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Promoting the Profession

The Louisiana Society was created with a number of purposes in mind. Please review our About LSPS for all the purposes. The purpose of this page is to aid in the increased understanding and promotion of new and young surveyors and mapping scientist to fulfill the increasing needs of society. To meet this purpose Links to various documents and web pages will be provided to assist:

  1. The student in understanding the opportunities and career path for a Survey & Mapping Professional.
  2. The Professional Surveyor to foster understanding and promotion of the Survey and Mapping professions as an exciting career choice.

High School Presentation

LSPS Board of Directors
From: Chad Morris, LSPS Promotion Chairman
Date: April 4, 2000

I gave presentations to 4 advanced math classes (approximately 100 students total) at Bishop Sullivan High School in Baton Rouge on March 24, 2000. The students were very receptive and actively participated by asking questions and making comments during the presentations.

Listed below is a rough outline of the presentation:

I asked the students a few questions about where they plan to attend college, and what they knew about the survey profession. With very few exceptions, the students’ knowledge of surveying was limited to the following: surveyors are the guys that they see on the side of the road with tripods, and surveyors measure things. I told them that there was more to surveying, and gave them a brief history of the profession touching on topics such as George Washington, Public Land System, Astronomic Observations etc.


I set up a total station and had the students guess a distance. They wrote their name and their guess on a piece of paper. I then drafted an assistant and taught him/her how to hold a prism. I measured the distance and allowed the students to look through the instrument. 

The winning student was presented with the grand prize, a genuine LSU cap.

I displayed several drawings that showed the results of different types of surveys. I discussed the purpose of each type of survey and explained how each survey was conducted.

Old Way vs. New Way
I explained that, like many professions, surveying has changed greatly over the past 15 years due to advances in technology. I told them that not very long ago surveyors used a compass and a 66’ long steel chain, and that today we use total stations and GPS receivers.

Requirements to Become a Professional Surveyor
I explained that they could get a 4-year degree in any field as long as they took 30 hours of pre-approved survey related courses. I told them that several colleges offer the courses and that a study is currently being conducted to establish a 4-year degree program specifically dedicated to surveying and mapping.

I told them that people with a well-rounded knowledge of the legal and practical aspects of surveying, who can also handle the rapid advances in computerized field equipment and drafting software are in demand across the country.

I briefly explained the difference between autonomous (100 meter accuracy), differential (1 meter accuracy) and RTK (centimeter accuracy).

I told them that computerized maps of large areas (generally each parish or county) are being established that will have almost limitless applications. I used an example of a student dialing 911 to report a fire at his house, and the firefighters immediately printing a map showing his house and the hydrants in the area. I also told them that they will, in the near future, even be able to switch all the traffic lights to green as the emergency vehicles approach intersections.

I explained that the survey profession offers a unique combination of office and fieldwork, that it is rapidly becoming a high-tech profession, and that is it is not a boring do-the-same-thing-every-day profession. I told them that I particularly enjoy the challenge of solving problems for our clients.

The teacher, Mrs. Bosch, wrote a very nice letter (copy attached) thanking me for presenting the information to her students. She is interested in making this a regular event. She also voiced an interest in bringing students to our office. I think a field trip would be a great approach, because it would be less time consuming and it would enable the students to see a presentation of AutoCAD, which I think they would find very interesting.

I strongly recommend that each district establish a committee to contact teachers and make similar presentations at high schools in their area. If we are going to get young people interested in the profession, we need to show them that we do more than stand by the road with a tripod.

Please have the chairman of each district’s committee contact me, Chad Morris at (225) 766-4422.

Monroe Chamber of Commerce’s Career Day Presentatio

The following is an excerpt from District 5’s Report (10/06/2000) of activities to promote the Profession of Land Surveying. We believe there are important insights for members to consider in undertaking the promotion of the profession you have chosen.

I was able to man a table at three of the four days with the Monroe Chamber of Commerce’s Northern Lights Program. I could not be there on the first day, but just missed two schools. My neighboring table was the construction program at the University of Louisiana-Monroe. We had some good conversations during this week on the attitudes of young men and women. We both agreed that the quality of individuals interested in our information was unique and fit only a small percentage (about 10) of the overall number of students. I had some good conversations with many students and gave away many handouts. I did not get a final count, but I estimate the week’s attendance at around 2500-3000).

I received great interest from educators and counselors in attendance with their respective schools. Some comments I received from them included: “You are the guys we knew nothing about”

“I’m glad to get this information for my students because many inquire about the outdoor professions”

The relationships we are establishing with counselors will ultimately be our greatest asset. One of the parishes has just created a position known as “Science Coordinator”. This gentleman ‘surveyed’ while in the military and showed great interest in our table. I offered to come to his school for demonstrations later in the year.

The other fair I participated in was a one-day program with all the seniors of Ouachita Parish High Schools. I estimate there were 1000 or more students at this event. I only had a table at this event. This event also gave the opportunity for the students to chose a twenty minute individual presentation that the students could sign up for. I only participated in the browsing times this year, but I think I will have the four (4) twenty minute sessions next year. I met a rep from the National Guard and he told me of his “Tango 51 “program which included surveying and soil science. He offered to help us in finding individuals to enter our profession.

Mike Duty, P.L.S.
District 5 President