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

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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 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….

“There are no traffic jams when you go the extra mile.”
- Anonymous

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
- Benjamin Franklin
 



Geocaching…..Don’t Be a Muggle! High Tech Outdoor Fun for All…

If you know nothing about geocaching, you are a muggle, and you may destroy a cache because you don’t know what it is. Now’s the time for us all to become educated, so we don’t inadvertently ruin someone else’s fun. The following is an attempt to explain the basic concepts of GEOCACHING.

Geocaching is a high-tech hunt for hidden treasure (hey, this sounds a bit like surveying). Some describe it as an Easter egg hunt. This is how it works: somebody hides a container with inexpensive zu-zus and wham-whams (knick-knacks)….this is the cache. Then they post its location with a latitude and longitude on a geocaching website, and the hunt is on for the geocachers. If they find the cache, they trade knick-knacks and sign a log book to record their visit. Finally, they rehide the cache, so that the muggles won’t discover it and haul it away.

Chapter 5 previously had a cache in the downtown Garland area, but the site was destroyed by a construction project. The monument we set (donated by MIDWEST) needs to be reset at another location. During the time our cache was active, we received many positive comments about our Surveyor related trinkets in the cache box. We were also chastised by a geocacher for putting a survey grade position on the monument for visitors to calibrate their handhelds to….an impossible task since handhelds are not capable of such high accuracy positions. Oh well, we learned something!

A few years back, geocaching was almost a secret game played by a small group of dedicated participants, but today there are hundreds of thousands of geocachers around the world who are busy hiding and hunting for these treasures. To play the game, you’ll need a simple hand held GPS receiver. You can get these devices for around $100 and up, depending on the desired features and mapping software. Many Surveyors (and hunters/fishermen/hikers/campers) already have such devices. Are you wondering where the challenge lies if the GPS leads you right to the cache? There are 2 reasons why finding the cache remains a challenge: first, the GPS only gets you to within 15-20 feet of your target; second, the cache is hidden or disguised, either from geocachers to increase the fun of the hunt, or to conceal the cache from muggles.

The real fun in geocaching is discovering a variety of new and interesting places nearby that you didn’t know existed. And as Surveyors, we can bring the geocache nation into our Geospatial World by placing caches at locations that have a tie to the Surveying profession. Surveyors themselves are probably not even aware of the multitude of neat sites in and around the Metroplex that have a tie-in to the Survey World.

With the assistance of Chapter 5 member Charlie Redd, we hope to place a Chapter 5 cache at a “Surveyor related” site in the Dallas area, and post it for any and all who want to join in the hunt. We may place a travel bug, a knick-knack in the cache that if you take it, you help it get to a desired location (maybe to the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame Museum in Waco, with its very prominent Survey display). Or maybe the destination could be Mt. Rushmore, where 3 of those men were Surveyors, or the National Museum of Surveying in Springfield, Illinois. The possibilities are limited only by the imagination. This is a work in progress, but one that can be fun for the Chapter, fun for the public, and an easy activity that puts our profession out to interact with the public.

Anyone with ideas……………..let’s hear from ya. Is anyone aware of a neat Surveyor related location? Contact Chris Freeman.
 

 

THANK YOU ADVERTISERS!

A special THANKS to all the individuals and firms that have renewed their advertising in the Chapter 5 Newsletter. The funds generated from the ads go into the General Fund of the Chapter, and help with educational and promotional events and activities throughout the year that benefit our members and profession. The rates are purposefully priced at favorable rates to provide maximum benefit to our supporters and sponsors. If you or your firm is interested in adding your business card or larger ad, please contact Chris Freeman (972-226-8181).


TSPS-5 Advertisers should be encouraged to send advertisements in .JPG format at 72dpi/ppi

Business card sized at 2" * 3.5"
Half page ads sized at 5.5" * 4.25"
Full page ad's 11" * 8.5"
Other acceptable image file format as follows: .tif, .bmp, .gif

.PDF are acceptable but require re-formatting which may affect final image quality.

Other file formats will require reformatting and take longer to post. Advertisements may be sent as stand alone HTML based web code. For more specific web code advertisement details please Chris Freeman at his email address: cfreeman@bhinc.com

Advertisements should be emailed to Chris Freeman at his email address: cfreeman@bhinc.com

Advertisements should be sent prior to Newsletter posting on the 1st of each month.

Advertising prices are listed on the TSPS-5.org Pro Listings page.


 


Texas Survey History
 

Came across an interesting historical tale involving Surveyors on the Texas frontier. Click here to get to the link that tells the tale of The Battle of Lost Creek, down in southwest Navarro County. There’s actually a Historical Marker off Highway 31 that commemorates the Battle between a Survey party and Indians. Take a few minutes to read.

 

 


In the Rearview Mirror…

---The Febuary meeting had a strong turnout, with 50+ attendees. Barton Burnett, Faculty Advisor for the Duncanville H.S. SkillsUSA Survey program, was our Guest Speaker. Barton updated attendees on activities and of the upcoming competitions. SURPAC donations of $49 were collected and forwarded to Anne Glasgow at State.

---Tim Jackson supervised the SkillsUSA District level Survey Competition at Duncanville High School on February 13th, with assistance from John Pierce and Chris Freeman. Three teams of three students each competed, with 4 main aspects of competition: a 50 question written test (CST Level 1), Resume and Job Interview, Differential Level Loop, Field Traverse/Calculations. The top two teams will advance to the Regional Competition that will be held in Waco in March.
 


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    Certified Survey Technician exam prep classes continue…..

    The Dallas Chapter offers Certified Survey Technician Level I and Level II examination prep sessions prior to every monthly meeting. John Pierce leads this effort, 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 March 10th Chapter meeting at Cantina Laredo Restaurant (5-6pm). For questions/info, contact John Pierce at 214-532-1667.

    The next CST exam date is tentatively set for Saturday March 14. Now is the time to get registered and prepared for the exam. Contact John Pierce for details/info.

     


    SIT & RPLS Exam Study Groups  

    There will be three study group meetings before the April 2009 RPLS & SIT exams. The first meeting will be Saturday, March 7, from 8am-noon at Halff Associates' Richardson office (see attached map). The other two meetings are tentatively scheduled for March 21 and April 4.

    The RPLS group will go over analytical problems and legal terminology at the first meeting. The SIT group will work though problems from sample exams and spend additional time on the subjects people have questions about. Please bring any questions or analytical problems you might have found to the meeting and we'll try to work them as a group. This group is open to anyone who is studying to take the Texas RPLS or SIT exams this April or in the future. As always, there is no cost for the study group, and breakfast is provided for those who RSVP. Please RSVP to Jason Jernigan.

    You can also keep track of group meetings and access study material through the following 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/

    Contact Jason Jernigan (214-346-6204) for information regarding the Study Groups and schedule.
     


             

                                    

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    Bulletin Board Odds ‘n Ends….

    LOST & FOUND!

    I found some surveying equipment along Ridge Road (FM 740) on Friday evening 02/20/2009 and it was still there on Saturday morning so I took it home with me. I would like to return this to its rightful owner. Please call/email me with the proper description and I will arrange to get it back to you.

    Thank you,
    Jason D. Thompson, RPLS
    jdt@gls-inc.com
    214-498-8757



    Out On the Horizon….

     

     The next Chapter 5 meeting will be held Tuesday March 10th at the Cantina Laredo Restaurant on Lover’s Lane. Guest Speaker will be the Chairperson of the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveyors, Nedra Foster, who will update us on the Board activities. Come join us for good food and great camaraderie.

    Spring Symposium in Waco March 20-21 You might want to make plans to attend the TSPS Spring Symposium this year. It will be held Friday and Saturday, March 20-21, in Waco. Two full days of TBPLS approved continuing education courses are available, as well as several courses designed for paraprofessional staff. The Friday luncheon (free for attendees) will include a couple of Chapter 5 members receiving awards from last year’s Convention Cruise that they were unable to attend…Young Surveyor of the Year Award to Jason Jernigan and Chapter President of the Year Award to Chris Freeman. Also, a fun event is planned for Friday evening (free of charge to attendees) at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame Museum. A geocache monument will be set at the base of Texas frontier Surveyor George Erath’s statue outside the Museum. Attendees will also get a free tour of the museum, and will be surprised at the prominent survey displays inside. The event will help celebrate Texas and National Surveyor Week (March 15-20). See the TSPS website for detailed course and registration information for the Symposium.

    Career Summit The Richardson Chamber of Commerce is coordinating a Career Summit for Richardson ISD students on March 5th. Chapter 5 was contacted to participate, and a table will be manned by Tim Marcinko, Jason Jernigan, and Raul Wong, Jr. In addition, MIDWEST A&E will provide survey equipment for the always popular tech demos. This is an outstanding way for us to introduce surveying to hundreds of students. The key is to introduce Surveying at an early age, so that by high school they can be preparing themselves for college survey curriculum. Thanks to the volunteers!


    Golf Tournament guru Sean Flaherty informs us that the 2009 Annual Tim Mireaur Memorial Golf Tournament is 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 (such as SkillsUSA) 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.


    ---next TBPLS Board Meeting to be held in Austin on June 12, 2009. The TBPLS awards 4 CEU’s to attendees of their meetings.

    ---next TSPS Board Meeting to be held on June 13, 2009 at the Radisson Hotel in Austin. The Annual Ray Wisdom Benefit Auction will follow the meeting, and is always a fun event for Surveyors, family, and friends with good eats and cold refreshments.
     


     


      


    Safety First…..Make it a Priority

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


    2009 CHAPTER 5 MEETINGS & SPECIAL EVENTS SCHEDULE:


     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

    Site created and maintained by www.TSPS-5.org. TSPS does not warrant the information contained herein. Last updated 2/28/2009.
    Thank you for visiting TSPS-5.org.