November 2008                                                                                                                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 (214-478-6003) 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….

“Do not say a little in many words, but a lot in a few”. --- Pythagorus

“We can not direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails”. --- Bertha Calloway

Contact Info for Chapter 5 Officers 2008-2009: Click Here

Chapter 5 Committee Chairs for 2008-2009

  • Public Relations/ Education – John Pierce, RPLS

  • Membership – Richard Ortiz

  • Audit –
  • John Pierce, RPLS
  • Nominating – Raul Wong, Jr., PE, RPLS

  • Programs – Chris Freeman, RPLS

  • Ten Questions with Wayne Terry R.P.L.S., L.S.L.S.

    This month’s guest is Wayne Terry, the 1st Vice President for Chapter 5.  Wayne is the Survey Manager for R-Delta Engineers, Inc.

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

     42 years 

    1. What originally attracted you to the profession?

     I was studying mathematics and found a job doing survey calculations while in school.

    1. What do you see as the greatest benefit to being a TSPS member?

     For me the greatest benefit for being part of TSPS is the association with other professionals where I can stay current on aspects of the profession where I don’t normally practice.

    1. What is the biggest challenge facing the profession?

     Lack of real leadership.  I could go on and on about this topic.  This is how we allowed ourselves to be one of the few professions required to collect sales taxes.

    1. What is the biggest challenge for TSPS as an association, and for surveyors as professionals?

    One must either assume that the challenges for TSPS and surveyors are synonymous or this question must be answered in two parts.  I think that there are differing challenges facing the association and the profession.

    A. Our association needs to define the benefit we offer to the community succinctly and get the message out to our colleagues, para-professionals and the general consuming community if we are going to be effective and vibrant.

    B. The profession needs to broaden our definition of surveying to include more of what we are good at doing and not just limit ourselves to the limited role of being property line locators.  Look at the firm where you work.  This broad view of the role of surveying offers the greatest hope for a prosperous future.

    1. Why did you pursue your LSLS?

     Larry Ferguson, RPLS took a class with Ben Thompson who was promoting the LSLS.  Larry, who was working for me at the time, thought that I would do well and after some consideration and a visit with Ben I decided that it would fit with my personal value system.  One of my core values is to be a lifelong learner and this seemed like the next step in a natural progression within our profession.

    1. What is the most interesting survey you ever worked on?

    The next one!  They are all exciting.  We just found a vacancy in a suburban area.  It may not be the most interesting but it is the one on which I am currently working so it wins today.

    1. How do we encourage the professional non-member to participate and join TSPS?

     Be excited ourselves.  Excitement is contagious.  If we are not alive with enthusiasm about surveying we cannot hope to attract anyone.

    1. If you could change one thing about the survey profession, what would it be, and why?

     I would eliminate the sales tax on professional surveying services.  I don’t understand how to determine when it is to be collected and everyone I talk with has a different view, but we all agree that it should not exist.

    1. Do you foresee the day when surveyors won’t be necessary?

     The only way we will become extinct is if we quit being professionals and start allowing the market place to define who we are.  They will categorize surveying as a trade or make it a para-profession to engineering or some other accepted profession.  Surveyors need to be professional in order to be recognized as a profession and only then will we be considered an essential and integral part of the real estate sector of the economy.

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

    Chapter 5 reps will visit the school to donate the survey equipment that was collectively donated by ARS Engineers, Inc. and Midwest A&E, and checked and calibrated with funds from Chapter 5.  You, too, can assist this exciting and growing high school program…visit the school and answer their questions, assist with field and theory instruction, donate used equipment and survey related magazines. 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 or Tim Jackson

    Tim Jackson is devoting an hour or so once a week to visit with the survey students at Duncanville High School to assist them in their understanding of surveying, and to practice field procedures in preparation for competition in February. The students are ecstatic to have Tim as a weekly visitor, as it helps them better understand the “big picture”, and getting direction from a professional ensures they will learn their field procedures and skills correctly. Hats off to Tim for his dedication….just think how far the students could progress with several “mentors”.

    North Lake College Survey Classes…New Offerings for Spring 2009

    Courses to be offered at the West Campus (DFW ED Center) in the Spring Semester 2009.  Class day of the week and times have not yet been determined.  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.

    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 2305 Geographic Information Systems Applications (2 hr. lecture, 4 hr. lab, 3 credit hours)

    A hands-on course with computer applications providing additional conceptual understanding of geographic information systems and practical applications using a variety of Geographic Information System software. Prerequisite: SRVY 1301 and SRVY 1315

    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

    In the Rearview Mirror…

    ---Library Survey Display  Chapter 5 members coordinated a display in the lobby of the Garland Nicholson Library in downtown Garland form October 6-October 31.  Contributors included Martha Compton, Raul Wong, Glenn Breysacher, John Pierce, Robert Schneeberg, John Nicholson, Tim Jackson, Bill Johnson, Jr., Wayne Terry, and Chris Freeman.  An array of survey items were on display including maps, aerial photographs, survey instruments and tools, drafting tools, a laser scanner, hand held GPS units, text books, magazines, and TSPS materials.  The Display was highlighted on the TSPS website, and efforts to provide additional displays throughout the Metroplex are under way.  If you have a minute to stop at your area Library to offer the availability of a TSPS Dallas Chapter 5 Survey Display, contact Chris Freeman for ideas, assistance, etc.

    ---City of Garland City Surveyor and Chapter 5 member Glenn Breysacher was invited to provide the Garland Landmark Society a presentation at their October 6th meeting.  The topic was, “How does history/historical documents/places/things intertwine and play a part in professional surveying”?

    Glenn gave a presentation on two projects to demonstrate this. The first involved reconstructing Block 12 of the Original Town of Duck Creek (Garland’s former name) from original exterior and interior building corners, columns, and walls of existing structures dating back to the late 1800s. The key evidence being a deed which mentioned the northeast corner of “Mrs. Murphree’s brick store”, and also the mentioning of the adjacent alley abandonment that took place six days prior to the writing of the deed. Since the City of Garland’s records only go back to 1918 (earlier records are missing/lost), this historic document was vital to proving the abandonment occurred.

    Once the Block was constructed, the distance going west to Block 10 (where Glenn was also currently working on a different survey project) checked to within 0.07’ of the called distance on the original plat from 1887.

    The other project discussed was a survey that involved a common abstract/survey line. In trying to determine where that original survey line was, Glenn obtained the original 1844 and 1850 field notes from the GLO. He then calculated a search tie for the bearing/witness trees and eventually found one. It was a 45” pecan that is approximately 250 years old. The tree will be placed on the local register of Dallas County historic and heritage trees, as well as being described by location and coordinates so that others visiting the area can see it. The tree is on private property and the details of it’s preservation is being worked out at this time.  This project may be a future Chapter meeting program….stay tuned!

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    Bet you didn’t know that……

    The Cemetary Oak, at an estimated 150-200 years of age, is a Shumard Red Oak in the cemetery at the northeasterly corner of Garland and Miller Roads, and is likely the oldest living thing in Garland.  Beneath the tree’s canopy, now 95 feet in diameter, mourners once tied their horses at a hitching post.  The quercus shumardii is certified by the Texas Forest Service as Metroplex Champion, which means it is the largest specimen in Dallas, Tarrant, and adjoining counties, 10 in all.

    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 November 18th Chapter meeting at Cantina Laredo Restaurant.  For questions/info, contact John Pierce at 214-532-1667.

    CST Exam on December 13th at North Lake College

    Spaces are still available for those interested in taking the Certified Survey Technician tests.  John Pierce will proctor exams at North Lake College.  Examinees can take it online, and receive instant exam results, or take a paper copy exam and wait a couple of months for results.  For details, contact John Pierce at 214-631-7888.



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     TSPS State Awards

    Chapter 5 can be proud that two of its members were recognized at the Annual Convention.  First, Dallas Chapter 5 won the Star Chapter Award, in recognition of all the activities undertaken and accomplishments achieved this past year.  The Award is a direct reflection of the leadership of Robert Schneeberg, the hard work and efforts of Chapter 5 members, and the invaluable support of Chapter efforts by the many firms and vendors that totally throw their support and resources behind Chapter 5.

    Jason Jernigan was nominated by Chapter 5 members and won the Young Surveyor of the Year Award.   What an honor for Jason, but truly deserving given his steady involvement in Chapter matters over the past 2-3 years, including the establishment and coordination of the popular and worthy SIT/RPLS Exam Study Group.  Finally, Chris Freeman was honored as the Chapter President of the Year Award, which actually was a reflection of the Chapter’s success during his tenure in 2006-2007.  So, all in all, a very strong showing by the Chapter, and a direct reflection upon its members and supporters.  Let’s keep up the pace we have established, as one of the benefits is that others statewide see what we are doing and join in, making our association strong and vibrant.  Enthusiasm is contagious….CATCH IT!!!

    TSPS Chapter 5 won the “Star Chapter” Award from TSPS

    Article was submitted by Anne Glasgow, Executive Director of TSPS.


    The Star Chapter Award was created to recognize the successful efforts by our chapters to promote TSPS, the profession of surveying, and the activities created by local chapters around the state. All the chapters are working diligently to enhance the image of surveying in the state of Texas and to grow membership so the choice of Star Chapter is always a difficult one. I would like to take just a few moments to summarize the activities of the winner—Dallas Chapter #5.

    The chapter meets monthly with many special projects and events scattered throughout the year. Each meeting they host a speaker and the topics have ranged widely: Doug Turner spoke on TBPLS issues, a program on Wetland Delineation and Tree Surveys, updates on TSPS issues by Coleen Johnson, NSPS Technician Certification, an attorney presented a program on Deposition Preparation and so on. It is no wonder their attendance rarely falls below 50 with such timely and interesting topics.

    For several years members of the Dallas Chapter have set up a survey display at the Garland Library. This display has grown and attracted the attention of so many library patrons the members have been asked to provide a survey program as part of the library’s Creative Kids event. This one display has informed many members of the general public about the surveying profession. The chapter is actively searching for more venues that will provide them with display opportunities throughout the year.

    Two events have long been on the calendar for the Dallas Chapter. The first is their TSPS Day at the Races at Lone Star Park. Nearly 100 participants attended the fun event this spring. The second event is the annual Tim Mireur Memorial Golf Tournament that raises funds for educating chapter 5 paraprofessionals.

    This chapter seeks out opportunities to educate and to support educational events around the state. They have funded and made donations to Skills USA, the High School Educators retreat, and they are providing staff support for 3 credit courses at North Lake College. Additionally students at North Lake College were the recipients of textbooks and calculators for their survey courses.

    Dallas Chapter keeps their membership informed via a newsletter that is published digitally and lives on their website. It is very interesting to see all the articles and announcements there and I encourage other chapters to visit the site and gather some of the great ideas this chapter has initiated.

    The chapter also generously supports Trig Star, SurPAC and the TSPS annual convention. Also recognized for excellence this year are some of their great chapter volunteers: Chris Freeman, immediate past president has been honored with Chapter President of the Year and Jason Jernigan was selected to receive Young Surveyor of the Year Award. Jason has for several years been teaching an exam prep course that many in the chapter area have benefitted from.

    The list of accomplishments from the Dallas Chapter is not exhausted by what you have heard in this report but I’m sure you get a sense of the great work they are doing. Dallas Chapter #5 is exemplifying the intent of the Star Chapter award and I would ask you to join me in acknowledging their winning efforts.

    SIT & RPLS Exam Study Groups

    Since the recent licensing and certification examinations were just held in late October, the Study Groups will take a breather.  They will probably regroup after the New Year to begin preparation for the April exams.  In the meantime, candidates should organize their study materials and outline a study schedule.  Also, attending the Certified Survey Technician exam prep classes before the Chapter 5 monthly meetings is another good way to keep tuned in to subject matter.

    Bulletin Board Odds ‘n Ends….


    Welcome New Members!



    Dennis Szarka has transferred from the Austin Chapter.  Although living in Albuquerque, Dennis has frequent visits and business in the Metroplex and Texas.


    On the Horizon….

    The next Chapter 5 meeting will be held Tuesday November 18th at the Cantina Laredo Restaurant on Lover’s Lane.  Guest Speaker will be State Senator John Carona.  Also, TSPS SurPac Chairman Bob Seipel will be attending to update members on the upcoming legislative session, and the importance of SurPac to our profession to protect and strengthen our interests.  Annual recognition awards will also be presented by Past President Robert Schneeberg.  Come join us, this will also be the first meeting with new President Bob Cummings.

    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 interested in being part of the solution and helping our Chapter and profession move forward, please contact any of the Chapter officers.

    Career Day & School Presentations

    Chris Freeman has been invited to present to four groups of 8th graders (60-80 total) at Sellers Middle School on Wednesday November 12th.  This will be the 4th year in a row that Chris has participated in their Career Day.

    Tim Jackson spent 2 days in October participating in the Duncanville High School Engineering Technology Career Day activities. Tim spoke to 8 groups of students, a total of approximately 150 students, about careers in the surveying profession. Tim also utilized one of the Career videos available through TSPS. Barton Burnett said the visit paid off, as students interested in the Survey module increased greatly.

    ---next TBPLS Board Meeting to be held Friday December 12th in Austin.  The TBPLS awads 4 CEU’s to attendees.

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


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

    Safety…. It is something that is on everyone’s mind, or should be. Outside of work, I have long had a passion for race cars and racing. I have been involved in working races at various levels, including SCCA, NASCAR, Champ Car, Indy Car, and Formula 1. After working on race tracks for the last 20 years I've learned a few things that would relate to surveying.  

    1.      Never turn your back on oncoming traffic! It is hard to run when you can't see them coming!  Can't face traffic?  Then have someone watch your back.   Race car drivers get distracted just like civilian drivers. Best park your truck behind you, but still have someone watch your back.

    2.      Make sure you have cones set up & wear your safety vest. On the track, we try to communicate with drivers with radios & flags. You could have someone behind you waving a flag.  Race car drivers key on movement, or are at least they are supposed to. Track corner workers wear white clothing on road courses & yellow at NASCAR races.

    3.      Just remember, working on a busy street is more dangerous than the race track! Race officials deal with trained professional drivers, unfortunately survey field crews do not.  Anyone who has stood along a highway can attest to the danger that exists….get your work done safely and get out of there.

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

    Safety First…..Make it a Priority




              December 2008--- No Meeting; Happy Holidays, See ya’ll in 2009

              January 13 --- TSPS President Michael Parker & TSPS Legislative Liason Pat Smith

              February 10 --- Nedra Foster, Chairperson of TBPLS

              March 10 --- Jack Avis: GIS as a Survey Tool

              April 14 --- Speaker/Program to be determined

              May 12 --- Speaker/Program to be determined

              Chapter Golf Tournament --- date to be determined

              June 9 --- Glenn Breysacher/Wayne Terry: Vacancy in Garland?

              July 14 --- Rob Hathaway, Delorme GIS: Geocaching for fun

              August 11 --- Speaker/Program to be determined

              September ? --- Joint Meeting with Chapter 2

              October 22-24 --- TSPS Annual Convention in Austin

              November 10 --- Speaker/Program to be determined

    ---next TBPLS Board Meeting to be held Friday December 12th in Austin.  The TBPLS awads 4 CEU’s to attendees.

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

    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
    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

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