS Education Committee plans and executes two annual conferences, webinars, seminars and is now in the process of developing an online education program.

Program Specific Opportunities •

TrigStar: The Trig-Star program contest is an annual high school mathematics competition sponsored by the National Society of Professional Surveyors based on the practical application of trigonometry.

PSLS Anniversary Celebration: On May 6, 2019, the society will be 50 years old. The Semicentennial Celebration planning will take a few years as it will be a year-long event. We need volunteers to plan and execute the celebration.

There are many more opportunites for Society Members to contribute. For more information, check out the Society Opportunities page on the website at, contact a committee chair , or speak to your chapter State Director.

Make a difference. Volunteer! 5

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The Perspective of an Army Surveyor share a few of my personal experiences from my deployments in 2002 and 2003, with hopes that you will see that it can always be worse, and to bring awareness that there are still troops serving in active combat zones. Granted, these experiences were from a while ago. But I have used them to keep my perspective in check for over a decade. Allow me to begin by stating that I have never had to fire my weapon in a combat situation. If you were hoping for a story of heroism and valor, there are plenty out there worth reading, but this is not one of them. The only thing that I shot was topo, using my trusty Geodimeter 444 total station. But it was dressed in olive drab and sat on a tactical tripod, which only meant that it wasn’t bright yellow. Shortly after 9/11, the Army surveyors of the 100th Engineer Company, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, received orders for a mission to conduct safety surveys on airfields which the U.S. Army or Air Force utilized. Without getting into too many of the sensitive details, we basically created accurate maps of assigned airfields, to include precision instrumentation and obstructions in the flight paths. We brought control to the airfield with static GPS, and utilized kinematic and precise conventional methods to collect other data.

On The Runway

One of the first things we were taught in our initial survey training, was the importance of collecting quality data. I mentioned earlier that a small mistake while surveying could be quite costly. A small mistake while conducting an airport safety survey could cause a plane to crash, possibly killing people and landing you in Fort Leavenworth, a military prison. You have likely seen the Die Hard film in which the bad guys crash a plane by sending data to its instruments that depict the runway at a lower elevation than it actually was. It may be far-fetched in real life for sucha mistake to slip past the surveyors and the other eyes on the project, but certainly not impossible. All of the work which I have done while deployed has been in southwest Asia. There is no secret as to what countries the combat operations have taken place, but there may be some secrecy about the countries in which support operations have taken place. Perhaps some you have never heard of. That’s ok. I had never heard of them either before I actually got there. There is a reason we have never heard of them, and that is because they are bad. Bad weather, bad landscapes, and obviously some bad people live there.

Digging Monuments


Continued on Page 14


Professional Practice: Code of Ethics 2016 The Registration Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologist published the Code of Ethics in one of its 2015 Newsletters. The Board has given us permission to reprint it here. THE CODE OF ETHICS AND THE LAW The Engineer, Land Surveyor and Geologist Registration Law (Act 367) includes under Section 4 (g) a “Code of Ethics” for engineers, land surveyors and geologists practicing in the Commonwealth. Section 4 (g) entitled, “Suspension and Revocation of Licenses; Registrations and Certificates; Reinstatements”, specifically empowers the Board to discipline any registrant guilty of misconduct in the practice of these professions. A violation of the Code of Ethics will be considered by the Board as misconduct in the practice of these professions. The “Code of Ethics” as printed in Section 4 (g) of the ACT is as follows: It shall be considered unprofessional and inconsistent with honorable and dignified bearing for any professional engineer, professional land surveyor or professional geologist: (1) To act for his client or employer in professional matters otherwise than as a faithful agent or trustee, or to accept any remuneration other than his stated recompense for services rendered. (2) To attempt to injure falsely or maliciously, directly or indirectly, the professional reputation, prospects or business of anyone. (3) To attempt to supplant another engineer, land surveyor or geologist after definite steps have been taken toward his employment. (4) To compete with another engineer, land surveyor or geologist for employment by the use of unethical practices. (5) To review the work of another engineer, land surveyor or geologist for the same client, except with the knowledge of such engineer, land surveyor or geologist, or unless the connection of such engineer, land surveyor or geologist with the work has terminated. (6) To attempt to obtain or render technical services or assistance without fair and just compensation commensurate with the services rendered: Provided, however, the donation of such services to a civic, charitable, religious or eleemosynary organization shall not be deemed a violation. (7) To advertise in self-laudatory language, or in any other manner, derogatory to the dignity of the profession. (8) To attempt to practice in any field of engineering, land surveying or geology in which the registrant is not proficient. (9) To use or permit the use of his professional seal on work over which he was not in responsible charge. (10) To aid or abet any person in the practice of engineering, land surveying or geology not in accordance with the provision of this act or prior laws. If you have facts substantiating unethical practice by a licensed professional under this act, please file a complaint with the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs by calling the toll free number 1-800-822-2113 if you reside in Pennsylvania or 717-7834849 outside Pennsylvania. The Board urges you to study the “Code of Ethics” and embrace it in the daily practice of your profession. REMEMBER, IT’S THE LAW!


Code of Ethics 1996

The following is a reprint of an article published in the October 1996 issue of the Pennsylvania Surveyor. The article is one of a series written for the newsletter by Wilhelm A. Schmidt, PLS. Mr. Schmidt was a regular contrubutor to the newsletter during this time period.


Continued from Page 9

Reprinted from the October 1996 issue of the Pennsylvania Surveyor.

Continued from Page 4

NSPS Director's Report Other items that the PSLS has concerns with are also being addressed at the national level and will be reported on at the upcoming NSPS meeting in addition to resolutions or as next steps transpire. This report is somewhat short and more information will be addressed in the next volume as many reports are submitted for the semi-annual meetings. In the interim if you have any questions or concerns that you would like to be considered please contact your Chapter’s State Director and submit your issue in writing and I will be glad to consider presenting to “your” NSPS. Don’t forget to read the NSPS News and Reviews for other tidbits of information that is going on around the country. Respectfully,

Brent L. Birth, P.L.S. NSPS PA Affiliate Director

Keep up with National News by reading the NSPS weekly email, "News & Views".

NSPS Student Competition Criteria Announced

NSPS Chairman Jim Sens and his Committee have announced the initial details for the 2016-17 Student Competition, and are seeking expressions of interest from the both four-year degree and two-year degree programs, respectively . Please read below. The title for the completion will be: “High-Precision Vertical Control Applications” More details and instructions will be available on or about September 12.* The competition will be in the Washington DC area on Monday March 13, 2017. We are trying to set up some social type activities for Sunday March 12 with a survey themed excursion during the day and a reception after. We are still working on the details of that, but we are excited with the idea of finding a way where all the teams can meet and mingle. I will provide additional information as soon as I can. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to reach out to me. Also, please share this with any additional schools or instructors that you think may be interested in participating. Regards, *Now available at: page/StudentCompetition Jim Sens -


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The Society, being proactive in respect to the activities developed by the membership, has hired a part-time employee, Lisa Diehl, to assist Laurie Troutman in her daily support of the Profession. Matt Warner, the Society representative to the Pennsylvania Geospatial Coordinating Board, and a guest attended the PANENA (http://www.panena. org/) conference to speak on Municipal Boundary Lines regarding the who, what, and why of Authoritative; The Reading Chapter Golf Outing, (pictures available on the website as well as Facebook): what a great venue to take a respite;

Presidential Selfie

The Standards of Practice Committee has leaped into reviewing the Manual of Practice. Expect to see an updated Manual in 2017. Please feel free to contact Brian Yorkiewicz, Committee Chair for additional information;

The Exam Committee has been keeping its thumb on the pulse of the change in the PLS State Exam as the Commonwealth has selected a new testing agency; My memory is likely missing some details, but as you can see the adventures never cease. Upcoming adventures include, Business Meetings in October and December, GIS Conferences in Clarion and Harrisburg, attendance at the PA School Counselors Conference in December, and the Annual Conference in January. I am looking forward to the Fall events. I hope you will join us. Sincerely, Michael D. Kreiger, PLS


2017 Membership Renewals will go out to members in the beginning of October. Members who pay thir dues by November 15 will receive a discount. Below are the dues amounts for 2017 Member……………………………...$200/yr PSLS + $40 NSPS Membership = $240 / Early Renewal: $225 (Surveyor licensed in Pennsylvania) Associate..…………………….…….$120/yr / Early renewal: $105 (Non-licensed surveyor or engaged in mapping or GIS) Affiliate.............……………………….$105/yr / Early renewal: $95 (Member of another state society) Retired.............………………………..$100/yr / Early renewal: $95 (Having license retired by State Registration Board) Retired-PSLS....……………………….$50/yr / Early renewal: $45 (Retired license plus 10 years prior PSLS membership) Sustaining……….…………………….$385/yr / Early renewal: $360 (Firms having an interest in land surveying) Student…….…………………………...$15/yr (Enrolled in a Pennsylvania college or university) Auxiliary…….………………………….$15/yr (Spouse/significant other of a member)


Thank you

Keystone Aerial Surveys Attn: John Schmitt PO Box 21059 Philadelphia, PA 19114 P: 215-677-3119 F: 215-464-2889

CivilTraining, LLC/SmartDraft Attn: John Cooke 5300 Wellington Branch Drive, Suite 100 Gainesville, VA 20155 P: 732-859-8353 F: 732-377-5454



Sustaining Firm Members

Berntsen International, Inc. Attn: Tim Klaben PO Box 8670 Madison, WI 53708-8670 P: 608-249-8549 F: 608-249-9794

Keddal Aerial Mapping Attn: Bradley Piper 1121 Boyce Road, #3100 Pittsburgh, PA 15241-3918 P: 724-942-2881 F: 724-942-2885

to our

Keystone Precision Instruments Attn: George Allport Jr. 1670 East Race Street Allentown, PA 18109 P: 800-833-9250 F: 610-266-3240

Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc. Attn: Shelley Speelman 369 East Park Drive Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17111 P:717-564-1121 F:717-564-1158

Thank you

to our


Sustaining Firm Members Precision Laser & Instrument Attn: Robert J. Barth 85 11th Street Ambridge, PA 15003 P: 724-266-1600 F: 724-266-8161

Klein Agency, LLC Attn: Mark Amirault PO Box 219 Timonium, MD 21094 P: 410-832-7600 F: 410-832-1849

Nor East Mapping, Inc. Attn: Ron Henry, CP PO Box 270 Kylertown, PA 16847-0270 P: 814-345-1167 F: 814-345-1176

Print-O-Stat, Inc. Attn: Lou Mazero 1011 West Market Street York, PA 17404 P: 717-854-7821 F: 717-846-4084

Oswald Companies Attn: Paula M. Selvaggio, RPLU 3401 Enterprise Parkway, Suite 101 Beachwood, OH 44122-7340 P: 216-839-2815 F: 216-839-2801 Trimble Corporation Attn: Kelly Liberi 10355 Westmoor Drive Westminster, CO 80021 P: 720-587-4606 F: 720-887-6101

Szalankiewicz Engineering, PC Attn: James J. Szalankiewicz Box 206 Elderton, PA 15736 P: 724-354-4852 F: 724-354-4273


The Perspective of an Army Surveyor It is no secret that it can be hot in the Middle East. I often wondered where the locals found the water they needed to make the mud which they used to build their huts. For us, in Iraq in the spring of 2003, finding water was also a challenge. We were rationed a one liter bottle of fresh water per day for drinking, and a 5 gallon jug of non-potable water per week for laundry. I remember my platoon sergeant writing home, describing in his hand written letter, the itchiness he suffered due to his inability to properly rinse the laundry detergent from his uniforms. It was a bit more graphic than that, but I’ll spare you the details for now. What many do not understand, however, is that the temperature over there remains hot all through the night. But it isn’t as hot as the day, therefore many of our GPS operations took place at night. Unfortunately, the local wildlife had much of the same theory, and also came out at night. From the Pakistani coyotes who howled like dying cats, to the clouds of mosquitos who somehow found their way into your pants. Light posts attracted large moths, large moths attracted large bats. attracted large moths, large moths attracted large bats. Then there were the sand fleas which would snack on your face while you slept, leaving a trail of destruction across your forehead. One nasty flea bit an unlucky sergeant so much, the swelling caused her head to resemble a jack-o-lantern. This was while we slept in our “Gypsy Camp”, a.k.a. vehicles parked in a circle, because nobody in the Army at the Baghdad airport knew we were supposed to be there. I will say, however, that my bed during our time in that camp, the canvas top of my Humvee, was actually quite comfortable. Considering many of the places we visited had no geodetic control networks, the solution to establish


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control was to collect and process 72 straight hours of uninterrupted static GPS data. So with a wide open desert, you will find that there is a lot of wind. Often our antenna heights were set around 1 meter, but again, wide open desert so don’t worry. There were no obstructions. We literally had to anchor down our tripods with rope and tent posts, and place sandbags over the feet. No big deal, until it was time to remove the tripod and see what has decided to make those sandbags their homes.

DubDub Perhaps you have heard of camel spiders. I had heard the legends before I actually saw my first one. I will tell you this, I have never met a more violent, creepy looking, and down-right nasty creature than this. They seem to go out of their way to come and get you, and they will not back down at any cost. For no reason at all, they will tear other insects to shreds with their scissor like jaws, while showing no mercy or remorse. They make the tick seem like a cozy creature who just wants to snuggle with you. While it was good to not find one of these little devils under there, there was always the prospect of a scorpion or a viper. Yes, we have found and caught all three. Camel Spiders

The desert wildlife aren’t the only dangerous creatures on the airfields. The local human population can be quite dangerous as well. Besides the obvious explanation of the presence of radical jihadists who want to kill you, there was a slight language barrier between the local civilians and us. Good communication with the air traffic control tower is essential to airport safety, and since some of the airports which the U.S. military were utilizing were civilian, our ground movements on the airport were regulated by locals. Usually, they would tell us that a plane was coming in and to immediately exit the runway. Usually… There aren’t many more things that will ruin your morning, than seeing the look on a C-130 pilot’s face as he pulls up to avoid hitting you during a landing. Sure, we saw him coming, but without the tower’s guidance, we assumed he would land further down the runway. Yes, you will run like hell in that situation, but chances are, the draft will scatter your equipment down the runway. Yes, I am referring to several thousand dollar, survey grade GPS equipment. Earlier I asked, why would anybody want to do this profession? I can only begin to answer that by stating the good things that all surveyors are familiar with. The sense of accomplishment after completing a difficult mission, and the satisfaction that our work is meaningful. The never boring, ever changing environment and job sites. The amazing sights taken in, and the memories which remain. Above all else, I believe that it is the comradery that makes this profession so special, whether in the public or private sector. It is that special bond which is built amongst survey crews, which only grows stronger as the situations become more difficult and the storiesget crazier. I still keep in touch with many friends I have served with over 10 years ago, despite the fact that we live all across the country. As I reflect upon these memories and the many others throughout my 15 years in this profession, I realize that the worst situations made for the best stories, and I would never trade them for anything.

Equipment Test

While I do have many more stories of how things sucked as a deployed Army surveyor, one thing we always kept in perspective was that we actually had it pretty good compared to others. As I stated earlier, I never had to fire my weapon in combat, and I thank God for that every day. Unlike many others, I was fortunate enough to come home and see my family. I am eternally grateful for all of those who have served and gave their lives for this country. ESSAYONS!

Doug has over 15 years of surveying experience. 5 years in U.S. Army, and over 10 in the private sector. He is currently employed by Michael Baker International as a GIT Associate. and a member of the Harrisburg Chapter of PSLS.


PSLS PR Contest WInners

What Does a Surveyor Do? The PSLS Public Relations Committee announced the winners of it's "What Does a Surveyor Do?" contest. Entries were to use short words; easy for kids to read and understand. The top 5 answers are: Bob Bush: Surveyors put the ground on paper (measuring the ground to make maps and plats) and put paper on the ground Greg Clark: Shows us where to build the fence around our yard. Greg Clark: Shows us how high water rises during floods. Brad Foltz: Measure the earth Justin Hennings: Surveyors measure things so that we may find them again in the future. Thank you for taking the challenge and helping us to spark the imagination of the next generation! PSLS will continue its mission to educate others about the profession when they exhibit at the PA School Counselors Conference in State College December 1-2. If you would like to attend to help tell school counselors about the benefits of the profession, contact PR Chair Adam Crews or the PSLS office.

Donations Needed!

Did you know that you can make donations to a variety of projects on the PSLS website? Pennsylvania Land Surveyors Foundation Scholarship Fund -Helps provide financial assistance to individuals pursuing an education in land surveying Legal Defense Fund-Provides a source of funds which may be used by the Society to provide legal counsel on issues potentially affecting a large segment of the membership, or otherwise having major precedent-setting implications NSPS Trig-Star Sponsorship-Provides monetary awards for the top students from each school district in Pennsylvania participating in the Trig-Star program All of these funds need your help to stay viable. Please consider donating now, or when you renew your membership. Every dollar is appreciated!


NSPS Public Relations

The NSPS Public Relations committee has recently completed a new series of informational brochures, including career brochures to share with schools and students. You can access these brochures on the PSLS website at: Brochure covers are shown and have a link to a downloadable and printable pdf file.


On the Lighter Side... “When Opportunity Knocks” David Drumheller, PLS (Susquehanna Chapter) We, as Professional Land Surveyors, are generally a serious group of people, and rightfully so. Our daily tasks put us in an arena where we are constantly interacting between clients and government agencies, trying to explain to the property owner the regulations that our government has placed on their land. Every once in a while, however, an opportunity presents itself for interjecting a little humor into the mix. This is one of those cases. It all started when a good friend approached me about surveying off a parcel of land that he and his wife were considering conveying it to their daughter and son-in-law as a building lot. So I scheduled an appointment with Bob to go over the process. (Now just like they used to say at the beginning of every episode of Dragnet, “The names have been changed to protect the innocent” although in this case it has been done to protect the victim.) We met at the property and discussed all the permits that would be required. We looked at the Zoning regulations, subdivision regulations, sewage disposal concerns, driveway access, stormwater management and erosion control issues, all the things that normally need addressing. After explaining all this, he authorized me to get things taken care of for them. So, I put them on the schedule and started on the project. While at the site, I noticed a few groundhog holes on the property, and that’s when opportunity knocked. Before I get into the opportunity, I need to provide a little background on Bob and his wife Annie. Bob is a very successful professional who was raised in an area of New Jersey that was particularly overburdened with governmental red tape. Annie, on the other hand, had basically the opposite upbringing. She was raised on a farm in Ohio, a country girl accustomed brothers who would “rid” the farm of the pesky groundhogs. It was in knowing their backgrounds that produced the opportunity.


I thought, why not create a new government regulation (not that the government needs any more regulations) to present to Bob, and that put my mind into motion. I decided that the new regulation would provide protection to those groundhogs and began formulating the mandates of this new regulation. I considered differing options, trying to make things just on the fringe of being believable. Then, on the next Sunday morning, opportunity knocked. You see, Bob, Annie, my wife and I all attend the same church. After this morning’s worship, as we were walking out of church, Bob asked me if I had any update as to the progress of the survey, and that was the only opportunity I needed. “Bob,” I said. “We have a problem.” “What’s that?” he replied. I responded with “There’s a relatively new regulation in place that presents a hurdle to your survey. It’s called the ‘Groundhog Endangerment Act.’” “What exactly is that?” was his response. “Well,” I said, “a short time ago a group of activists got together and decided that the groundhogs were being abused by losing their homes to the construction of houses for humans. The group refers to themselves as C.A.G.E., which stands for ‘Citizens Against Groundhog Endangerment.’” “So how exactly does that affect me?” “Here’s how the act works” as I laid out the process. “The act states that five or more groundhog holes within a given area constitutes a groundhog colony. While I was at the site, I observed at least six groundhog holes near the southeast corner of the proposed lot.”

On the Lighter Side... “Ok, so what?” was his response. “When a colony is discovered” I continued, “the property owner is required to dedicate some other portion of their land to establish a new groundhog colony. A ‘metes and bounds’ easement is established for that area, and a groundhog recolonization expert is retained to move the groundhogs to their new area.” “That’s ridiculous!” he exclaimed. “Oh it gets worse” I responded. “Not only does the expert need to move the colony, you are responsible to pay him to monitor the site at least twice a year for the next five years to insure the colony becomes firmly established at its new location.” “Isn’t there any way around this?” Bob exclaimed. “Bob,” I said, “What do you want me to do? I saw all those holes; I can’t just ignore them. I can’t say that they don’t exist, can I?”

With a sigh of disgust Bob responded, “No, I don’t expect you to do that. I just can’t believe things have gotten this out of hand. I’d like to think you are just kidding me.” I said, “Well, I am, but that doesn’t eliminate your requirement to comply with them.” There was a brief moment of silence on Bob’s part. Then he gave me a rather puzzled look and asked, “What did you just say?” With my continued straight face, I responded, “Yeah, you’re right, I’m just kidding.” Through all this, his wife Annie was standing just behind him listening to the whole conversation. It hadn’t taken her long to realize that I was just having some fun at her husband’s expense. How she restrained herself from laughing was truly amazing to me!

Just for Fun Just for Fun. The first person who emails with a caption for this photo wins a $10 gift card. Captions will be published in the next issue of the PA Surveyor. Spring 2016 Issue Brian Zick of the Susquehanna Chapter won a $10 Gift Card with his caption "Lean it to the left!" for the Spring Issue of Just for Fun. Congrats!

Lean it to the left!


Member news and events

2016 Stormwater Management Course In August, PSLS sponsored the Computational Methods in Stormwater Management short course in conjunction with Penn State Wilkes-Barre continuing education program. The event was held at the Nittany Lion Inn, in State College, PA. This event has been held annually for more than 25 years. Presenters included Organizer Thomas Seybert, PE, Ph.D., Thomas Smith, PE, PLS, Clayton Hodges, PE, and Domenic Rocco, PE. The 26 attendees each received a copy of the Virginia Tech/Penn State Urban Hydrology Model (VT/PSUHM) version 8.3.


Member news and events

2016 Summer Conference PSLS held its 2nd annual Summer Conference in Mornoeville, August 25 & 26. Attendees chose between 2 tracks. The first was Exam Review, and the 2nd was Emerging Technologies.

Thanks to all participants!


Member news and events

Delaware Valley and Bucks Chapter Joint meeting The Delaware Valley and Bucks Chapters held a meeting in Lansdale, PA on September 15th. The presenter was Dave Doyle and the topic was the NGS provided tool DSWorld. Dave discussed how easy it is to update location information on found monuments in the National Spatial Reference System. Many of the existing vertical control marks and monuments have descriptions which place them to an accuracy of 100 feet. That is a lot of ground to over when you are looking for a marker. By entering the position data for recovered markers into DSWorld, the accuracy is about 10 - 15 feet. Entering the information is quick and easy and does not require occupying the marker to submit the data. More information on DSWorld can be found on the NGS Website by typing DSWorld into the search box. Or, come to the Annual Conference and talk to Dave about it in person.

Thanks to Dave Doyle for his fascinating presentation!

Special welcome to John and Rosemary Boyd.

M e e t i n g sponsored by :

Special thanks to the Chapters for thier warm welcome to this event. The food was terrific, the company was better. I suggest anyone who is in the area when one of these chapter meetings is held should attend. Yes, it is great to learn about new software and technology, but it is even better to do so in the company of friends. - Laurie Troutman, PSLS Business Manager


Member news and events

The Reading Chapter held its annual Golf Outing September 9 at the Chapel Hills Golf Course.


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PA Surveyor-Summer 2016  

Quarterly publication of the Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors. Summer 2016 Issue

PA Surveyor-Summer 2016  

Quarterly publication of the Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors. Summer 2016 Issue

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