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Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors Newsletter The

Pennsylvania Surveyor

Surveying Beyond Boundaries

Spring/Summer 2014

PSLS Reaching New HEIGHTS by Brian Naberezny, PLS

Inside... 3

President’s Message...


NSPS News...


Who Can Perform Engineering Surveys?...

In an effort to improve the current hybrid geoid model and help prepare Pennsylvania for the next iteration of our vertical datum, PSLS sought volunteers to recover and occupy bench marks with dualfrequency GPS receivers for 4.5 hours. This data will be submitted to OPUS, as shared solutions so the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) can use them to refine the current geoid model and to help develop the upcoming vertical datum known as GRAV-D. PSLS is working to make the process as simple as possible to accommodate those familiar with OPUS and those that are not. If you are unfamiliar with GPS but want to help there is a need to recover bench marks. The project officially began in March 2014 and the volunteer accomplishments to date are as follows:

Return on Investment...

SLS launched an ambitious campaign known as PSLS Reaching New Heights (PRNH), which will reap benefits for surveyors, the public, and anyone using geospatial data with a vertical component for years to come. This campaign was part of our celebration of National Surveyors’ Week, March 16-22, 2014.

Accomplishments to Date u87 point groups volunteered u126 point recoveries reported u60 point occupations reported u36 shared solutions reported

ap See m 3! 2 Page

Now that National Surveyors’ Week has come to an end, PSLS will be improving the PRNH webpage, the interactive map, and the volunteer process to improve the volunteer experience. We will pass on information about these changes when they are available We are still searching for volunteers to continue the effort. Details on volunteering can be found in the Volunteer Handbook on the PSLS website, which should be reviewed in detail and contains Frequently Asked Questions as well as some notes on safety and access. Continued on Page 23


8 Coastal Monitoring..11 Ramblings by Chuck...15

21 PAC Membership...22

Member News...

28 Trig-Star Winners...30 Jeffersonian Attitude...

Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors Officers

2014 Board Meeting Dates

Adam Crews, PLS, President Michael D. Kreiger, PLS, President-Elect Shaheed A. Smith, PLS, Vice President Scott R. Reeser, PLS, Secretary Mark E. Hummel, PLS, Treasurer Karl E. Kriegh, PLS, Past President Robert R. Miller, PLS, NSPS Director

August 1, Camp Hill October 10, Harrisburg November 7, Camp Hill December 12, Harrisburg

State Directors Allegheny Heartlands Chapter Joseph P. Hood, PLS & Norman S. VanWhy, PLS Bucks Chapter Brian Yorkiewicz, PLS & Jonathan J. Tabas, PE, PLS

Just Released: National Land Cover Database of 2011

Delaware Valley Chapter Richard A. Shewman, PLS & Bruce E. Lewis, PLS

by PSLS Geospatial Committee

Harrisburg Chapter Milton H. Davis, PLS & Thomas W. Kimmel, PLS

new release of the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) was made available April 4, 2014. This new dataset is based on Landsat multi-spectral satellite images with a 30-meter resolution acquired in 2011. NLCD 2011 provides seamless coverage for the coterminous United States as well as Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

Laurel Highlands Chapter Richard R. Bourg Jr., PLS & Charles L. Zelenak Jr., PLS Lehigh Valley Chapter Stephen D. Ombalski, PLS Mid-State Chapter Fred M. Henry, PLS North Central Chapter Charles G. Lang, PLS & James E. Pahel, PLS Northeast Chapter Brian Naberezny, PLS & Brent L. Birth, PLS Northwest Chapter Jeffrey P. Gilmore, & Edward E. Northrop, PLS Pocono Chapter Duane P. Bishop Jr., PLS Reading Chapter John G. Fuehrer II, PE, PLS & John M. Huck, PLS South Central Chapter Thomas E. Farcht Jr., PLS & L. Bradley Foltz, PLS South Pocono Chapter Lawrence R. Bailey, PLS Southwest Chapter Donald R. Housley Sr., PLS & Terry R. Siefers, PLS Susquehanna Chapter David A. Drumheller, PLS

PSLS Staff Kate C. Sherman, Director Laurie L. Troutman, Business Manager



The NLCD datasets are currently produced on a five-year cycle and provide information on the thematic class of land use (forest, agriculture, developed, etc.), land cover change, and percent imperviousness. NLCD 2011 will be the first to include percent tree canopy. Previous NLCD datasets are available for 2006, 2001, and 1992 which cover the coterminous United States but only NLCD 2001 and NLCD 2011 provides coverage of Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. There are numerous uses for these products and they may be a source of value-added services for your clients especially if working with or for municipalities or organizations with large land holdings. More information on NLCD can be found at

PSLS Mission 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.

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 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

Enhance Your Profession: Become a Leader Adam D. Crews, PLS The following is an excerpt from the 2014 President's speech at the 2014 conference. It gives readers a brief background about Adam Crews, PLS, who has the honor of being the youngest president in the history of the PSLS.


his morning in our workshop, Bill Beitler mentioned that he started surveying in 1972, and then asked me if I had been born yet. I said “no, but that’s the year my parents were married and I’m the third child.” Because I haven’t been around that long, let me tell you my short story: I’ve been surveying since I was 16 and licensed for five years. I live in Southeast Pa. and have a wonderful wife and two beautiful daughters. I have a bachelor’s degree in surveying engineering from Penn State and have been in business for myself since January 1, 2014—seemingly an eternity ago. Now I stand before you, honored to have an opportunity to serve as president of this organization. I’m asked all the time “What does PSLS do?” and I always struggle with an adequate response. It’s like when your neighbor asks you: “What's a surveyor?” How can you encompass an entire profession in a single response? PSLS does more than is apparent on the surface. Not only are there financial benefits of membership but many other tangible and intangible ones as well. The networking with other professionals alone is worth the cost of membership. You meet people, gain business relationships, and sometimes make lifelong friends because of your involvement. Where else can you talk to a room full of people and everyone understands exactly what you’re talking about when you say you found a stone or plunge the scope? PSLS has made huge advances this year to benefit its membership, thanks in large part to the Geospatial Committee. Starting as a fledgling task force, it ended up as one of the most active committees in PSLS—being vigilant over our registration law, proactive in helping form the state Geospatial Coordinating Board, and engaging in massive outreach to our other geospatial practitioners. We’re hoping to harness the Geospatial Committee’s enthusiasm and spread it into all of the PSLS committees. There’s a catch: the couple dozen people you see sitting up front at the conference banquet every year can’t do it alone. We need your help. We need you involved. When people first learned that I was president-elect last year, the first question they asked was “Well, Adam, what are your goals and plans for the year?” I don’t think this question is posed correctly. This isn’t a dictatorship or a monarchy. I can’t issue Executive Orders or pardon criminals. The Society is made of members. Without those members there is no Society. Your job, the membership, is to communicate and participate. Talk to your state directors about issues you care about. Become a state director yourself. Join a committee. Most committees meet remotely via e-mail or using web-based

Adam Crews presents the outgoing president's gavel to Karl Kriegh.

Continued on Page 5


Director's Report A message from Robert R. Miller, PLS, NSPS Director of Pennsylvania

Fellow PSLS Members: Let me take this opportunity to update you on the NSPS public relations initiatives, and some highlights from the NSPS Spring Conference that I recently attended in San Diego. One of the first steps NSPS took for moving its 100% campaign forward to realign initiatives to better serve members was to hire Flatdog Media to handle public relations. Flatdog assisted NSPS by filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding the actions of the Department of Labor in its recent Davis-Bacon Act activities. In addition, Flatdog created press releases for the winning candidates from the recent NSPS election; NSPS provided local newspaper contact information to them for each person. Flatdog has been placing a Dual Frequency article in each edition of Professional Surveyor magazine. That article is for, and about, NSPS. A Flatdog employee works with headquarters on posting for Facebook, Twitter, and the blog. He also provides support to assist NSPS in improving skills for using social media. To help promote the NSPS Foundation nation-wide raffle for scholarship fundraising, Flatdog is going to help create posters, pamphlets, advertisements, and articles. The company also creates some of the flyers that NSPS uses for membership promotion. Those will be in new member packets. The annual review of their contract is currently ongoing. Regarding the NSPS Spring Conference, here are some of the relevant topics that were discussed: 1. NSPS presented PSLS with an award for outstanding state participation in PSLS Reaching New Heights during National Surveyors Week. PSLS received a marker as recognition for Pennsylvania’s activities. 2. PSLS received a certificate of appreciation for participating in the NSPS 100% Campaign. NSPS has received $430,000 in revenue; the goal is $600,000. 3. To date, 46 states have signed an MOU with NSPS. 4. NSPS voted to eliminate the Board of Governors by 2015. A plan is underway to create a committee of NSPS ambassadors to provide a contact in various regions to answer questions that might arise from states. 5. A young surveyors group is forming, and a U.S. representative from the state of Washington spoke at the conference. The group welcomes surveyors who are 30 or younger. 6. CST continues to grow. PSLS should consider designating a director for CST in Pennsylvania. 7. NSPS is working on a final draft of a strategic plan. 8. The NSPS Foundation is seeking members and donations. 9. The Penn State Wilkes-Barre students who participated in the NSPS Student Competition received an honorable mention. 10. I am going to present a Trig-Star segment on Curt Sumner’s radio talk show in the near future. I hope that this information is helpful. Let me know if you have questions. If I do not know the answer, I will inquire and get it for you. Thank you, Robert R. Miller, PLS | P: 267-923-8673 ext. 117


President's Message Continued from Page 3

applications making it easier than ever to participate. The aforementioned Geospatial Committee meets several times a month entirely online. Talk to your community. Talk to other professionals. Real estate agencies are always looking for professionals to speak at their monthly meetings. That’s a great way to promote yourself and your profession. PSLS is nothing without its membership. That’s why outreach is so important. Reach out to unlicensed individuals. We need new faces and new fresh ideas. I think we’re on our way to a bright future. Look around at the conference: we have younger generations being active in the highest levels of this Society and it’s up to all of us to make sure this trend continues because as Mike Kreiger said, “Lead your profession or someone else will.” Let’s build our future professionals. Let’s education them, mentor them, and guide them into the profession we all love. Let us educate the public, all of us. Let’s make land surveyor as well known a term as doctor, lawyer, or accountant. So, if I were to have a “goal,” it would be to enhance every aspect of our Society and profession—from membership and education to PR and legislation. PSLS isn’t a “me” thing, it’s an “us” thing. We’re taking this Society to higher levels and are proud to call ourselves surveyors. n

Legislative News Highlights Below are excerpts from the May 2014 legislative report provided for PSLS by Wanner Associates. Visit under Members Only to view the full report. The May Legislative Report, courtesy of our lobbyists at Wanner Associates, is now posted in the Members Only section. Login to Members Only, Legislative & Government Affairs, Legislative Updates on right hand side of page, to read about: •

State Registration Board for PEs, LSs and Geologists May 14 Meeting Highlights •

Board Prosecutors reported on reciprocal discipline cases, and other matters for deliberation in Executive Session

Board Counsel Jeffrey Wood reported on the status of legislation of interest to the Board. Wood noted that HB 997, regarding Soil Scientist licensing had been the subject of a public hearing the House Professional Licensure Committee on May 7. The bill probably will not be voted in the House this session. Wood also noted that HB 1447, title protection for professional engineers, remains in the House Professional Licensure Committee. John Wanner noted that the industrial exemption is “problematic,” and a public hearing will likely occur before the bill is considered.

John Wanner updated the Board on issues of interest to PSPE and PSLS.

Board Chair Lisa Catania, reported she attended the NCEES meeting with Bob Garlitz.

Regulatory Counsel Larry Boyle was not in attendance, but Wood reported that the seals regulation is with the BPOA Regulatory Counsel. Publication date is not clear.

John Fuehrer reported that the Wilkes-Barre program is losing two instructors, and suggested the Board look into how they can help.

Next meeting is July 9, in Harrisburg. Future 2014 meeting dates: September 10, and November 12.

Committee Holds Public Hearing on Soil Scientists’ Licensure

Grove’s School Construction Reform Bill Headed for House Floor

Primary Elections: Democrat Wolf to Face Corbett; Few Upsets Among Incumbent Legislators

Licensure Bills


Who Can Perform Engineering Land Surveys ? submitted by PSLS Geospatial Committee


he PSLS Geospatial Committee has been actively following a complaint recently heard before the State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists. The complaint was originally filed in September of 2007 based on a newsletter from a western Pennsylvania electrical utility. The newsletter discussed how the utility’s paper maps were being converted to a GIS and that GPS was to be used by an out-of-state contractor to position each piece of infrastructure to a high degree of accuracy. The investigation of the complaint revealed the contractor did not have a Pennsylvania PLS or PE on staff and complaints related to similar work have been filed in other states. The contractor stated they were not surveying in the usual sense of the word but were performing an inventory using mapping grade GPS to get x-y location of facilities. The RFP indicated approximately 100,000 data points were to be located and stipulated sub-meter accuracy. Based on results of the investigation the contractor is accused of four counts related to offering and performing an engineering land survey without being appropriately licensed.

Through dialogue with the prosecutor’s office one committee member learned of this case and a several year backlog of cases involving GPS and GIS. The decision whether or not to prosecute those cases is dependent on the outcome of this one case. The first day of testimony took place on May 15, 2013. Despite being in contact with the prosecutor’s office, the committee was not aware of the first day of testimony until after the fact. The PSLS Executive Committee authorized funds to purchase the transcripts from this hearing. The committee reviewed the transcripts in detail and PSLS sent a four-page letter to the Registration Board stating its opinion that the contractor violated the Registration Act. While we were hoping the letter would be admitted as evidence, we learned it was unlikely to happen unless the author(s) could be questioned. PSLS responded with a letter authorizing members of the committee to testify on behalf of PSLS. All four committee members attended the second day of testimony on September 17, 2013, prepared to testify. Our request to file as an intervener was denied so neither the letter nor any committee member testimony was admitted into evidence. However, the letter was received by the Registration Board and our efforts were acknowledged and appreciated. Transcripts were purchased from this second day of testimony and reviewed by the committee. The final day of testimony occurred on February 12, 2014, with two committee members in attendance and subsequently these transcripts were also purchased and reviewed by the committee. Post-hearing briefs were filed by both the complainant and respondent and the committee is in the process of obtaining and reviewing these as well. The PSLS Geospatial Committee believes it has done all it can to be sure the voice of PSLS is heard as it relates to this case. In response to this case, PSLS has taken an active stance with regards to the scope of practice. The PSLS Registration Law Task Force was formed and tasked with reviewing the current Registration Act and recommending any necessary changes to the PSLS Board of Directors by the end of the year. A line item was added to our annual budget to ensure funds are in place to adequately address these issues when they arise. The Geospatial Committee presented a workshop, two webinars, and several chapter presentations and discussions for PSLS members and has presented several workshops to the GIS community all related to the registration law and unlicensed practice. It is believed the final adjudication and order will issued this summer and the committee will report the outcome when it is available. We have done our best to help defend the current practice of surveying in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania but believe there is much work to be done to ensure the future practice of surveying in the Commonwealth. Please consider getting involved with your chapter, the Registration Law Task Force, Geospatial Committee, or PSLS Board of Directors. n


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Return on Investment:

A Formal Surveying Education

by Knud E. Hermansen, Ph.D., Esq., PLS, PE & Carlton A. Brown, Ph.D., PLS, PE


s faculty members in the Surveying Engineering Technology program at the University of Maine, we are often asked if it is worth pursuing a bachelor of science degree in surveying. In other words, will a graduate receive a good return on their investment by pursuing academic studies in surveying. Our answer is an unqualified “YES.”

THE RETURN FROM THE INVESTMENT The return from investing in a four-year surveying education has many facets aside from the knowledge itself and the need for the degree in some states for obtaining a professional license. From our observation, graduates from a four-year surveying program are in the top 30% of the starting salaries received by college undergraduates. This surprises many surveyors who often feel they are on the bottom end of earners.1 The fact is that a large number of college graduates cannot find employment after graduation. 2 What employment is available for many college graduates is not too far above the minimum wage.3 Some graduates such as those with a degree in social work must often obtain a graduate degree or work as an unpaid intern for one or two years before securing paid employment in their field. On the other hand, over 30 employment announcements were posted for University of Maine surveying students between January and May 20134 —almost three times more than the number of surveying students graduating. A four-year surveying degree has considerable value aside from surveyor licensing. Graduates with a bachelor of science degree in surveying are in an excellent position to multiply their earnings through additional studies. Graduates can go on to earn a graduate degree in the surveying field or a related field such as GIS. Graduates can also pursue graduates studies and earn an MBA,5 graduate degree in civil engineering,6 or a law degree.7

The bottom line is that a graduate with a four-year degree can expect to earn around $600,000 more during his or her professional career.


Most four-year surveying programs are ABET accredited. Graduates with a bachelor of science degree in surveying from an ABET accredited program can seek dual registration as both a surveyor and engineer in most states.8 Dual licensing as both an engineer and surveyor will add at least 50% to an individual’s average salary.9 Many surveyors

also hold other licenses or certifications allowing practice and expanded services in such areas as designing on-site septic systems, forestry, wetlands delineation, flood plain manager, photogrammetry, and city planning, to name a few. Surveying graduates also have considerable potential to increase their earnings by hard work and entrepreneurial endeavors. Unlike some professions such as grade-school teaching or social work where individuals most often work within a structured bureaucracy, surveyors usually obtain employment where they can advance based on merit and hard work. Licensed surveyors can start their own firms with minimal investment in equipment and software compared to other startup businesses. The bottom line is that a graduate with a four-year degree can expect to earn around $600,000 more during his or her professional career.10


The second part of analyzing the return on an investment in formal education as a surveyor is to look at the cost of a formal education. Without question, education is expensive. A four-year degree at a public university will cost around $90,000.11 There are numerous ways to reduce or even eliminate this cost. One way to drastically reduce costs, available to every student, is to earn a surveying degree at a two-year college.12 At the University of Maine, a 2+2 option is available for almost all two-year (associate in science) surveying degrees. Even where a two-year surveying degree is not available in a state, a frugal student can earn approximately two years of credit toward

a four-year surveying at most The college graduate degree community colleges. can expect to earn General education courses required for 65% more than a surveying degree such as mathematics, a high-school physics, writing, speech, graduate. accounting, economics, business law, ethics, and humanities courses are usually found and can be taken at community colleges found near most communities. Full tuition payment through scholarships or other avenues are often available to students. The most common source for payment of all tuition costs in the surveying program at the University of Maine is veterans’ tuition assistance like the G.I. Bill. Almost 7% of the current students in the surveying program at the University of Maine are veterans receiving veterans’ educational benefits.13 A major source of scholarship grants come from state surveying societies. Many state surveying societies award student scholarships in excess of several thousand dollars a year. Almost all surveying students at the University of Maine receive one or more surveying scholarships.

increase in surveying field work with a corresponding increase in part-time surveying employment. Some employers even provide scholarships to summer employees going to college.14


After examining both the investment cost and return on the investment, the result shows a four-year degree in surveying is a good investment. The college graduate can expect to earn 65% more than a high-school graduate.15 Based on a 30-year professional career, a graduate can expect a 7% return on their investment.16 Of course the return on the investment is considerably higher with community college courses, tuition aid grants, and scholarships. For almost all individuals, pursuing a four-year surveying degree is worth the effort.17 n † Knud Hermansen and Carlton Brown are professors in the Surveying Engineering Technology program at the University of Maine. The Surveying Engineering Technology program is a fouryear program leading to a B.S. degree in Surveying Engineering Technology. It is an ABET/TAC accredited program. A five year B.S./ M.B.A. option is available. The focus of the program is to educate students for professional surveying practice.

Another major source of education financial support is summer employment in the surveying field. Summer often brings an 1 The average salary of a surveyor in 2012 was $59,180 a year or approximately $28.50 an hour while an elementary teacher was $56,000 per year, a social worker was $47,000 per year, forester was $57,000 per year, and electrical engineering technician was $58,000 per year. “May 2012 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates United States” Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved May 2013 from http://www.bls. gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#17-0000 2 See Willis, Gerri. (2013 Feb.) “Drowning in Debt: Liberal Arts Graduates” Fox Business, Gerri Willis Daily. Retrieved May 2013 from http:// and Gerber, Scott. (2012 Sep.) “How Liberal Arts Colleges Are Failing America.” The Atlantic. Retrieved May 2013 from 3 Notte, Jason. (2013 April) “284,000 College Grads Making Minimum Wage” MSN Money, Retrieved May 2013 from now/post.aspx?post=60c2d77c-2d2b-4920-8156-4fb05e443d93 4 The employment outlook for surveyors is 25% higher than average. (August 2012) “Surveyors”, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved May 2013 from 5 It is a misconception to believe an individual must have an undergraduate business degree before earning a masters in business administration (MBA). 6 Most civil engineer programs will allow an individual with a B.S. in surveying to enroll directly into the civil engineering graduate program. 7 Generally the only two requirements to be accepted into a law school is an acceptable undergraduate grade point average (GPA) and an acceptable law school aptitude test (LSAT) score. All things being equal, nurses and technical majors are often given preference. 8 NCEES administers both components of the surveying and engineering exams. Individuals seeking licensure as a professional engineer will have to work under a licensed engineer performing engineering services before the individual can sit for the principles and practice portion of the engineering exam. 9 According to the NSPE 2012 Engineering Income and Salary Survey, a dual licensed individual mean salary is $104,000 a year. 10 "2013 College Education ROI Rankings: Does a Degree Always Pay Off?" PayScale. Retrieved May 2013 from college-education-value-2013 11 "2013 College Education ROI Rankings: Does a Degree Always Pay Off?" PayScale. Retrieved May 2013 from college-education-value-2013 12 In Maine, community colleges tuition rates are approximately a third of the tuition rates at four-year Universities. 13 As an aside, without an explanation, almost all at this time are U.S. Marine veterans. 14 The Bureau of Land Management fell into this category along with many private employers such as Judith Nitsch Engineering, Inc. 15 Korane, Kenneth J. (2012, Sep.) “Which Engineering Schools Offer the Best Value?” Machine Design. Retrieved May 2013 from http:// 16 "2013 College Education ROI Rankings: Does a Degree Always Pay Off?". PayScale. Retrieved May 2013 from college-education-value-2013 17 Ibid.


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Coastal Monitoring

Student CafĂŠ

by Heather Nicholson, 1st Place Student Paper Competition

Abstract Coastal monitoring is just one of the many uses for information that has been gathered through hydrographic surveying techniques. Hydrographic surveying equipment has evolved from a simple graduated pole and sextant to state-of-the-art remote sensing techniques. As equipment has evolved and post processing techniques have been developed, accuracy has increased.


The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) defines hydrography as: “the branch of applied sciences which deals with the measurement and description of the physical features of oceans, seas, coastal areas, lakes and rivers, as well as with the prediction of their change over time, for the primary purpose of safety of navigation and in support of all other marine activities, including economic development, security and defense, scientific research, and environmental protection.� Accurate hydrographic surveying for coastal monitoring is essential for a wide range of scientific endeavors including: coastal flood zone modeling, estimating storm and tidal surges, quantifying volumes of sand movement due to erosion and accretion, studying marine currents and surface circulations.3,14,15 Coastal monitoring provides quantitative data that can be used to make better informed decisions.15 A simple example to illustrate this deals with tracking coastal erosion and accretion. Coastal erosion and accretion are naturally occurring processes that have only recently become a major concern because of the number of people who inhabit the coastal regions of the world.26 Simple procedures like dredging and beach reclamation affect the natural rates of erosion or accretion.12 Rising ocean levels, due in part to climate change, have compounded the need for coastal monitoring.18 Without accurate data that compares the elevations of the land to the rise in ocean tides, emergency agencies could not plan evacuation routes for coastal communities in case of natural disasters. This case exemplifies the vitality of continuous coastal monitoring in areas of extreme vulnerability not only for environmental concerns, but also for the safety and well-being of coastal inhabitants.


Historic Procedures

In 1834, the first official hydrographic survey in the United States was conducted.28 Historically, depths were measured by sounding poles, in shallow regions, and weighted ropes, in deeper areas, and positions were determined by three-point sextants.28 A sextant is shown in Figure 1. Coastal environments are especially challenging to surveys using traditional surveying equipment and procedures.26 Some regions are difficult to survey because they are hazardous and difficult to access due to sheer cliffs or dangerous tides.26 Traditional surveying methods also require fixed control points, which do not lend themselves to dynamic coastal environments.15 To monitor historic trends, large areas, both from the shoreline to a fixed base line and nearshore hydrographic regions, are required to be surveyed at regular intervals.31 These are just a few of the reasons that hydrographic surveyors are relying more and more on developing technologies to accurately monitor coastlines.

Current Procedures Overview

Coastal monitoring is a complex process that requires the combination of spatial data from a wide range of remote sensing and traditional surveying techniques.23 It often involves the marriage of geophysics, physical oceanography, ocean acoustics, cartography, and marine geology.37 Coastal monitoring and mapping is becoming a critical aspect of a wide range of issues like safe navigation, resource management, environmental protection, and coastal planning.2 One of the major complications of coastal monitoring is determining where the water ends and the land begins, this is partly due to the dynamic nature of shallow coastal waters.15 To make sound determinations on coastal change, it is necessary to separate land surface height changes and sea level changes and then place both in the same global reference frame.25 By comparing historic data with current data, trends can be documented.15 The ever changing, dynamic nature of shallow coastlines also requires constant resurveying in order for nautical charts to be up to date.12 These nautical charts are created from bathymetric surveys, the equivalent of an underwater topographic survey.12 Hydrographic surveys require both precise horizontal positioning and vertical depth to the ocean floor.28 Horizontal position is often calculated relative to the position of a surface vessel with GNSS equipment.8 If ocean based, it is also necessary to know the motion of the vessel (roll, pitch, heave) and the bottom depth, which is needed to calculate required frequency.8 Vertical position is established using a wide variety of systems including SONAR and RADAR. Figure 1 Sextant (

oric Procedures


834, the first official hydrographic survey in the United States was conducted [28]. rically, depths were measured by sounding poles, in shallow regions, and weighted ropes,

Data Processing Coastal surveying requires the merging of data from where the land meets the ocean. It is essential to connect data about landslipping, erosion, and climate change because what effects the coastal land formations will also affect the near-shore environment, and vice versa.15 Frequently, water depth are represented as the lowest mean water level that is further reduced to allow for a margin of error, because of the dynamics of the ocean, that is necessary for safe navigation.12 The shallowest likely depth is combined with the estimated rate of change, the shoaling rate, to give a better overall picture of the ocean bottom.12 Shoaling is the term used to describe the process when a wave enters a shallow area the wave increase in height.12 One pressing challenges in integrating a variety of surveying techniques is transforming the data into a common datum.26 All hydrographic data must have its vertical position referenced to a common datum, and its horizontal position recorded, most often in latitude and longitude recorded from GNSS.27 Surveying precision and accuracy is of the utmost importance because nautical charts and maps are only as good as the data used to make them.13 It is also necessary to quantifying all uncertainties.11 Least squares are utilized to calculate the unknown parameter and to preform statistical computations.11 One example of the many uses of standard statistical testing of hydrographic surveying data is to monitor deformation of the ocean bottom.12 Deformation analysis is performed by using least squares and statistical analysis techniques. Morphological parameters, i.e., wave amplitude, are denoted by u and their associated errors 没 are used to create a stochastic model.12 The associated covariance matrix is denoted Cu.12 Therefore, the overall deformation analysis is modeled using the equation N = U + V.12 Statistical analysis is then used to create confidence intervals.

Read the full article, Coastal Monitoring, on the PSLS website HERE.

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ebinar Wednesdays have become a popular hit with both PSLS members and nonmembers. If you haven't jumped on board to try them yet, we invite you to do so with one of our upcoming hot topics listed below! Give them a try over your lunch break from the convenience of your office or home. June 18 Using Mobile LIDAR to Survey High Volume Highways Safely and Accurately Speaker: Michael Loose, CP, SP 1 PDH July 15 Safety Compliance Speaker: Scott Reeser, PLS 1 PDH

August 20 Insurance 101 for Surveyors Klein Agency 1 PDH

When? 3rd Wednesday @ Noon Lower member price: $35 Member (select webinars are free to members, check for updates) $50 Non-member unless noted otherwise 2014 Webinar Sponsor


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Ramblings by Chuck by Charles D. Ghilani, Ph.D.

WhatRamblings is a Least by Chuck Squares What is a Least Squares Adjustment Anyway? Adjustment Anyway? Chuck Ghilani


Up to now I have talked about least squares adjustments as if everyone knows what they are. In this article, I am going to discuss what a least squares adjustment is, and what makes it so valuable in adjusting observational data.

Figure 1 Normal distribution curve.

Least squares adjustments have their roots in the normal distribution, which is pictured in Figure 1. As given in a previous article, the equation for the normal distribution curve is đ?‘Śđ?‘Ś =


đ?‘¤đ?‘¤đ?‘Łđ?‘Ł 1 − đ?‘’đ?‘’ 2đ?œŽđ?œŽ2 đ?œŽđ?œŽ √2đ?œ‹đ?œ‹


where v represents the residual of the observations and is the x axis of the plot, y the abscissa, đ?œŽđ?œŽ equals ďż˝âˆ‘ đ?‘¤đ?‘¤đ?‘Łđ?‘Ł 2 â „đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x;đ?‘&#x; where w is the weights of the observations with residuals v, and e the exponential number, which is a transcendental number of 2.718281828‌, and redundancies were discussed in The F distribution article (Ghilani, 2013b) and are also known as the degrees of freedom in the computations. To maximize the probability of this function, the sum of the weighted, squared residuals (∑ đ?‘¤đ?‘¤đ?‘Łđ?‘Ł 2 ) must be minimized. This process can be done by writing equations for every observation in terms of their unknown parameters. For a horizontal survey this would mean a system of angle, azimuth, and distance equations are written in terms of their unknown station coordinates (n, e). However each of these equations is nonlinear. To solve a system of nonlinear equations, they must first be linearized using a first-order Taylor series approximation. For example, the familiar nonlinear distance equation is 2


��đ?‘›đ?‘›đ?‘—đ?‘— − đ?‘›đ?‘›đ?‘–đ?‘– ďż˝ + ďż˝đ?‘’đ?‘’đ?‘—đ?‘— − đ?‘’đ?‘’đ?‘–đ?‘– ďż˝ = đ?‘™đ?‘™đ?‘–đ?‘–đ?‘–đ?‘– + đ?‘Łđ?‘Łđ?‘™đ?‘™


where (n, e) are the northing and easting coordinates of the endpoint stations i and j for the distance observation lij with a residual error of vl. The linearized equation for the distance equation is đ?‘›đ?‘›đ?‘—đ?‘— −đ?‘›đ?‘›đ?‘–đ?‘–



đ?‘’đ?‘’đ?‘—đ?‘— −đ?‘’đ?‘’đ?‘–đ?‘–

� ������ + � 0


đ?‘›đ?‘›đ?‘–đ?‘– −đ?‘›đ?‘›đ?‘—đ?‘—

ďż˝ đ?‘‘đ?‘‘đ?‘’đ?‘’đ?‘—đ?‘— + ďż˝ 0


đ?‘’đ?‘’đ?‘–đ?‘– −đ?‘’đ?‘’đ?‘—đ?‘—

� ������ + � 0


ďż˝ đ?‘‘đ?‘‘đ?‘’đ?‘’đ?‘–đ?‘– = đ??žđ??ž + đ?‘Łđ?‘Łđ?‘™đ?‘™ 0


where (dn, de) are corrections to approximate values for the unknown parameters (n, e), zero subscripts indicate values determined using the approximate coordinate values, K the Continued on Page 17


Foundation Corner


Become a Donor Today! PLS Foundation

he Pennsylvania Land Surveyors’ (PLS) Foundation is your guide to helping promote, improve, and encourage the practice of land surveying to future generations. When you donate, you not only help support your profession, you: • • • •

Create public awareness about land surveying career opportunities, Provide financial assistance to individuals pursuing an education in land surveying, Make grants and contributions to educational institutions to enhance a land surveying curriculum, and Offer financial assistance to individuals or educational institutions for research in land surveying.

As part of its mission, the Foundation offers annual scholarships to land surveying students who exhibit academic excellence and personal commitment to the betterment of society. Each year, the Foundation awards thousands of dollars in scholarship money to Pennsylvania residents who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree or an associate degree in land surveying. To date, total funds dispersed exceed $215,000. Play your part in giving direction to the surveyors of tomorrow and helping to perpetuate the profession by donating to the Foundation today! The Foundation welcomes support not only from members, but from corporations and all individuals who believe in the Foundation’s mission. Visit the PSLS website at for more information. n

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Ramblings Continued from Page 15

difference between the observed and computed length of the distance where the computed length IJ is determined from the approximate coordinate values, and v the residual error. In the solution of these equations, the residual v is dropped and the solution is iterated applying the corrections dn and de to the approximate unknown parameters n and e until the corrections become negligibly small. In essence, until the coordinate values for the stations are resolved. Linearized equations are written similarly for the azimuth and angle observations. To minimize the sum of the weighted, squared residuals, that is, to perform a least squares adjustment, all of the observation equations are written in matrix form. The least squares solution is then determined as đ?‘‹đ?‘‹ = (đ??˝đ??˝đ?‘‡đ?‘‡ đ?‘Šđ?‘Šđ?‘Šđ?‘Š)−1 đ??˝đ??˝đ?‘‡đ?‘‡ đ?‘Šđ?‘Šđ?‘Šđ?‘Š


where J is a matrix of coefficients determined from the linearized equations; that is for a distance, it is the parenthetical values in Equation (3) evaluated at some approximate coordinate values for the stations; W a matrix of weights for each observation, K a vector of the differences between the observed and computed values for each measurement, and X a matrix of corrections to be applied to the approximate coordinates for the stations. Since in a horizontal adjustment the equations are nonlinear, this solution process must be iterated until the corrections to the approximate coordinates become negligibly small. A similar process is followed for differential leveling observations, geodetic observations, GNSS observations, and photogrammetric observations. So what is the least squares method? It is simply a method where equations are written for each observation in terms of the unknown parameters. These equations are weighted according to the estimated precisions of the observations in order to return the error back to its source. (Ghilani, 2013a) The weighted equations are then solved using Equation (4), which minimizes the sum of the weighted, squared residuals and yields the most probable solution for a given set of data. Thus the least squares method is a method of solving an over-determined system of equations that provides the most probable values for the unknown parameters. During this process all geometric constraints are satisfied. The system is over-determined since there are more equations than unknowns, which would provide a unique solution. In essence, the least squares method is nothing more than what many of us did in an algebra class when the instructor asked us to solve a system of equations for the unknown parameters x and y. Back then, we solved these equations by the process of elimination. However for each station, we have two unknown x and y’s. For a survey with 10 stations, we could have 20 unknowns. Thus the process would be difficult to perform by hand as we did in algebra class but the fact that we use matrices and computers does not make it any more foreign than using some other method such as the compass rule adjustment. It is simply a process of solving a system of equations for unknown parameters. This process results in a minimum for the sum of the weighted, squared residuals when we follow Equation (4), and the most probable solution for the given set of data. n


Ghilani, C. 2013a. “A Correctly Weighted Least Squares Adjustment.� The Pennsylvania Surveyor Newsletter (Winter/Spring 2013). ––––. 2013b. “The F Distribution.� The Pennsylvania Surveyor Newsletter (Summer, 2013).


Thank you to our Sustaining Firm Members Berntsen International, Inc. Attn: Susan Norby PO Box 8670 Madison, WI 53708-8670 P: 608-249-8549 F: 608-249-9794

Carlson Software Attn: Michael Hyman 357 Baldwin Road Fulton, VA 13069 P: 585-737-1800

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


Kapur and Associates Inc. Attn: Christopher M. Shanko 240 Lantry Drive Red Lion, PA 17356 P: 717-286-4396

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

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

Thank you to our Sustaining Firm Members Keystone Precision Instruments Attn: George Allport Jr. 1670 East Race Street Allentown, PA 18109 P: 800-833-9250 F: 610-266-3240

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

Oswald Companies Attn: Paula M. Selvaggio, RPLU 3401 Enterprise Parkway, Suite 101 Beachwood, OH 44122-7340 P: 216-839-2815 F: 216-839-2801

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

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

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

Trimble Corporation Attn: Kelly Liberi 10355 Westmoor Drive Westminster, CO 80021 P: 720-587-4606 F: 720-887-6101


The Mid-Atlantic Area Complete Construction, Survey, Laser & Geospatial Solutions Provider since 1954! 800-25CARON (252-2766) 429 N. Mechanic Street, Cumberland, Maryland 21502 7750 Wellingford Drive, Manassas, Virginia 20109


2705 Rogers Street, Chesapeake, Virginia 23324 6801 Mud River Road, Barboursville, West Virginia 25504

CEI - We specialize in Sales, Rentals, Repairs & Training on many brands of Surveying, Laser, GPS, 3DMC, Takeoff & Scanning Equipment & Supplies 800-25CARON (252-2766)


New Members


Ed Busse Alex Kowtun

Allegheny Heartlands Matthew C. Boone, SIT Carson Houser, SIT

Delaware Valley

Michael Lamplugh Sr., PLS Marc Larson Bryan Luoma, PE


Nicholas A. Gaugler Stephen P. Reisinger, PLS David T. Sarabok

Laurel Highlands

Thomas Francis Lubanovic, PE, PLS, SE

Lehigh Valley

Member News King George Golf outing The Reading Chapter invites ALL surveyors and friends to its 23rd annual King George Golf outing to benefit the George Knehr/ Reading Area Chapter Scholarship Fund. Sponsorships available! Click Here for Registration Form Four-person scramble •Date: Friday, Sept. 12 •Time: 9 a.m. •Location: Chapel Hill Golf Course, Gouglersville, PA •Cost: $50/pp includes greens fees, cart, beverages, food and prizes •Registration Deadline: September 7 •Contact: Wayne Eichfeld, 717-203-1527 or

Right of Entry: Share Your Experiences with PSLS Have you had a problem entering a property to complete a survey? Legislative & Government Affairs Chair Mark Hummel has requested that members send stories of their right-of-entry experiences to PSLS. These stories will show legislators why this issue is important. Send your information to Mark Hummel, PLS, at mhummelpgh@ or

David E. Housley Warren W. Sorg, PLS

Penn State Student Michael A. Waddell


Mark McCullough, PLS

South Central Kathy A. Conley


John S. Bitting Kevin J. Chappell, PLS Joseph Duganich, PLS Edward G. Freyermuth Jeffery C. Jalbrzikowski, PS Patrick Payton

The PSLS board and staff extend condolences to the families of these PSLS members who passed away. Stephen G. Fisher, PLS, Carlisle, Pa., passed away March 7, 2014, at 66. Stephen is survived by his wife Pamela, his daughter Stephanie, his son Scott, grandsons Isaac and Oliver, his sister Caroline and many nieces and nephews. Stephen was a principal in Land Design and Division, Ltd and former member of the Harrisburg Chapter. Robert A Priest, PLS, Pittsburgh, passed away December 27, 2013, at 56. Bob was a member of the Southwest Chapter and most recently employed by Bowman Consulting. He was preceded in death by his father and brother.


Louis F. Spadaccino, PLS, president, Tri-State Engineers & Land Surveyors and founding member of PSLS, passed away April 3, 2014, at 90. Lou was a Life Member of the Bucks Chapter. He was preceded in death by his wife Martha and son David.

Sustaining Firm

Williams T. Weir, PE, PLS, passed away in his home December 30, 2013, at 92. Bill was a president of PSLS from 1969-1970, making him the second president of the Society. He was preceded in death by his wife Mary by 10 days after nearly 67 years of marriage.

Robert L. Bickhart, PE, PLS Timothy M. Wentz, PE James M. Wood, PLS

Kapur and Associates, Inc.


Member News

PSLS PAC Membership Application Become a member of the Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors Political Action Committee (PSLS PAC) today! Your crucial donation provides the necessary funding to help PSLS cultivate political support from legislators who take interest in issues that are important to Pennsylvania surveyors. PSLS PAC is bipartisan and operates with full transparency in compliance with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Election Campaign Act and applicable laws. PSLS PAC’s strength comes from you and your commitment to the surveying profession. For a $50 PAC Membership, you will receive a polo shirt with the PSLS logo and PAC Member embroidered on it so you can proudly show your support of PSLS legislative initiatives. With your commitment, together we can make Pennsylvania a better place to practice land surveying for today’s and tomorrow’s working professionals. Thank you! Questions? Contact Mark Hummel, PLS, PSLS PAC Chairman at 412.260.6226 or

PSLS PAC Membership Voluntary Contribution Form I support the work of the PSLS Political Action Committee! Make personal checks payable to PSLS PAC and return them to:

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PSLS PAC c/o PSLS 801 E. Park Drive Suite 107 Harrisburg, PA 17111

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Benefit to Surveyors

Continued from cover

While the accuracy of the geoid model in Pennsylvania has improved with each new iteration, there are still many large areas in the state where the accuracy is poor as noted by the red areas shown on the interactive map. These areas of poor geoid accuracy are largely due to the lack of bench marks with GPSderived ellipsoid heights in Pennsylvania. In order to improve the accuracy of the current geoid model we must increase the number of bench marks with GPS-derived ellipsoid heights. Observations made as part of the PRNH initiative will be used by NGS to improve the next hybrid geoid model. Volunteering in your area will provide a direct benefit as the accuracy of the geoid will be improved by the observations you provide.

The Process

Additionally, NGS has undertaken what it considers one of its most ambitious projects ever known as Gravity for the Redefinition of the American Vertical Datum (GRAV-D). The goal of this project is to develop a new vertical datum accurate to 2cm, which will be accessed through GPS derived ellipsoid heights and applying the GRAV-D geoid model. This means accurate elevations are going to depend on an accurate geoid model. Through PRNH, PSLS will help prepare Pennsylvania for the implementation of GRAV-D anticipated in 2022. The entire process can be summarized with the following points:

Points uVolunteer for a point grouping uRecover the point grouping uSubmit point recovery uOccupy the point uSubmit occupation

If you are interested in being part of this ambitious effort but are unsure where to start, visit the PRNH page (www. for more details. Still have questions? Contact Brian Naberezny, brian@nabsmaps. com, 570-885-2489. Make your mark in the future of surveying—volunteer now! Brian J. Naberezny, PLS is a self-employed consultant who develops and implements technological solutions for surveying and mapping applications. He is chair of the Geospatial Committee, member of the Education Committee and Strategic Planning Committee, and a state director for the Northeast Chapter.


Thank You to Our

Sponsors and Exhibitors at the

Surveyors' Conference

As promised, we are giving our 2014 conference sponsors and exhibitors additional thanks and exposure for their support this year. They played an integral part of making the event memorable by sharing their time, products, and expertise with attendees—and we appreciate their support! To view conference photos, visit our Flickr page at www.

Sponsors Tote Bag: Leica Geosystems Coffee Break: J. H. Hickman Surveying, LLC

Exhibitors Aerocon Photogrammetric Services, Inc. AeroMetric/Air Survey AFLAC Applied Mapping Solutions, Inc. Axis Geospatial, LLC Berntsen International, Inc. Blue Marble Geographics Boyd Instrument & Supply Co., Inc. Carlson Software Caron East, Inc. Certainty 3D Champion Instruments CivilTraining, LLC/SmartDraft Keddal Aerial Mapping Keystone Precision Instruments Klein Agency, LLC Klein Survey Systems Land & Mapping Services Leica Geosystems, Inc. Municipal Marking Distributors, Inc. Nor East Mapping, Inc.


PA One Call System, Inc. Penn College of Technology Penn State Wilkes-Barre PLS Foundation Print-O-Stat, Inc. Precision Laser & Instrument, Inc. Productivity Products & Services, Inc. Survey Supply, Inc. The Underground Detective Tulloch Mapping Solutions UPS



Congratulations to all award recipients!

Surveyor of the Year Award6 Foundation Scholarship Recipients: Back L to R—Joseph Marchakitus, Ross Nelson, Jacob Smith, Kaitlin Chappell. Front L to R—Matthew Boozer, Eric Bogumil, Matthew Sharr

Foundation 5 Students 6 Papers

G. Windsor Tracy (left), received the Surveyor of the Year Award presented by outgoing President Karl Kriegh.

President's Award6 Student Paper Competition Winners: Back L to R— Emil Bove (Judge); Brian Halchak, Richard Cebrick, 2nd Place; Logan Mack, Honorable Mention; Adam Crews (Judge). Front L to R—Heather Nicholson, 1st Place; Matthew Boozer, 2nd Place

Karl Kriegh (right) presented the President’s Award to Michael Kreiger.

Distinguished Service Award 4

Distinguished Service Award Winners: Bruce Lewis, Richard Shewman, Jeffrey Horneman, Chuck Lang. Not pictured: Joseph Allegra, Duane P. Bishop Jr., L. Joseph Vadas


Plat Competition Winners Congratulations to Plat Competition winners!

BLACK OR BLUE LINE Retracement 1st: John Alcorn, Control Point Associates 2nd: Dennis Litzenberger, Dennis M. Litzenberger Survey 3rd: Robert E. Blue Jr., Robert E. Blue Consulting Engineers ALTA/ACSM 1st: Stephen Black, Land Grant Surveys 2nd: David Alexander, Pickering, Corts & Summerson 3rd: Robert E. Blue Jr., Robert E. Blue Consulting Engineers Subdivision 1st: Jason Miller, Great Valley Consultants 2nd: Roy Stauch, Eustace Engineering 3rd: John Alcorn, Control Point Associates Topographic 1st: Steven Black, Land Grant Surveyors 2nd: J. Michael Brill, J. Michael Brill & Associates 3rd: John Luciani, First Capital Engineering Specialty 1st: David Alexander, Pickering, Corts & Summerson 2nd: Robert E. Blue Jr., Robert E. Blue Consulting Engineers

rd ge's Awat Surveys d u J l a i c n Spe Land Gra Black, Stephen M Play ALTA/ACS

COLOR Retracement 1st: Dennis Litzenberger, Dennis M. Litzenberger Survey ALTA/ACSM 1st: Stephen Black, Land Grant Surveys 2nd: Roy Stauch, Eustace Engineering Subdivision 1st: Dennis Litzenberger, Dennis M. Litzenberger Survey 2nd: J. Michael Brill, J. Michael Brill & Associates Topographic 1st: Roy Stauch, Eustace Engineering 2nd: Stephen Black, Land Grant Surveys Specialty Presentation 1st: Jason Leadingham, Stantec 2nd: John Alcorn, Control Point Associates 3rd: J. Michael Brill, J. Michael Brill & Associates


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Guest Feature

Jeffersonian Attitude of the Surveying Profession by Michael R. Frecks, PLS

My interest in the land and nature began early on, leading me to a land surveying profession I am proud to be part of today. In the Midwest, even as kids do today, we studied about the early exploration of Lewis and Clark. I may not be a historian, but I did pay attention in school and love to learn the history of an area. The curriculum for a fourth grader is all about the 28-month trek that, as I learned it, began near St. Louis, navigating westward up the Missouri River, over the Rocky Mountains, and down the Columbia River to the Pacific Coast. Many historical signs in the Midwest today denote the trail that I believed was famous only in the Central Midwestern U.S. You can imagine my surprise when traveling on I-76 through Beaver County, Pennsylvania, when I spotted a historical sign identifying the start of the Lewis and Clark expedition. In fact, researchers with the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation have identified 71 sites in Philadelphia known to have been associated, in some way, with Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Traveling with Terrametrix as a modern day mapper of the land and using cutting-edge LiDAR technology makes you wonder about those who went before us. I

began to question how their journey started and what tools were dedicated for success. This particular day in Beaver County, I learned that in 1803 Lewis led 11 men, called the Corps of Discovery, through the area, camped overnight, and stopped in Georgetown along the Ohio River before meeting up with Clark in Kentucky. Like many U.S. presidents after him, Thomas Jefferson had plans for the land. The stated objective of the Lewis and Clark expedition was to obtain more accurate information about the geography of North America. President Jefferson appointed Clark mapmaker and co-commander of the expedition. The purpose was to complete what I consider to be the first and most comprehensive GIS survey of its time: documenting the territory of the Louisiana Purchase and attempting to find a practical waterway across America. As a surveyor himself, Jefferson understood the importance of surveying fundamentals math—primarily geometry and trigonometry, and having proficiency in the use of surveying instruments. Lewis had experience as an explorer and outdoorsman, but he did not have surveying skills, so President Jefferson sent him to Pennsylvania to work with surveying and mathematics experts Andrew Ellicott and John Patterson. President Jefferson also knew the importance of having the most advanced surveying equipment, and ordered Lewis to purchase the newest available equipment in the Philadelphia area. The equipment included not only tools for documentation but also tools for survival. Now, I must admit my mode of travel this day was much more comfortable than it was by keelboat in 1803, but the reason behind survey equipment that has evolved to LiDAR today remains the same—SAFETY. Survival tools can have many disguises, but the safe efficient documentation of Terrestrial Mobile


LiDAR Surveying (TMLS) available now to the profession keeps us out of the red zone and safely out of harm’s way. In addition, the uses for survey-grade LiDAR can help survey companies take on projects that they normally couldn’t, and this helps them grow their services. The technology is attractive to our "PlayStation® youth," so it is appealing to the next generation; rejuvenating interest in what many fear is a dying profession. According to the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS), survey jobs are plentiful, exciting, and varied with many paths to choose. Technology advancements in recent years will keep the demand for surveyors high. In fact, the 2012 report* from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, predicted a 10 percent increase in the number of land survey jobs between 2012 and 2022. I understand that, like Lewis, most surveyors chose the profession because of their love for the outdoors. Sitting inside at a computer is not necessarily appealing, but the smart surveyor will learn to apply his or her instincts into new markets and leverage the technology. However, even today, President Jefferson’s foresight reflects the increasing complexity of land surveyor skills and the integral role this profession plays in the development of the United States. Land surveying is the science, art, and technology of locating relative positions on, above

or below the surface of the earth. In a dynamic world, there are new technology approaches emerging to determine precise geographical boundaries; conduct reconnaissance for the proper construction of new roads, buildings, and maps; and collect as-built documentation. Today, fundamentals need to be expanded to include Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and LiDAR applications in the field as well as technician compliance of CAD systems. So, if we can learn anything from history about the continued value of our profession, just look at the infrastructure around us. These buildings, roads, and bridges did not exist when Lewis and Clark made their trek to the Pacific Ocean. I am in awe of the built-up environment that has developed in the past 150 years and proud to know it required the tools and knowledge of my profession. I often wonder and ask the question, “How would President Jefferson, Lewis, and Clark react to seeing our ‘built America’ and the survey tools we use today?” n Michael R. Frecks, PLS, is president and CEO of Terrametrix, LLC. * surveyors.htm

T-shirt Closeout Sale: $10! PSLS Logo Gear is a Ticket ! Get your gear on today! Show your PSLS pride!

What's in the cart? >T-shirts (gray and tan) NOW $10! >Polo shirts (gray and white) >Button-down dress shirts (blue and sand) >Lapel pins >License plates Find all logo gear on our website order form! When ordering, don't forget to check out our bookstore for a variety of surveying-related publications.


Trig-Star is an annual high school mathematics competition based on the practical application of trigonometry. National Society of Professional Surveyors sponsors the program, and Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors (PSLS) is proud to participate at a state level by offering the contest at local high schools. Donations from sponsors make awards possible for the student participants and their teachers. Please join PSLS in congratulating this year’s winners on their outstanding achievements.

STATE WINNERS 1st Place: Tyler Rosenberger, Schuylkill Valley High School, Leesport, PA 2nd Place: Spencer Yacuboski, Berwick High School, Berwick, PA 3rd Place: Imanuel Hall, Sharon High School, Sharon, PA

TRIG-STAR SPONSORS Thank you to these generous sponsors for making the Trig-Star awards possible in 2014.

Beitler Land Surveying Crews Surveying, LLC J.H. Hickman Surveying, LLC Kelly & Close Consulting Engineers & Surveyors PSLS Delaware Valley Chapter PSLS Harrisburg Chapter Williams


LOCAL WINNERS PSLS extends congratulations to these students for taking top honors in their local school districts. Students and teachers will receive monetary awards thanks to the support of Pennsylvania’s 2014 Trig-Star sponsors. Berwick Area Senior High School, Berwick, PA

Tested and sponsored by Penn State Wilkes-Barre Prizes: Plaques st 1 Place: Spencer Yacuboski Score: 100, Time: 0:47:58 nd 2 Place: William Machamer Score: 70, Time: 0:35:55 Teacher: Scott Hook

Bucks County Technical High School, Fairless Hills, PA

Sponsored by PSLS Delaware Valley Chapter st nd rd Prizes: 1 - $250, 2 -$100, 3 -$50, Teacher-$50 st 1 Place: Erin Lafferty Score: 76, Time: 0:60:00 nd 2 Place: Ricky Rudy Score: 71, Time: 0:60:00 rd 3 Place: Janvi Thakore Score: 70, Time: 0:36:20 Teacher: Doug Bennet

Emmaus High School, Emmaus, PA

Sponsored by J.H. Hickman Surveying, LLC and Williams st nd rd Prizes: 1 - $250, 2 -$100, 3 -$50, Teacher-$50 st 1 Place: John Woltornist Score: 94, Time: 0:60:00 nd 2 Place: Ben Luo Score: 76, Time: 0:60:00 rd 3 Place: Vishna Bhasker Score: 70, Time: 0:52:50 Teacher: Margaret Hoffert

Muhlenberg High School, Muhlenberg, PA

Sponsored by PSLS Harrisburg Chapter st nd rd Prizes: 1 - $250, 2 -$100, 3 -$50, Teacher-$50 st 1 Place: Jon Williams Score: 53, Time: 0:58.14 nd 2 Place: Nikolas Wanner Score: 29, Time: 0:46.59 rd 3 Place: Benjamin Ortiz Score: 29, Time: 0:47.18 Teacher: Kyle Foster

Oley Valley High School, Oley, PA

Sponsored by PSLS st nd rd Prizes: 1 - $250, 2 -$100, 3 -$50, Teacher-$50 st 1 Place: Brandon Fuhrmann Score: 72, Time: 0:59:31 nd 2 Place: Coryn Stump Score: 70, Time: 0:60:00 rd 3 Place: Tara Williams Score: 46, Time: 0:55:26 Teacher: Beth Rohrbach

Reading Senior High School, Reading, PA

Sponsored by PSLS st nd rd Prizes: 1 - $250, 2 -$100, 3 -$50, Teacher-$50 st 1 Place: Alyssa Reynoso Score: 76, Time: 0:34:52 nd 2 Place: Joel Christophel Score: 70, Time: 0:57:08 rd 3 Place: Erisson Contreras Score: 64, Time: 0:19:50 Teacher: Steven Harris

Schuylkill Valley High School, Leesport, PA

Sponsored by Beitler Land Surveying, Crews Surveying, LLC, and Kelly & Close Consulting Engineers & Surveyors. st nd rd Prizes: 1 - $250, 2 -$100, 3 -$50, Teacher-$50 st 1 Place: Tyler Rosenberger Score: 100, Time: 0:40.55 nd 2 Place: Alicia Douglas Score: 89, Time: 0:58.19 rd 3 Place: Kyle Latshaw Score: 76, Time: 0:48.32 Teacher: Charles Gerhart

Sharon High School, Sharon, PA

Sponsored by Williams st nd rd Prizes: 1 - $250, 2 -$100, 3 -$50, Teacher-$50 st 1 Place: Imanuel Hall Score: 94, Time: 0:43:30 nd 2 Place: Colin Crago Score: 76,Time: 0:60:00 Jacob Soles Score: 76,Time: 0:60:00 Emily Wierzba Score: 76,Time: 0:60:00 Teacher: Brooke Cattron

Tulpehocken High School, Bernville, PA

Sponsored by Williams st nd Prizes: 1 - $200, 2 -$50, Teacher-$50 st 1 Place: Timothy Groff Score: 54, Time: 0:15:03 nd 2 Place: Sarah Lore Score: 40, Time: 0:17.08 Teacher: Robert Neiswender

Wyoming Valley West High School, Plymouth, PA

Tested and sponsored by Penn State Wilkes-Barre Prize: Plaque st 1 Place: Brian Grodzki Score: 60, Time: 0:58:53 Teacher: Mary Rose Navitski

PSLS applauds the teachers and parents who instructed and encouraged these students to make it possible for them to compete!


Today matters ...

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Aflac. We pay. You decide.

RR 4 Box 262 • Mifflintown, PA 17059

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717.436.2978/1.800.436.8847 e-mail An independent agent representing Aflac

American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus (Aflac) Worldwide Headquarters • 1932 Wynnton Road Columbus, Georgia 31999 •


1.800.99.AFLAC (1.800.992.3522) En español: 1.800.SI.AFLAC (1.800.742.3522)

MMC0089B1 MMC06222

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Profile for PSLS Newsletter

Pasurveyor springsummer2014  

The Pennsylvania Surveyor is published by Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors (PSLS), a statewide professional organization whose goal is...

Pasurveyor springsummer2014  

The Pennsylvania Surveyor is published by Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors (PSLS), a statewide professional organization whose goal is...