TSPS Chapter 5!
November 2011 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 Jerry Lehew (972-442-5405) to discuss your Newsletter contribution. This online newsletter is funded by Courthouse Research Specialists.

 Words of Wisdom

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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 based advertising details please contact 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.

Place your ad here!
Place your Ad here!

Welcome New Chapter 5 Members…
TSPS and Dallas Chapter 5 have several NEW MEMBERS. Please welcome the following to the Chapter 5 family:

Michael Calhoun, RPLS (EBG Engineering)
William Dorough
Jeremy Nofziger
Kenneth Russell, RPLS (Helvey Associates)
Gary Reinhardt, RPLS (Atkins)

We hope to see you at an upcoming Chapter meeting or event.

Remember those who served their country…
Don’t forget to reach out to the men and women who have served us in whatever role in the Armed Forces. Their service allows each and every one of us to enjoy the fruits of freedom. THANK YOU VETERANS, and God BlessYou and your families for the unselfish sacrifices that you have made. Friday November 11 is the recognized Federal holiday.

Ten Questions with Chapter 5 President Jason Jernigan…

1. How did you get started in the Surveying profession?

I enlisted in the US Army as a Field Artillery Survey (82C). I really enjoyed it, so after my 3 years was up I got a job on a survey crew in my home state of Louisiana.

2. What is the biggest challenge facing the profession today?

It seems to me that we’re having an identity crisis. The distinction between a boundary survey and GIS polygon are not clear to the general public or, perhaps more critically, to some of our fellow professionals like engineers, architects, and those in the real estate industry. It’s hard to justify prices commensurate with the quality, difficulty, and liability associated with a professional surveying product because very few people understand what we do and the value it creates and protects. I think it is wise for us to work with, not against, the GIS community on this issue, but we need make it clear that we are the experts in the precise measurement of real property and, most importantly, the determination of property boundaries.

3. More than ever, a strong and united TSPS will be essential to protect the profession from the anticipated consolidation in the upcoming 2013 legislative session. What steps should members (and Chapter 5) be taking to prepare for this?

This is an issue that we as a statewide organization need to approach in a unified manner. Members should voice their ideas and opinions to their local leadership and chapter representatives who in turn express the same to the State leadership. If they don’t hear us, they won’t know what we want them to do. SurvPAC donations are also more important than ever because the hinges to legislator’s office doors are greased with cash. There is a push for local chapters to establish relationships with our local legislators in-between congressional sessions. I’d love to have local legislators attend a chapter meeting as guest or, even better, as a speaker.

4. For you, why is it important to be an active member in TSPS?

Like most things in life, what you get out of it is proportional to what you put into it. TSPS is much more meaningful and rewarding when you get to interact with fellow surveyors and the general public instead of simply reading the occasional e-blast or attending an annual CEU seminar.

5. What is your priority as President for Chapter 5 during 2012?

I’d like our Chapter be the first to offer a free Ethics or Rules seminar to its members. Those who are not current TSPS members are welcome and encouraged to attend the seminar, but to do so, the price is the same as the cost of membership, so they might as well just sign up. As long as I have been involved in TSPS I have heard two issues discussed again and again: 1) TSPS as an organization wants to maintain or establish high membership numbers and 2) Members or potential members ask what they get in return for their TSPS membership dues. I think offering a members-only 4 hour Ethics/Rules Seminar addresses both of these issues. Members know that by paying their dues every year they have their 4 Ethics/Rules hours covered. TSPS will see increased membership numbers and, hopefully, increased involvement because of a larger pool of members to draw from. I think the best way to “sell” this idea to TSPS State is to prove it works. Ideally this program will be adopted statewide as a benefit to all members, not just members of Chapter 5.

6. You teach a Legal class at North Lake College utilizing Ken Gold's Decisions book. What is that like?

I love it. I enjoy teaching the students and being challenged by some of their questions in return. Teaching also forces me to be ever mindful of the legal aspects of land surveying which makes me a better surveyor.

7. You are involved with the TBPLS, reviewing test questions. How did you become involved, and what all is involved?

There are three different volunteer committees that work with TBPLS to develop and maintain a quality RPLS exam: the Item Writing Committee, the QA/QC Committee, and the Cut Off Score Committee. I’m on the last one. After the candidates take the exam, we review questions which have not yet been through a statistical analysis process to ensure they meet certain criteria, or questions that have been flagged for some sort of statistical anomaly. The merits of the question itself and its possible answers are discussed to ensure they meet the standards established by the Board. The questions are then each individually weighted. Sometimes it is determined that a question has more than one correct answer or that it needs to be thrown out entirely and sent back to the other committees for a rewrite. This process results in candidates being graded against a more consistent baseline than a simple bell curve could produce. For example, if a low performing candidate takes an exam with a bunch of other low performers, a bell curve would result in a much lower passing score and the public could possibly be harmed by the licensure of a less-than-qualified surveyor. The current method established the “curve” (cut off score) with the panel of subject matter experts resulting in more consistent grading from exam to exam. Basically, I take the RPLS exam twice a year and get to discus surveying with some of the best surveyors in the state. I learn something every single time.

8. You have worked at Halff Associates since studying at Tyler J.C and UT-Tyler. Have you had a mentor to help guide your professional development? How important is that for you?

Halff has been a great place to work because there are so many excellent RPLSs who are willing to mentor young surveyors. I started here as a survey tech straight out of school and had my RPLS license three years later. Receiving day-to-day guidance from my mentors and working through challenges with my peers played a critical role in guiding my professional development.

9. You were very successful in developing and presenting the SIT/RPLS Study Group sessions the past several years, and it has become a model for other Chapters to emulate. What prompted you to start that, and who will be taking over for you?

The study groups were actually started by Mark Williams when he was at Kimley-Horn. One of my classmates, Heath Brown, was also at Kimley-Horn and we were both studying for the SIT exam. We met a couple times at KHA, and when Heath moved to Halff, we continued the study group for both SITs and RPLSs here. The groups are now being led by Vasileios Kalogirou at Pacheco Koch. I think this is a great example of how surveyors at different companies, supported and connected by TSPS, can help each other to maintain the high standards of our profession.

10. Some are calling for a relaxation of the 4 year college degree requirement for licensure. Where do you stand on that issue?

I’m absolutely and unapologetically against it. The goals of raising the image of the profession and lowering the requirements to enter it are mutually exclusive.

  In the Rearview Mirror…

The 60th Annual Convention held in Frisco October 5-8 was quite a success. Total attendance was nearly 750 attendees, making it the largest gathering in several years, and hopefully a sign that the economy is improving for survey professionals. Several Chapter 5 members were active on the Convention Committee, responsible for securing the Speakers, arranging for the side events, and ensuring that attendees enjoy the event. Committee Chair Mike Bearden got plenty of help from Eric Yahoudy, Paul Mannel, Jerry Lehew together with a host of other local volunteers who pitched in to assist in making the event run smoothly. Thanks to all for making the event a huge success.

New TSPS President Davey Edwards now takes the helm, and it seems he is already focused on preparing TSPS for the next legislative session that will occur in 2013. Chapter 2 member Mickey Nowell will head the all important Governmental Affairs Committee. Kudos to outgoing President John Watson, who’s term was very much sidetracked by the tumultuous 2011 legislative session, albeit one that TSPS successfully survived due to a strong and united membership.

Chapter Officers for 2011-2012
The Executive Committee for Chapter 5 for 2011-2012 is as follows:

Jason Jernigan, RPLS                President
Paul Mannel, RPLS 1st Vice President
Justin Waldrip, RPLS 2nd Vice President
John Pierce, RPLS Secretary/Treasurer
John Melton, RPLS 1 year Director
Richard Ortiz 1 year Director
Randall Marshall, RPLS 2 year Director
Gary Matthews, RPLS 2 year Director
Jerry Lehew, RPLS Past President
Chris Freeman, RPLS Chapter Representative

Chapter 5 Committee Chairs 2011-12
Education John Pierce
       --SkillsUSA Randall Marshall
Public Relations Gary Matthews
Membership Justin Waldrip
Programs Paul Mannel
Nominating Jerry Lehew

Extra, Extra, Read All About It…. MIDWEST A&E now part of the GeoShack family.
DALLAS, TX – October 18, 2011 – GeoShack North America, Inc. continues to grow with their latest announcement that Midwest Architects & Engineers Supply Inc. has joined the GeoShack family.

Midwest A&E was founded in 1956 by Ed Nicholson and has been at its present location, 400 North Grove Road in Richardson, Texas since 1984. Current operations will remain open in Richardson, but will begin to use GeoShack name. Billy Tucker, North Texas Regional Manager for GeoShack stated, “Midwest customers will notice very few changes initially. We will continue to carry the same great Topcon products, supported by the same great team. With the support of a much larger company, Midwest will be able to increase inventory and services very quickly.”

Scott Beathard, President of GeoShack, agreed stating that all employees of Midwest will remain with the company and the basic scope of services will not change significantly from the customers’ viewpoint. “As a factory authorized Topcon distributor and service center covering North Texas and Oklahoma, Midwest A & E is a natural fit in the GeoShack family. Our two companies came together to continue providing the superior technology, service and support that all of our customers have come to expect“.

Chapter 5 thanks and salutes John Nicholson, Danny Hayes, and the entire Midwest staff for the many years they served and supported the north central Texas survey community, and wish all the best going forward.

Join in at the GeoShack Open House and Chapter 5 Meeting:
GeoShack announces that Midwest Architects & Engineers Supply, Inc. has joined the GeoShack family. We will be hosting an open house beginning at 10:00am with lunch for any who want to come by during the day. Additionally, we are proud to host the November monthly meeting of the TSPS Dallas Chapter No. 5, providing dinner to attendees.

WhenTuesday, November 8, 2011
Open House: 10:00am – 6:00pm
Social/Dinner Time: 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Chapter Meeting: Program @ 7:00pm
Scott Holt & John Cantrell from City of Dallas
WhereGeoShack/Midwest Office
400 N. Grove Road
Richardson, TX 75081
Phone: 972-783-2706

  On the Horizon ...

The next TBPLS Board Meeting Meeting is scheduled for Friday December 9th in Austin, and 4 CEUs are awarded to attendees of TBPLS Board meetings. See their website for meeting location and agenda information. (www.txls.state.tx.us). Previously it was thought that the TBPLS may hold a meeting at the Annual Convention, but apparently that will not be the case, since a meeting was held on September 16.

Certified Survey Technician testing scheduled for November 12
Chapter 5 Education Chairman John Pierce has announced that the next CST exam will be held November 12 at the West Campus, North Lake College, in Irving (at the north end of DFW Airport off of SH 114 at Freeport Pkwy). You may apply through TSPS by Oct 1 or NSPS by Nov. 1. Both written and on-line exams are offered.

Volunteers Needed – SKILLS USA @ Duncanville High School
Duncanville High School Engineering Dept. Teacher Bart Burnett has put out a call to Chapter 5 for RPLS’s and/or SIT’s to assist his survey students in their preparation for their District and State Survey competitions. Randall Marshall at Pacheco Koch (972-235-3031) is the Chapter 5 Skills Committee Chair, and he is wanting a pool of volunteers that can each spend a couple of hours/month for November-January assisting students. This is a highly successful initiative that Chapter 5 has been looked upon at a leader. Two current students are already making plans to attend TSTC (Waco) and Tyler JC next year. Let’s help ‘em out!!

Chapter 5 Membership…Recruit a Member!
There are currently 141 members of Chapter 5. TSPS encourages all Chapters to work at increasing the membership. Encourage your co-workers, staff, and colleagues to consider joining TSPS. With the current possible legislative action related to the TBPLS, strength in numbers will be critical when we want a strong and united voice heard. If all members would recruit one other member, Chapter 5 would double in size. Justin Waldrip (ARS Engineers, Inc.) is the Chapter 5 Membership Chairman, contact him or any other Chapter Officer for information or guidance.

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. Whether it is a technical offering, a historical article, or just a neat photo or link that might be of interest to our members, please forward it for inclusion so that all may enjoy.

Irving, Texas – February 9, 2011 – for immediate release
Jamie Gillis, RPLS, PLS has joined Geomatic Resources LLC as a Technical Support Specialist based at Geomatic’s Solutions Center located adjacent to the DFW Airport in Irving. He will provide technical support for Leica Geosystems GPS, Robotics, Total Stations, and Data Collection to Land Surveying Professionals in North Texas and Oklahoma.

Jamie brings a strong background in the surveying industry, and his high level of professionalism and survey knowledge to the Geomatic Resources team. His experience covers a wide range of surveying duties. His background includes serving as Instrument Man, Survey Assistant, Party Chief, Offshore Survey Technician, Project manager, and Professional Land Surveyor. His early surveying experience includes performing numerous field assignments in Nova Scotia, Canada. Recently, he has served as RPLS/ Project Manager for a number of natural gas gathering pipeline projects, oil & gas lease and location surveys, boundary, topographic, and hydrographic surveys and has been involved with offshore positioning and metrology, monitoring & logging surface & sub-surface positioning data in the Gulf of Mexico.

Jamie is a Registered Professional Land Surveyor in Texas and Louisiana, and is very active in the Texas Society of Professional Surveyors and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping. He holds a PBC in Geographic Information Sciences from Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi. He also received a BA in History and Political Science from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“Jamie will be taking on the key role of supporting our existing customer base on all survey products and will be helping with our ongoing sales efforts. We hope you share our excitement in adding such a well respected and knowledgeable person to our staff. Please join us in welcoming Jamie Gillis to Geomatic Resources” says Rodney Walsh, President of Geomatic Resources LLC.

Jamie can be reached via email at jg@geotx.com

About Geomatic Resources
Geomatic Resources LLC is one of the largest independent distributors of Leica Geosystems products in the United States, serving North Texas and Oklahoma from a sales, rental, service, support and training center adjacent to the DFW airport in Irving, Texas. Geomatic provides Surveying Professionals with state of the art GPS, Robotic, Total Station, Digital Level, Machine Control and HDS Laser Scanning solutions as well as a full range of Supplies and Accessories. For more information about Geomatic Resources visit www.geotx.com, email rw@geotx.com, or call 1-817-691-5328.



Safety First…..Make it a Priority

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

Clean out your closets and equipment storage areas...if you have survey items/equipment that is lying around and stuffed away in storage, the Duncanville H.S. SkillsUSA survey students would like to take those items off your hands. Dust that stuff off and bring it to a Chapter meeting, or call Chris Freeman (972-226-8181) so he can deliver to the growing program at the school led by Faculty Advisor Bart Burnett. Chains, tapes, tripods, levels, calculators, flagging, safety vests... you name it, they’ll take it…even broken equipment that can be dissected, scrapped for parts, whatever. Heck, they might even take that grumpy ol’ I-man off your hands...


2011 Monthly Meeting Dates (speakers/programs)

November 8 – Scott Holt, RPLS, and John Cantrell, RPLS from the City of Dallas will discuss survey related information(NOTE: The Meeting location will be at the MIDWEST A&E (GeoShack) Richardson office location at 400 North Grove Road (972-783-2706). A catered dinner will be provided by GeoShack to attendees.)

December – No Meeting due to Holidays

2011 Monthly Meeting Dates (speakers/programs)

January 10
February 14
March 13
April 10
May 8
June 12
July 10
August 14
September 11
October - no meeting due to Annual Convention
November 13
December - no meeting due to Holidays

Chapter 5 Meetings typically held the second Tuesday of each month 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 on 2nd Tuesday

Thanks to the following Full-Page Ad subscribers:
Geomatic Resources, Courthouse Research Specialists, WDS, and GeoShack.
Be sure to support our friends at these firms, they support us!!

And thanks to the following firms for their contributions to the Chapter by placing a Business card in the Newsletter:

The Wallace Group, Dunaway & Associates, R Delta Engineers, Winkelmann & Associates, Di Sciullo & Terry, Lamb-Star Engineering, Gonzalez-Schneeberg, and Halff Associates.

Archived News Letters:

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

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