Editorial: Another Year…

A 162Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

The saying used to be Another Day, Another Dollar, so I’m tempted to say Another Year… but I’m not so sure about the another dollar part. In the current never-ending recession, which by now, all of us recognize as the New Normal, I continue to hear about a few bright spots in our construction economy, but the news is still mostly not so good workload-wise. We seem to understand that it’ll never be like it was, but who would have thought the recession would last for more than five years? Something’s going on…

Even with the crappy economy, we remain committed to bringing you more of what you have come to expect from The American Surveyor, content which is selected to inform, educate and entertain. To mark the New Year, we have incorporated new design elements for the magazine which we hope you will enjoy. We’ve got more tricks up our sleeve which we will be introducing as the year progresses.

Of particular note in this issue is the article by California surveyor Greg Haynes that I’m sure will resonate with many of you. But the thrust of the article is the case he makes against a mandatory four-year degree for survey licensure. Anybody who has been reading my stuff for the past ±18 years knows that I support the four-year requirement and mandatory continuing education. But unlike some in our country who attempt to squelch discussion if there’s disagreement, I wholeheartedly support Greg’s right to his own opinion, even if I disagree with it. And of course, to me the common sense solution has always been a combination of both education and experience. Technology—the ability to hit a button and get a wrong answer—revealed the educational weakness in our profession, but for sure, mentoring and years of experience are required to adequately protect to public when it comes to boundary surveys.

I do find it interesting that California requires neither the degree requirement nor continuing education. If California were another New Hampshire with a Live Free or Die credo, it would make sense, but to my knowledge California has never been exactly known as a libertarian stronghold, so my guess is that it’s just stubbornness. I’ve been told that the Board continues to believe that the public would not benefit from the requirement, but it sounds to me like the case hasn’t been adequately made to the Board. Please feel free to write a letter to the editor if you know the real reason!

Some of you might remember our June 2009 cover that showed Surveyor’s Notch in Wyoming. The author, Bill Chupka, is back, this time with a backpacking/fishing excursion into the Wind River Range to look for the spot where an 1870s photograph of an early day topographer was taken. I told Bill I suspect a lot of "city" surveyors will yearn wistfully for the ability to have such fun after reading his account.

Tons more great content in this issue, including a Shawn Billings review of a purposebuilt OPUS receiver, and a great story by the legendary Walt Robillard about why the common wisdom about Three Surveyors and Some Other Guy on Mount Rushmore is just flat wrong. Another article which falls in the Listen Up! category is Mark Silver’s informative piece about radio licenses. I suspect most of you have no idea what kind of financial liability you risk by not properly licensing your radios. A word to the wise…

We here at Cheves Media and Spatial Media hope that 2014 will be a good year for you. Several of the manufacturers we have spoken to are saying that sales are up, and that’s excellent news because if surveyors are buying gear, they must have work. Please keep us in mind if you have a story you’d like to share with your fellow surveyors.

Marc Cheves is editor of the magazine.

A 162Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE