NSPS Fall Meeting 2015
Sandusky, Ohio – October 8-9
Before I get into my report, I wanted to note that since the meetings in Ohio, NSPS has lost two important members and leaders in the organization; Director’s Jim Boyer of Tennessee (also a past president of NSPS) and Malcolm Shaw of New York. I did not Jim very well, but by all accounts he was an important voice for the profession that will be missed. I did know Malcolm, and he will most surely be missed. I worked with him on a couple of issues over the past few years and I am grateful that I had that opportunity. Please keep their families in your thoughts.
On behalf of NJSPLS membership and as the Chair of the NSPS student competition I attended the NSPS fall meetings in Sandusky Ohio. The meeting was held in conjunction with the Professional Land Surveyors of Ohio fall meetings.
Let me start off by saying that the best way to stay informed with NSPS happenings is to read the “News and Views” that is delivered by e-mail to each member in a weekly digest. There is a lot of good information provided that will let you know what NSPS is doing and provide you an opportunity to get involved in an issue of importance to you. I encourage you all to take a moment to click on the e-mail. Your time in doing so will be well spent.
An important outcome of the meeting (and the months leading up to it) was the analysis of existing standing committees, their charges and finding chairs. The idea is to re-focus energies with specific committee goals and accountability. I applaud that effort as I believe that active vibrant committees are the only way to accomplish goals.
We are all members of NSPS. I encourage all NJSPLS members to get involved in a committee. Many hands make light work, and together we can accomplish much. I will provide a list of committees and the chair within the week. Assisting in a committee is a great way to be involved without the commitment of going to the meeting. By the way, this is true for NJSPLS committees as well.
On Thursday, October 8th, 2015 there was a meeting of the NSPS Young Surveyors Organization. There were 28 people in attendance, 14 of whom were Young Surveyors, the balance were NSPS officers or Directors who were there to provide support or to represent the Young Surveyors from their respective states. Currently, there are thirty-six states which have representatives to the Young Surveyors group which represents surveyors under the age of thirty-five, or those recently graduated from college or university.
The meeting began with introductions and speeches, which were followed by discussions on bylaws and membership criteria for the Young Surveyors group, both of which are necessary for them to become an affiliate under the umbrella of NSPS. Other items addressed were how to develop Young Surveyor groups locally, the creation of a recruitment toolbox for the surveying profession, and the development of web tools and internet resources to enhance communication within the organization.
A presentation was made to the group by Dr. Joseph V. Paiva of GeoLearn on the use of web based tools.
The next meeting of the group will take place during the 2nd FIG Young Surveyors North American Meeting on Wednesday February 10th, 2016 at the Minnesota Society of Professional Surveyors Conference. FIG Young Surveyors from around the world will be in attendance and registration is already open at:
It is my hope that NJSPLS will put forth and support an individual to participate with this group.
I attended the Education Committee meeting. We discussed the Student Competition and ways to increase participation. Chief among them is having topics for the competition out a year or so in advance so that schools can incorporate it into the curriculum. Other discussion involved creating a degree program offered on line, how labs would be handled and funding sources. This is an idea that is gaining traction and the committee is actively exploring it.
Friday, October 9 was the NSPS Business meeting and the following matters were addressed:
• The ALTA/NSPS Standards have been approved by both organizations and we will have new standards that take effect on February 23, 2016.
• NSPS will prepare a position statement on U.A.S. (unmanned aircraft systems) regulations and operations. We’ve also signed on with other mapping organizations in crafting a letter to urge the F.A.A. to work swiftly in codify the government’s regulations for operating UAS.
• Approximately 11 young surveyors attended the Board of Directors meeting on Friday.
• A motion passed with the intent of broadening awareness of the Young Surveyors and our National Society at educational institutions across the country by inviting a student to attend our meetings as our guest and write a short review that will be shared with all surveying programs. The program will be administered by the Young Surveyors and funded through NSPS Board of Director donations. We intend to have a student in attendance at the 2017 spring meeting.
• President Jon Warren & President-Elect Tony Cavell have each made a significant effort to re-align our committees and offer specific charges for these committees to work on.
• The Director from Alaska requested support regarding the setting of monuments by the BLM when creating Townships that would be further subdivided and sold by the State of Alaska. As you might have guessed, the number of monuments being set has been drastically reduced. Our Government Affairs Committee will review and comment on the matter
• Certified Survey Technicians (CSTs) at all levels and existing membership can now have their annual certification fee waived by maintaining a membership in NSPS.
• The NSPS Joint Government Affairs Committee represents surveyors from across the nation on Capitol Hill. Mr. Pat Smith, Chair of the Committee, requested direction from the Directors on the following matters:
• NSPS will provide a position statement on the PHMSA (Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Agency) Proposed Rule which contains a number of references to surveying and mapping – and provide a standardized position to our state affiliates
• NSPS will provide a position statement to the House Financial Services Committee which is considering modifications to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), either to implement an improved working process or privatize the effort
• Support the addition of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council – given that many small businesses are effected by FAR regulations.
• The NSPS 100% Membership Program has been very successful. We currently have 47 states and the District of Columbia participating, just under 17,000 members, and continue to offer our help to those still considering the program.
• We continue to collaborate with NGS and participate in quarterly meetings on various initiatives
• We had previously decided that an At-Large Director(s) would represent those NSPS members who did not belong to a 100% Membership state. Given that we are now down to three states that do not belong, we passed a motion whereby the Past-President will provide representation to those individuals, albeit in a more cost effective manner.
• The new web site for NSPS should be rolled out this fall. There have been many improvements in appearance and functionality.
• The NSPS Board of Directors approved pursuing the following Meeting Schedule:
• 2016 Spring – National Surveying and Mapping Conference, Alexandria VA March 14-18th (NSPS Business Meetings 17-18th) – agreement finalized
• 2016 Fall – Joint meeting with Western Federation of Professional Surveyors, Phoenix AZ – pending
• 2017 Spring – National Surveying and Mapping Conference pending
• 2017 Fall – Joint Meeting with Texas Society of Professional Surveyors –pending
• The NSPS Foundation Concluded their Cruise Raffle – The winner is Randall Myers. He is Past President of both the West Virginia and Pennsylvania Surveying Societies. Congratulations Mr. Myers.
Thank you for the honor and pleasure of representing NJSPLS at NSPS, it has been an exciting year and I look for 2015 to be even better.
James S. Sens, PLS
NSPS Director – New Jersey