February 18-21, 2020 marked the Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors (MSPS) Convention held at the Radisson Plaza, Kalamazoo, Michigan that hosted over 400 Licensed Professional Surveyors from around the Great Lake states, as well as Michigan Tech’s Douglass Houghton Student Chapter (DHSC) of the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS)…whew, quite a mouth full, but accurate! An annual event, the Convention provides the opportunity to not only acquire continuing education credits, learn new and upcoming techniques, view and get “hands on” with cutting edge equipment, but also connect with fellow Licensed Professional Surveyors from throughout the region. Not to be left out, our Surveying Engineering (BS) and Integrated Geospatial Technology (MS) students were invited to participate and exhibit throughout the entire event.
Seminars given during the four-day event covered a myriad of topics including Railroad Rights-of-Way, Mapping the Great Lakes, Safe Excavation Practices, Analysis of Record Title Boundaries, preparing for the 2022 Datum, Collateral Evidence Analysis, Professional Ethics, and the list goes on…up to the Student Capstone Project presentations given by both Ferris State and Michigan Tech University. Our own Steven Smendzuik and Chad Holdwick presented their project of going through the steps of a rather complicated boundary survey that included an abandoned railroad right-of-way, ambiguous legal descriptions, conflicting field evidence, as well as a forensic survey of a murder scene from the 1800’s, not to mention finishing in two feet of snow! Needless to say, it was very intriguing and everyone that attended walked away with a new appreciation of what we do every day.
Vendors and equipment suppliers filled the exhibit hall with the latest and greatest in surveying, photogrammetric, imaging, scanning, and UAV instruments. Every opportunity was given to learn about the new technology and how it can be integrated into day to day operations, increasing efficiency and productivity, while maintaining the precision and accuracy required of our Profession. Finally, the stories and experiences shared by other Surveyors with our students sealed the deal…it was definitely worth the trip!