30 Years of BENCHMARKS

Since our society’s founding on October 30, 1959 infrequent newsletters were sent to the members, sometimes many months and even years apart. BENCHMARKS made its debut in April 1974 when we were still known as the New Mexico Section of ACSM and Chairman Bob Martinez arranged with ACSM and the New Mexico Society of Professional Engineers to reserve a page in the monthly New Mexico Professional Engineer (NMPE) to publish the news of the Section. As a one-page and occasionally two or more page insert in NMPE, BENCHMARKS appeared regularly for almost seven years through January 1981.

Beginning with the February issue of that year BENCHMARKS was published independently as a glossy, professionally produced (and expensive) magazine with a distinctive blue-checkered cover. It was mailed to the membership bimonthly throughout 1983 and as a quarterly in 1984 and 1985, until it ran out of steam with the summer issue of 1986. After three years of silence there was an issue in the spring of 1989 and three more in 1990, until it took it’s final gasp with the “Convention Issue of 1991”.

In order to inform a declining membership about the activities of the association, Bob Stephenson came to the rescue with a monthly NEWSLETTER in March of 1987. By 1994 Bob’s NEWSLETTER was better and more informative than BENCHMARKS had ever been, and beginning in October of that year he boldly replaced the former masthead with the latter. Nobody saw anything wrong with that; the name change was long overdue. The present volume designation on the cover of BENCHMARKS dates from March 1987, and the present format was designed in January 1998.

As our editors got better with their computers the “Official Publication of New Mexico Professional Surveyors” markedly improved in appearance, so much so that in 2002 under editors Karen Bennett and Christine Ochs the publication was awarded a Certificate of Merit for Excellence in Professional Journalism by NSPS/ACSM at the national ACSM Conference in Washington, D.C.

It is the opinion of this writer that it is essential for the officers of our association to regularly inform the membership of its activities in a printed format mailed to each member and to other state societies. Sole reliance on the internet or e-mail as a source of information is not yet an acceptable form of communication for an association such as ours. I hope that under the capable editorship of Karen Bennett BENCHMARKS will endure and continue to serve us as our official publication.