On the Level with NSPS: Keep Up the Pace…

A 166Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

October 1st saw the close of the Fall 2016 meeting of NSPS. It took place in Chandler, Arizona. As should be expected, the members of NSPS were well represented on the Board of Directors and by other interested attendees. The gathering included meetings of the NSPS Young Surveyors of North America, several committees and the NSPS portion was followed by the Western Federation of Professional Surveyors.

One very bright spot was the energy along with the decorum of the meetings. All members should be proud of how well the Board of Directors handle the business of NSPS. The discussions were often lively with directors making strenuous arguments in support of their positions. Amendments and compromises were made, followed by the colleageality one would expect among surveyors, and friends. President-elect Fokens guided considerations of by-laws and policies. Vice President Leavitt guided our committees this term and their positive work speaks for itself. As the presiding officer of the meeting, I was proud to be a part of it all.

I point to the successes of our Public Relations with the School Counsellors conference and continued positive activities in Government Affairs, just two among many. Visit the NSPS website frequently to stay informed about current affairs and activities. (http://www.nsps.us.com/)

I began with the metaphor of a relay race, in which a baton is passed carefully from runner to runner. The biggest penalty, disqualification (failure), comes from dropping the baton. The baton is each of our duties to do well by our profession, the others on our team counting on us to do our part. 2016 represents, to me a lap consisting of judiciously pushing NSPS to improve where it can and ocassionally dissapointing some by saying "No" to ideas or programs for which we are not yet ready.

If you are a professional surveyor, it is (or should be) given that you belong to and support your local surveying society. In all but two of the state jurisdictions, one benefit of membership in your state society is joint membership with the national, NSPS. NSPS has been around since 1981 and is heir to the 75 year legacy of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) that had its founding in 1941.

As in any race or endeavor, mistakes will be made. I am very sure that with our stout Board of Directors and NSPS staff, all will be recoverable. Given that, what is needed is continued enthusiasm. Returning to the relay race metaphor, the last half of a race is the most difficult. It is where the contenders and the pretenders separate. Training and grit enable a runner to keep putting one leg in front of the other, maintain the turnover, and keep his posture. The natural thing is to ease the discomfort. Keeping the pace means having faith that there is enough "in the tank" to kick into the finish.

We are entering that dangerous phase of the 2016 term. We must maintain the discipline of execution, the rhythm of participation and sprint to the finish on the energy of participation! A few dozen "leaders" cannot make or break NSPS. 17,000 enthusiastic members will guarantee success. I am not overstating it when I suggest it all depends on you! If you perform your work in a truly professional manner, If you participate and contribute at your local asssociation, If you partake in or support your state associaton and NSPS, our profession will be healthy.
Tony Cavell is President of NSPS, a consulting surveyor, and works day-to-day at the Louisiana State University Center for GeoInformatics.

A 166Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE