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Dunwoody brings home honorable mention

Dunwoody Surveying students went old-school for a week, and their efforts earned them recognition from the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS).

Six students in the Surveying & Civil Engineering Technology and Land Surveying programs packed up and traveled with adjunct faculty member Alex Miller to Washington. D.C. March 29-31, to compete in field exercises during the NSPS and The Young Surveyors Network’s annual student competition.

The theme of the competition was using old-fashioned surveying techniques in modern times. To prepare, students met weekly to complete field exercises. They practiced with Gunter’s chains, automatic levels, a 1950’s theodolite and an antique surveyors compass from 1910.

During the competition, students were given six hours each day to complete their activities, which included using the Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI) field map to find survey monuments located all over the District area. Depending upon the location and distance from their homebase, each survey monument held varying point values. Monuments in more remote locations had a higher point value.

Students took multiple modes of transportation to complete their activities and to earn maximum points.

“Students walked over 13 miles and located 19 survey monuments,” said Jake Blue, Assistant Professor of Surveying & Civil Engineering Technology.

“We were told by other participants that the Dunwoody team had the best sportsmanship and morale of all who were involved. I’m really proud of that.”

Field activities along the National Mall included performing a three-wire level loop. The National Geodetic Survey (NGS), which is a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), provided the competitors access to areas not generally open to the public. Highlights included seeing one of the original benchmarks with an underground obelisk hidden under a manhole cover as well as seeing special keys used by NGS to monitor and measure the National Mall for shifting — something few people ever see.

The second and third activities on the National Mall had the students using the four-sided traverse with a compass and chain and a triangulation exercise using a theodolite.

Dunwoody’s team — the only team from Minnesota — was awarded an Honorable Mention.

“The way the team functioned and grew together was a big win,” Miller said. “Having Dunwoody College be so visible at the NSPS conference and out and about in DC was a really neat experience.”

Dunwoody offers a one-year certificate in Land Surveying, which provides a pathway to becoming a licensed Land Surveyor for students who already have a bachelor’s degree. The College also offer a two-year Associate of Applied Science in Surveying & Civil Engineering Technology.