January 2009                                                                                                                The Official T.S.P.S. Chapter 5 Newsletter     

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The Bois d’Arc Post is the Official Chapter 5 Newsletter. This is your publication. It can never be any better than the flow of news you contribute. It is intended for Chapter 5 members and supporters to share ideas and information of interest, but it is also available to the general public. If you have any sort of information that would be of interest or beneficial to our members, please forward it so that we can include it in an upcoming edition. Contact Chapter 5 President Robert Cummings (972-440-3681) or Chris Freeman (972-226-8181) to discuss your Newsletter contribution. The Newsletter is maintained by Enterprise Operations, with maintenance funding provided by Lone Star Record & Abstract Services, Inc.

Thoughts for the Day….

“The road to success is always under construction.”            - Lily Tomlin

“You’ll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind.”         - Anonymous

This month’s edition of the
Bois d’Arc Post marks the third anniversary for the Chapter 5 Newsletter! While certainly not a journalistic threat to any real publication, it has nonetheless been a success in providing both members and others an avenue for information about Chapter news and events, and is regarded by state members as one of the many things that puts Chapter 5 in a position of leadership.

Ten Questions with Mr. John Pierce

1. How long have you been involved in the land surveying profession?

Off and on since the summer of 1953.

2. How did you get your start?

Measuring crop acreages for the US Dept. of Agriculture in Denton County; including Cotton, Peanuts, and Wheat using a 100 foot steel tape and a ring of 11 chaining pins and then transferring the measurements to aerial photos at a one to fifty scale. The office techs would use a plainimeter to determine the acreage to verify that the farmer was within his crop allotment.

3. You have been involved with survey classes for many years. How long and why?

I taught my first surveying class (our North Lake SRVY 1301) at what is now the Northeast Campus of Tarrant County College in the spring of 1970. It was required in the Civil Tech. program. I am involved because education is important and the joy of teaching is seeing that light bulb turn on when a student catches on.

4. Why is being a member of TSPS important to you?

The friendships I have developed and the networking watching surveyors come together at their own expense to meet and develop programs for the good of the profession. I can go from Dalhart to Texarkana to Orange to Brownsville to El Paso and back to Dalhart and find a Surveyor I have met through TSPS.

5. How important is it for one to be active in the local Chapter?

Very, a strong local chapter translates into a strong state organization that can get a lot done for the profession. I would urge every local surveyor and tech’s to attend a state TSPS Quarterly Board meeting. It is amazing what happens.

6. What is the biggest challenge faced by Surveyors today?

Developing field techs with the knowledge to understand why they are turning six sets of forward and reverse angles. So many of our field techs are nothing more than a button pusher as they have no idea if the answer is correct or not. The most important part is developing an interest by our people in surveying, which the Skills USA program is starting to do.

7. If you could change one thing about the profession, what would it be?

To make the lot and block surveyors understand that a field crew can not go out and do six surveys a day and be correct on any of them.

8. You act as the TSPS Liaison to TxDOT. How important is it for TSPS to interact with such a state entity?

I think it has worked out very well for both parties. I act as a go between the TxDOT Standing Committee On Surveying (SCOS) and the TSPS governmental affairs committee to present things that are a concern to that state entity with regards to surveying.

9. How different are the new personnel coming into the profession now as compared with 20 years ago?

Most are better educated, and develop pride in the profession, and then there is a small percentage that is in it, because they can not keep a job any where else.

10. How close is North Lake College being able to offer a 2 year survey degree?
How do we get the program to that level?

I think by the Fall Semester 2009; we will have a two year degree similar to what Tyler Junior College is offering. It will start out as a Construction Technology degree with a major in Land Surveying. When we reach a certain number of graduates, the program will then become a Surveying degree. All the surveying courses that have been offered at North Lake College will count in the new program. Employers need to push the North Lake College program and the NSPS CST program; both have a lot of uses in evaluating your employees.

North Lake College Survey Classes…New Offerings for Spring 2009

Listed below are the courses to be offered at the West Campus (DFW ED Center) in the Spring Semester 2009.  Please encourage your paraprofessional staff to consider one of these college credit courses, which qualify for the TBPLS requirement of 32 survey related college credit hours.  Chapter 5 is again offering to pay for the textbook and calculator for any student working for a TSPS member of either Chapter 5 or Chapter 2 for courses SRVY 1301 and SRVY 1309 (application required).  Contact John Pierce (214-631-7888) for details.

SRVY 1301 Introduction to Surveying (2 hr. lecture, 3 hr. lab, 3 credit hours)An overview of the surveying profession. The history of surveying and its impact on the world. Review of the mathematics used in surveying. Introduction to basic surveying equipment with emphasis on measurements. Instruction on surveying procedures and the limitation of errors. Calculation to determine precision and error of closure. Prerequisite: SRVY 1315 or must be taken at same time.

SRVY 1309 Surveying Measurements (2 hr. lecture, 3 hr. lab, 3 credit hours)An introductory course covering the equipment and hardware of the profession necessary to measure horizontal and vertical distances, in accordance with prevailing and applicable professional standards, e.g. standards of the National Geodetic Survey, state and local statues and regulations, professional standards, such as the Texas Society of Professional Surveyors.  Prerequisite: SRVY 1301 and SRVY 1315

SRVY 1315 Surveying Calculations (3 hr. lecture, 3 credit hours)An induction to the mathematics used in surveying and mapping, including algebra, plane trigonometry and plane, solid, and analytical geometry. Prerequisite: None

SRVY 1335 Land Surveying Applications (2 hr. lecture, 3 hr. lab, 3 credit hours)A lab course covering the equipment, techniques and hardware of the profession necessary to measure horizontal and vertical angles and distances used in traversing, according to prevailing and applicable standards. Prerequisite: SRVY 1309

SRVY 2331 Geodetic Surveying and Mapping (2 hr. lecture, 3 hr. lab, 3 credit hours)A study of field astronomy, Polaris and solar observations, State Plane Coordinate Systems, and Global Positioning System. Prerequisite: SRVY 1301 and SRVY 1315

Remember the men and women of the Armed Forces who so unselfishly perform their duties so that we and our families can live and work in our free Society. Chapter 5 members John Melton and Fred Bemenderfer both have sons actively involved in different branches of the Military. There may well be others who have family serving as well. Chapter 5 and its members are proud of their service, and wish them God’s speed. Wouldn’t it be nice if we organized some sort of effort to send these young men a “package from home” to let them know they are appreciated for their honorable service? If anyone has some ideas on this, let’s make it happen!


In the Rearview Mirror…

---Congratulations to Chapter President Bob Cummings, who got married in December!

---2008 is long gone. Look straight ahead, and help make 2009 a memorable year.

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Certified Survey Technician exam prep classes continue…..

Beginning with the May monthly meeting, the Dallas Chapter began offering Certified Survey Technician Level I and Level II examination prep sessions prior to every monthly meeting. John Pierce leads this effort, to be held prior to regular monthly Chapter meetings at the Cantina Laredo Restaurant (southeast corner of Inwood Road/Lover’s Lane, next to the Inwood Theater) from 5-6pm. This is an excellent opportunity for both office and field staff to familiarize themselves and prepare for the various Certification exams. There is no cost to attend, and all are welcome to attend and participate. Next scheduled session will be before the January 13th Chapter meeting at Cantina Laredo Restaurant (5-6pm) For questions/info, contact John Pierce at 214-532-1667.

On December 13th, 17 candidates took their Certified Survey Technician examinations at the DFW Learning Center campus of North Lake College. Proctored by John Pierce and Chris Freeman, ten of the students took their exam online, allowing for immediate exam results. John Pierce is planning on holding another exam date in March, so plan early to get signed up, and take advantage of the prep classes John provides before the monthly chapter meetings.

RPLS/SIT Study Groups 

TSPS Chapter 5 holds study groups to help SIT and RPLS candidates prepare to take their exams. The sessions are split up into two groups: those studying for the SIT and those studying for the RPLS. The SIT group works problems from the NCEES practice exams, 1001 Solved Surveying Fundamentals Problems by Van Sickle, and the Land Surveyor Reference Manual by Harbin. This group also reviews material for the business, grammar, and GIS questions on the SIT exam. The RPLS group works the analytical and legal problems published on the TBPLS website and reviews anything else they can find help prepare for the Texas specific exam. Some of the books used to review for the RPLS exam include the Spry book, Decisions by Ken Gold, and Blacks Law Dictionary.

The groups meet from 8 am to 12 noon on Saturdays on a bimonthly basis at Halff Associates, Inc., 1201 North Bowser Road, Richardson, TX 75081. There are generally 8-20 participants total. There is no fee for coming to courses and breakfast is provided. Participants are asked to bring TBPLS approved calculators, pencils, paper, and relevant study material. Everyone is welcome to bring questions for the group to work.

The groups will start up again on March 4, 2009, and meet every other Saturday for a total of three meetings. The groups are led by Jason Jernigan, RPLS, who can be contacted at jjernigan@halff.com or 214-346-6204. The best way to keep track of group meetings is by joining one of these two Yahoo Groups:

• SIT Study Group: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/land_surv/
• RPLS Study Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rpls_study_group/



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Bulletin Board Odds ‘n Ends….


Membership renewal time is upon us! Make sure you renew your TSPS membership for the upcoming year, it is easily accomplished on the state TSPS website. A portion of those fees are returned to Chapter 5 to assist in funding our local activities.

TBPLS License Renewal If you haven’t already renewed your License with the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying, then you are practicing surveying without a valid license, and in violation of Board rules! Better give Sandy Smith a call. Also, a Firm Certificate must be on file with the Board.

New RPLS’s and SIT’s Results from the October exams were posted following the TBPLS meeting in Austin on December 12. There are now 31 newly licensed Registered Professional Land Surveyors, of which the following appear to be from the Chapter 5 area: Stanley Brewer, John Glas, Jason Thompson, and Brian Wade.
In addition, of the 55 newly certified Surveyors In Training, the following again are in the Chapter 5 area: Edward Bacak, Anthony Browning, Mark Harp, Joel Howard, and Ryan Reynolds. Congratulations to all who passed, and Good Luck to those who get a return trip in April.

Welcome New Members! 

Chapter 5 has 2 new members. Please welcome Dana Brown, RPLS and Rachapudi Sharma.
Welcome to the Chapter 5 family, please join us at an upcoming Chapter meeting.

On the Horizon….

The next Chapter 5 meeting will be held Tuesday January 13th at the Cantina Laredo Restaurant on Lover’s Lane. Guest Speakers will be TSPS President Michael Parker. Also, TSPS Legislative Liason Pat Smith will be attending to update members on the upcoming legislative session, and the importance of TSPS being tuned into legislative issues and being a watchdog for those issues that may be beneficial or harmful to our profession. Come join us for good food and great camaraderie.

President George W. Bush, soon to be relocating to North Dallas, has been extended an invitation by Chapter 5 to join us at any of our monthly meetings. Hey, you never know when that urge for some tasty Tex Mex might prompt him to visit. Even offered to supply a “to go” pack to take back to the house. The open offer also came with a guarantee that meeting attendees will keep their shoes (or boots) on for the duration of the meeting.

Golf Tournament guru Sean Flaherty informs us that the 2009 Annual Tim Mireaur Memorial Golf Tournament has tentatively been scheduled for Saturday April 25th at The Brickyard Golf Course in Ferris. This widely popular and successful event draws nearly 100 hackers as they hack their way across the south Dallas County terrain, lyin’ and cheatin’ their way back to the clubhouse. Mark your calendars!

Opportunities for You….

Chapter Committees
With new Chapter leaders comes the need for continued participation by Chapter members. The strength of any volunteer organization is only as strong as the participation of its members. Committees are always in need of people to lead and contribute. There are typically 5 standing committees: Membership, Program, Public Relations & Education, Nominating, and Audit. In addition, the President can assign a Special Committee if so desired. If you are interested in being part of the solution and helping our Chapter and profession move forward, please contact any of the Chapter officers.

Newsletter Contributions
If you would like to offer an article or share some news or information, you are more than welcome to do so. The Newsletter is a service to Chapter 5 members, and your contributions are encouraged.

Additional Donations
The recent donations of survey equipment to local high school survey programs at Duncanville ISD and Birdville ISD are great examples of a cooperative effort by individuals, firms, and Chapter 5 to seize upon a great opportunity to have a positive influence in our local area. Led by ARS Engineers and Midwest Surveyors, additional donations of equipment have been forthcoming from Halff Associates (magnetic locator) and Winkelmann & Associates (data collectors). The items were presented to Duncanville High School Skills USA Advisor Barton Burnett on December 12. Click here to see the Construction Technology students at Birdville High School with their recently received Set 2 Total Station. If you or your firm has unused equipment, please consider a donation to one of several area High School survey programs.

Duncanville H.S. Survey Program
On Friday morning, December 12th, Chapter 5 members John Pierce, Richard Ortiz, and Chris Freeman volunteered a few hours of their time to join several of the Duncanville H.S. Skills USA survey students as they demonstrated their survey skills to 100+ 8th graders of Read Middle School. The purpose was to expose students who will enter the High School next Fall to various academic programs, including the Survey Program. John and Chris assisted the survey students in a variety of survey field exercises, including performing a 4 sided closed traverse with transit and tape, running a bench loop, performing traverse calculations, and note keeping. Richard, meanwhile, was able to speak to the middle schoolers about his firms’ relationship with surveying, the internship opportunities, and the overall idea of taking the next step in life and preparing oneself to be successful. Great exposure for our profession, and important that the kids have a connection with the “real world” as it relates to their courses and studies.

TBPLS Board Meeting to be held in Austin on February 6, 2009. The TBPLS awards 4 CEU’s to attendees of their meetings.

TSPS Board Meeting to be held on February 7, 2009 at the Radisson Hotel in Austin.


Safety First…..Make it a Priority

Click here for links to various Safety websites that might be helpful to your firm and staff.


 January 13 --- TSPS President Michael Parker & TSPS Legislative Liaison Pat Smith (Chapter Executive Committee meeting prior to Chapter meeting)
February 10 --- Barton Burnett, Duncanville High School Survey Program
March 10 --- Nedra Foster, Chairperson of TBPLS
April 14 --- Scott Stockburger: Surveying for Subsurface Utility Engineering
April 25 --- Annual Golf Tournament at The Brickyard
May 12 --- Jack Avis: GIS as a Survey Tool
June 9 --- Glenn Breysacher/Wayne Terry: Vacancy in Garland?
July 14 --- Rob Hathaway, Delorme GIS: Geocaching for fun
August 11 --- Garland Police Chief Mitch Bates: Forensic Surveying
September ? --- Joint Meeting with Chapter 2
October 22-24 --- TSPS Annual Convention in Austin
November 10 --- Speaker/Program to be determined

Chapter 5 Meetings are held at:
Cantina LAREDO Restaurant
165 Inwood Village, Dallas, TX 75209
(Southeast Corner of Inwood & Lover’s Lane, next to Inwood Theater)
Phone: 214/350-5227 www.cantinalaredo.com
Social/Dinner Time: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm (order from the menu)
Chapter Meeting: Business @ 7:00 pm, Program @ 7:30

Thanks to the following Full-Page Ad subscribers: Midwest A&E, Precise Land Records, Lone Star Record & Abstract, Geomatic Resources, WDS, GeoShack, and Dallas Aerial Surveys, Inc.

Be sure to support our friends at these firms, they support us!!

Archived News Letters:

Texas Society of Professional Surveyors
Dallas Chapter No. 5
P.O. Box 226933
Dallas, Texas 75222

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