July/August 2008                                                                            The Official T.S.P.S. Chapter 5 Newsletter

Hot Off the Press….

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 Schneeberg (972-516-8855) 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.

Thought for the Day….

“It is a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.” --- W. Somerset Maugham

“When the defects of others are perceived with so much clarity, it is because one possesses them oneself.” --- Jules Renard


No Place like Texas…..
Texas has always been known as the number one natural gas producing state. That is really no surprise seeing as the number of Taco Bells we have serving bean burritos.

One day a New Yorker stopped in the little West Texas town of Rankin. When he got out of his car the wind was blowing so hard he had to lean into the wind as he walked to keep it from blowing him down. As he approached the street corner he spotted a local man standing there holding onto the lamp post. He asked the local, “Does the wind blow like this all the time?” “No sir,” was the reply, “Sometimes it changes and comes from the other direction.”

Friendly Texas Advice…..
Good fences make good neighbors...

                      A Texan's Mailbox photo submitted by Richard Ortiz

Spotlight on…SKILLS USA Duncanville H.S. Survey Program

School is out for the summer, but let’s not forget about this growing survey program in our own backyard. The students will return in August anxious to move forward to learn more survey skills and increase their awareness of the future opportunities that may lie ahead. The professionals and firms of Chapter 5 need to actively support and nurture this program….there are so many ways how you can be part of the solution.

Try to be part of the solution by offering your time and knowledge to these very motivated students at Duncanville High School. To find out how you and/or your firm can assist in these efforts, contact John Pierce (jpierce@saminc.biz) or Bill Coleman (wcoleman@colemansurveying.com).

Abstractor Internship
In cooperation with the

Eliazar Garza and Wrachel Fobbs from the Duncanville High Skills USA program have successfully complete the summer internship here at  Lone Star Record & Abstract Services, Inc. This internship exposed the students to all aspects of the Abstracting business. They were given the opportunity to meet with customers, work on real business projects, and to work with Surveyors in the field. They visited several courthouses, County Clerk's office's, and several Surveying and Engineering firms. They were offered big picture of how Surveying and Abstracting go hand in hand. From day one, Mr. Ortiz stressed the basic concept; "A Survey is only as good as the research you get back from the Abstractor and that is why it is so important to be accurate in reporting any type of information". An emphasis was placed on professionalism, communication, and accuracy of work. All company, local, state and federal safety procedures where practiced during the internship participation.

It was so exciting to see how many people were willing to take time out of their day to help these students learn. This example of cooperation between individuals and companies in the related industries made a positive impression on these students. Speaking on the importance of courtesy and communication Mr Ortiz said it best; "This is a great way for them to build their networking portfolio because the one thing that I stressed to them is that the people they meet today could be the people that they work for tomorrow. " The interns were treated to a "Funday" at Speed Zone at the end of the internship to show appreciation for all their hard work.

Click here for photos and to read Mr.Ortiz' synopsis of the internship program

Lone Star Record & Abstract Services, Inc. would like to thank the following people and firms for their support and participation with this internship:

In cooperation with the Texas Society of Professional Surveyors Chapter 2 & 5




North Lake College Survey Classes…free books and calculators!!!

That’s right! Chapter 5 members and sponsors have raised substantial monies this past year for educational purposes, and now we’re going to start spending those funds by investing in future surveyors. Students who are Chapter 5 members or who work for a Chapter 5 member enrolled in Intro to Surveying (SRVY 1301) and/or Survey Measurements (SRVY 1315) are eligible for a free text book, Construction Surveying and Layout. Students will also be provided the recommended calculator, model HP 33s (NCEES approved for examinations). Total value of this scholarship is about $130 per student. As an added value, the 2 courses referenced use the same text book, so a student would have the required text for two college credit and TBPLS approved courses. If, by chance, a student already has the required text and a calculator, they could receive monies to reimburse for tuition costs. All in all, a good expenditure of monies, and this should be incentive for up and coming motivated paraprofessionals. With a little bit more effort, students can apply to TSFI for additional scholarship monies (see the link via the TSPS website). Books and calculators will be purchased from Chapter sponsor Midwest Surveyors, Inc. Click here for details, or contact John Pierce for information (214-631-7888). Registration online is under way, and the courses will be offered at the DFW Learning Center, near SH 114 @ Freeport Parkway in Irving.

In the Rearview Mirror…

July 8th meeting had +/- 45 in attendance to hear the discussion on 3D laser scanning by Tim Jackson. Our SURPAC raffle raised $158.00. Rough Rider tix donated by Winkelmann & Associates were won by Edgar Garcia

Chapter 5 Executive Committee (ExCom) met at the offices of Halff Associates on July 1st. In attendance were Robert Schneeberg, Bob Cummings, Jason Jernigan, Lennie Lueker, Wayne Terry, David McCullah, Chris Freeman, and John Pierce…. The upcoming Chapter 5 election ballot was finalized. ExCom voted to allocate monies for the following educational activities: Book and calculator purchase for students enrolled in Fall Semester Survey courses at North Lake College; donations to Tyler JC Book Fund; SKILLS/USA; Additional funds were earmarked for SURPAC contributions for the upcoming legislative session (lest we forget, it’s good to have friends and allies in the legislature).


 Welcome to ....

the Barnett Shale

Lone Star Record & Abstract Services, Inc. provides professional title research and county recorded mineral rights. Sub-surface research can become confusing and time consuming. Trust the professionals with your time sensitive projects. We provide cost effective solutions and ensure continuing customer satisfaction. Our experience and attention to detail are what set us apart from the competition. Save your technicians time to focus on what they do best, leave the intricate research to us.

Surface Deeds, Titles, Mineral Rights, Heirship Rights, Probate Records, Plats, and Adjoiners...

We know what you need and offer the option to choose how you would like your research presented: Hard copies, email, CD, and F.T.P. (uploaded) to your server or our secure site... www.lonestarrecord.com

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Project Services include:

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    -(pipelines, highways and specialized easements)

  • Pipeline research

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 Thank you for choosing Lone Star Record and Abstract Services, Inc.          


your Turn Key Title Solutions ™ for all your research needs.

FYI…. Certified Survey Technician exam prep classes now available

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 will lead this effort, to be held 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. It also allows participants to join Chapter members at 6pm for dinner, followed by the monthly meeting and program. Encourage your paraprofessionals to come for the next prep class prior to the June 10 monthly meeting. For questions/info, contact John Pierce at 214-532-1667.



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Stop by our new 4000 sq. ft. training & support center in Grapevine…


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-          Largest RTK Network in North Texas.      NOW OPEN TO ALL BRANDS

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-          GPS network rovers, GPS pairs, Robots, and Total Stations available for Rent.

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Call Rodney, Dave, Ronna, or John today at 817-691-5328

Geomatic Resources, LLC
1223 Ira E. Woods Ave.
Grapevine, TX 76051                                                                                               www.geotx.com

Welcome New Members!

As reported from headquarters in Austin, Chapter 5 picked up 2 new members in June.  Joining the Chapter 5 family are Johnathan Gonzales and Jonathan Withers.  Welcome to Chapter 5, we hope to see you at future meetings and events.

North Lake College Equipment Donation…..

Recent news reached us that a significant donation of equipment has been made to the Survey Program at North Lake College. John Clark of Geomatic Resources announces that Geomatic Resources, together with Carlson Desktop Solutions and Carlson Software, will be donating 3 new Carlson Mini Data Collectors with Carlson SurvCE for use with existing equipment at the College. Geomatic Resources will also provide training to class instructors.

A formal presentation will take place at the upcoming August 19th Chapter meeting at the Cantina Laredo Restaurant in Dallas. John Pierce will receive the donation on behalf of the College. Mike Cooley. Associate Dean of Construction Management & Technology at North Lake College will also be invited by the Chapter for the presentation. Total value of the donation is $7,985.00.

A hearty “thanks” to the people and firms behind this donation that will assist the Survey Program to move forward. They are truly a model for all of us to follow.

SIT & RPLS Exam Study Groups Submitted by Jason Jernigan, RPLS

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 to 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 usually 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 through.

The RPLS & SIT study groups are starting up again in late August. The groups will only meet 4 times before the October exam on the following Saturdays: August 23, September 6, September 20, and October 4. I’ll send out a meeting reminder and request for RSVPs as the first meeting date gets closer. Thanks for your interest in the study groups, and good luck on your exams. 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/

Bulletin Board Odds ‘n Ends….

2008-09 Chapter Officer Elections

The Chapter 5 ballot for the upcoming term has been prepared and provided to the membership. Be sure to take the time to vote in a timely manner so we can transition smoothly. We are fortunate to have a good group of qualified candidates for various offices. And remember, it is not a requirement that one be Registered (except for the Chapter President). It’s all about wanting to put in a little extra effort with fellow Surveyors to help promote and educate. A little bit of effort from everyone will go a long way. Any volunteer organization is only as strong as its membership.


Boy Scout Merit Badge

Lennie Lueker assisted Boy Scouts from Troop 842 earn their Surveying Merit Badge on July 19th.  Lennie reports that it was time well spent, and that he was assisted by Party Chiefs Joe Biffle and Bob Boston, and Eugene Middleton, P.E.

The Boy Scout Troop 842 worked on their Surveying Merit Badge at the First United Methodist Church in Coppell. There were 15 Scouts along with some parents that participated in this 8 hour exercise. A Special Thanks to Midwest Architects and Engineers Supply, Inc. for providing the field books and mechanical pencils for the Scouts. The Scouts learned about the following items.

Safety – Traffic, Heat, Snakes, Spiders, Machetes, Hammers

Equipment – Different types the Surveyor needs for his job

Education/Licensing – Requirements of TBPLS for professional license and educational options and career opportunities

Chaining - how temperature and sag affect the measurement

Bearings - Magnetic Compass Bearings and different ways to get true north utilizing Polaris and Solar observations

Property Corners – Looked for a few corners and how to reestablish property lines

Traverse – set up a traverse; turned angles and measured distances with a Topcon Total Station

Field Books – Setup and how to keep notes and sketches, along with recording all the data in a SDR33

Bench loop – Set a Benchmark assuming 100.00 and ran a closed level loop around the traverse

G.P.S. – set up the base and performed a small Topographic Survey of an area so they could work on their Engineering Badge

Classroom – calculated the closure of the traverse and benchloop from the field data collected. Calculated bearings around the traverse utilizing a compass measurement along one line and wrote a rough set of field notes around the traverse

Creative Kids Survey Presentation

John Pierce and Chris Freeman presented a 1 ½  hour Survey Program to 20 kids, both boys and girls, ages 7-12 as part of the South Garland Branch Library Creative Kids Summer Program.  Chapter 5 was invited by Library staff to participate stemming from the very popular Survey Library Display the Chapter offered this past March.  A brief discussion of Texas survey history and career opportunities and hands on exercises with survey equipment kept the surveyors busy with the enthusiastic kids.  The following is the follow up letter from Children’s Librarian Kortney Nelson.

Surveying Fun at the Library submitted by Kortney Nelson

On Tuesday, July 22, Chris Freeman and John Pierce taught children at the South Garland Branch Library all about surveying as part of the library’s Creative Kids summer workshop series. The children learned everything from the history of surveying to how modern day technology relates to the field. From hand drawn maps to computer generated plans the children saw first hand what a career in surveying is like. Best of all, the children had the opportunity to try out some equipment in hands on activities, such as locating points on measuring rods with tools on tripods and finding out how pacing works.

Programs like these help to inspire creativity in children and help them to see new ways to apply their knowledge in such areas as math and science. The children had a wonderful time thanks to the efforts of Mr. Freeman and Mr. Pierce. Library staff looks forward to offering another surveying program in the future.

Kortney Nelson
Children's Librarian
South Garland Branch Library


NGS Calibration Baseline in Garland???

Efforts are under way to establish an NGS Calibration Baseline, possibly in north Garland.  Chapter 5 members Wayne Terry and Glenn Breysacher have a potential site, and the City of Garland may lend support in construction of the monuments.  Wayne is coordinating with NGS on required procedures and equipment.  Chapter 5 ExCom has tentatively agreed to donate funds for materials.  More information will be provided as this situation develops, but it’s great to have professionals working to bring this potential resource to our area….it’s something that many of us can utilize, and that crews can have a place to check and learn about their measuring equipment.


Check it out….

For those not able to attend the Convention Cruise in October, there is another option available.  On October 17-18, in Houston a Survey Short Course program has been arranged to offer excellent survey presentations by an all-star cast.  In addition, the TBPLS will hold its quarterly Board meeting on the 17th.  A total of 16 CEU’s will be available for those needing to fulfill educational requirements, but it also appears to be a goldmine for young aspiring paraprofessionals.  For additional info on this opportunity, take a look at this link http://theshortcourse.org/info.php  

Chapter 2 Golf Tournament….

Chapter 2 will be holding a Golf Tournament on Wednesday September 17th at the Trophy Club Golf Course.  Rodney Walsh of Geomatic Resources is organizing the event that will raise monies for various educational scholarships.  Format is 4 Man Best Ball Scramble.  Cost is $300/Team, or $75 for Individual.  Box lunch is provided, and prizes will be distributed after all the lyin’ and cheatin’ has concluded.  Hole sponsorships are available for $300.  Mark your calendars, it will be a fun day for a good cause.  Let’s help support our friends at Chapter 2.
  Click here for info/registration.


On the Horizon….

Joint Meeting
The annual Joint Meeting with Chapter 2 is rapidly approaching. Set for Tuesday evening, September 9th at the Hard Eight BBQ in Coppell, with incoming TSPS President Michael Parker installing the new officers for each Chapter. It’s a nice facility with good eats, and a cash bar will be available. Social time will be from 5:30-6:30pm, dinner from 6:30-7:30, and installation and remarks 7:30-8:30pm. RSVP for dinner is required. Contact John Pierce @214/631-7888. Check payable to TSPS Chapter 5 for $24.50/each. Menu includes choice of 2 meats (sausage, brisket, chicken), beans and tater salad, cornbread salad, poppers, dessert and iced tea/soda. Cash bar will be available. Come join in this fun event, and welcome your new Chapter leadership, and incoming TSPS President Michael Parker. Click here for directions.

Least Squares Network Adjustment submitted by Wayne Terry, LSLS, RPLS
Chapter Five will have a new course through the TSPS Course Development Program later this year or in early 2009. The course will focus on elements of measurement science and the application of the statistical models developed using least squares techniques.

The whole subject seems a bit dry at first, but upon examination of the approach that will be employed by the development team one will see that this can be very informative and interesting. Some of the elements of the eight-hour seminar will include hands on experiments to show how different degrees of precision can be combined into a single model, showing how a good statistical model can aid with blunder detection, and how to forecast the strength of a planned network.

We hope that this course will introduce the concepts associated with various measurement errors and help differentiate between systematic errors, random errors and blunders. The format will be very interactive and there will be several opportunities for participants to discuss situations they have faced or anticipate.

---next TBPLS Board Meeting to be held in Austin on Friday, August 8th. The Board awards 4 CEU’s to attendees of their meetings. There is also a meeting scheduled in Houston for Friday, October 17th.

---next TSPS Board Meeting to be held in San Antonio on Saturday, August 23rd. The annual Strategic Planning will take place on Thursday afternoon (21st) and Friday (22nd), and offers all members the opportunity to strategize with fellow members from across the State and set goals for the Society for the coming year and beyond. Check the state website for hotel information.


Tech Tips………….by Charlie Siever of  MIDWEST A&E

To help the out of town customers or the people who send their instruments off for repair, I have a suggestion for you. Put a business card or a contact sheet with name, phone number and return address inside the instrument case. We talk to customers on the phone every day, and then an instrument shows up 2-3 days later with no instructions, request, contact info, etc. We are not mind readers, and it will help speed up your repair if we can talk to someone, give them an estimate or ask them in detail what problems they were experiencing. It is of no help to us or you to have your instrument sitting here for a week because we don't know if it's a trade in or a rental, or a repair. Help us help you…quick quality service starts with communication and diagnosis.

This past month I have had a rash of instruments brought in for service, with complaints of shooting bad distances.
All but one was caused by the end user. If you want to change the instrument settings, CALL YOUR REPAIR CENTER! Do not go in and start changing settings, there is NO need for your crew to do this and it will cost you money! The prism offset (I'm only going to talk about Topcon & Sokkia) is either -30mm or 0mm and there are some prisms that are -40mm,but they are only about 1% of the market.

If you have a NON TILTING prism it is a -30mm offset. If you have a tilting prism, it can be either -30mm or 0mm. You have to enter the - sign or you will have a +30mm or a 60mm error ON EVERY SHOT. The PPM (Parts Per Million) do not effect the distances unless you are shooting over 1000M or about 3000 feet. Try it… set a prism out about 250 feet then shoot it at o ppm then -99 ppm & + 99 you will find the distances do not change alot..01 ft (measure in SLOPE for this exercise).

Each and every survey instrument has an instrument constant that is particular for that instrument. You can have 2 brand new instruments same make & same model & they will have a different constant. Leave this alone.
Read your manual….know your tools, their capabilities and limitations. You are the EXPERT MEASURER….


Safety First…..Make it a Priority

Truck Safety Kit
Do your company vehicles contain basic safety items? The following are suggested minimum items that might be in each company vehicle:

- Flashlight with spare batteries
- First-aid kit
- Blanket
- Disposable camera/ or digital
- Fire extinguisher
- A couple of bottled waters
- Gas can (empty)
- Jumper cables


August 19 --- Barton Burnett, Duncanville H.S. Skills USA Survey Program Faculty Advisor
September 9 --- Michael Parker (incoming TSPS President) Joint Meeting with Chapter 2: Install New Officers (held at Hard Eight BBQ in Coppell)
October 23-27 --- TSPS Annual Convention: Cruise to Cozumel
November 18 --- Bob Seipel, TSPS SurPac Chairman & John Carona

---next TBPLS Board Meeting to be held in Austin on Friday, August 8th. The Board awards 4 CEU’s to attendees of their meetings. There is also a meeting scheduled in Houston for Friday, October 17th.

---next TSPS Board Meeting to be held in San Antonio on Saturday, August 23rd. The annual Strategic Planning will take place on Thursday afternoon (21st) and Friday (22nd), and offers all members the opportunity to strategize with fellow members from across the State and set goals for the Society for the coming year and beyond. Check the state website for hotel information.

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!!

 2008 Newsletter Advertising…..Chapter 5 Executive Board Meeting members voted the following annual advertising rates for the 2008 calendar year:

   --Full Page $400.00 (11% reduction from 2007 rate)

   --Half Page $200.00

   --1/4 Page   $150.00

   --Business Card $75.00 (prorated rates available)

Archived News Letters:

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

Site created and maintained by www.TSPS-5.org. TSPS does not warrant the information contained herein. Last updated 8/11/2008.
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