Survey students go to Washington 

In late March 2023, six Dunwoody students and an adjunct instructor travelled to Washington, D.C. for the 2023 National Student Surveying Competition, hosted by the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS). The competition included teams from 23 other colleges from the United States and Puerto Rico. 

FOR TWO DAYS, students competed in field activities relating to historical surveying practices and equipment. The first field activity was a six-hour scavenger hunt through the D.C. area to find historical survey monuments. These monuments ranged in point value depending on the difficulty of access and the relative distance to other monuments. Team Dunwoody ̶ comprised of survey students Leah Berg, Stephanie Cameron, Dan Fjell, Carlie Furlong, Henry Scott, and Gunnar Swee; and adjunct faculty Alex Miller ̶ walked more than 13 miles and found 19 monuments, documenting their finds with photos at each location. 

THE SECOND DAY of field exercises focused on the operation of historical surveying equipment not commonly used today. Students used automatic levels to complete a 3-wire level loop and calculate relative elevations and distances between turning points on the National Mall. Team Dunwoody did exceptionally well in this activity and were proud of their performance.  

After the leveling exercise, Team Dunwoody performed a closed traverse with an antique surveyor’s compass and Gunter’s Chain – a technique that has not been standard practice for nearly 100 years. Finally, Team Dunwoody completed a triangulation network with a 1950s Wild T2 Theodolite and used the Washington Monument as one of the traverse corners. Calculations for the triangulation were performed using NCEES-approved calculators and trigonometry tables. 

TEAM DUNWOODY was awarded an Honorable Mention and competition administrators said that Team Dunwoody was the most professional and good-natured team to participate. All the students involved said the experience was a highlight of the surveying program and encouraged Dunwoody to continue to send teams to this competition in the future. 

̶Jake Blue
We would like to thank our industry supporters who supported our competition team with financial contributions: Minnesota Society of Professional Surveyors, Alliant Engineering, Civil Site Group, Martinez Geospatial, Rani Engineering, Westwood Professional Services.