Home Our Blog Page

December 2014

Who is the more blessed?


Entering into the season of giving I am reminded of the admonition given in the holy scripture that it is more blessed to give than to receive. As contrary to human nature as that concept is, it remains true. Having served on the NCSS Education Foundation Board of Directors for several years giving countless hours to meetings and performing task for the Foundation, let along the expense of attending, I can readily confirm that I received much more than I have I given. Having had the honor to serve with Professional Surveyors as well as others Public Directors who shared a common goal of elevating the surveying profession has been rewarding. Just in case you don't know, there are some extremely smart individuals holding licensing to practice surveying in North Carolina and they continue to offer their talents to promote the profession through education. I am convinced that the surveying profession was not only defined but has been maintained by men and women willing to bring their talents to the table and support the Society of Surveyors in North Carolina. The profession continues to fight against forces that would derogate surveying as an apprenticeship job with no required standard of practice. The late George Jones left us with a sobering question as he sang "Who's going to fill there shoes". Young surveyors; step up, accept the challenge, make it better. Many of you have more education, more opportunity, and certainly a better foundation to build on than those you follow. Test the waters, serve along side of your peers, give back to the profession and you will experience this phenomenon. This is not a quid-pro-quo relationship, I am not suggesting that you give to receive, I can assure that in your giving you will receive and the profession will be the beneficiary. As I leave the Foundation Board of Directors I assure you that I have no plans to abandon the Foundation or the Society, my talents are available. Join Me.

June 2014

A Students Perspective


My name is Randy L. Jeffries. I am an Alamance County resident and a recent graduate of the Geomatics Program at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Prior to being accepted into the Geomatics program, I completed an Associate’s degree in Surveying Technology at Guilford Technical Community College. My interest to gain more knowledge about Geomatics and Surveying came about while I had the privilege of working as a Field Crew Technician at Boswell Surveyor’s Inc. I was hired at Boswell Surveyor’s Inc. in the spring of 2005. I applied for the position after serving 4 years in the United States Marine Corps as a Field Artillery Officer. It was in the United States Marine Corps that I first saw, understood, and developed an appreciation for what surveyors and geomaticians do.

My near future goal is to become a Professional Land Surveyor in the State of North Carolina. Throughout my surveying career I have encountered numerous helpful and supportive individuals who have assisted in making this goal attainable. The employee staff at Boswell Surveyors Inc., as well as the faculty and staff at Guilford Technical Community College, and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University have been instrumental in my professional development as new aspiring surveyor. The employees of Boswell Surveyors Inc. taught me the basic clerical roles, duties, and responsibilities of a surveyor. The faculty and staff at Guilford Technical Community College fine-tuned these skills and introduced me to ideas used in land development and design along with the basic computations used in modern surveying. The Geomatics Professors at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University taught me about Survey Law, Survey Adjustment Computations, and Photogrammetric methods of surveying. My education and experiences have been a continual building process. One of the main objectives of the Geomatics program at North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State is to prepare students for the Fundamentals of Surveying Exam. There is a course in the curriculum called “Fundamentals of Surveying Exam Review” that is taught to support this objective. I completed this course during the spring of 2014. As a result, one of my most recent milestones is passing the Fundamentals of Surveying Exam. I am one step closer to my goal of becoming a Professional Land Surveyor. The next step in this process requires me to apply to the North Carolina Board of Engineers and Land Surveyors to become a Surveying Intern.

I can attribute my success to education and experiences. I anticipate using the knowledge and skills that I have gained along with more practice and studying to pass the Principles of Surveying Exam. I would like to recognize and give thanks to: Mr. J. Leo Boswell and his staff at Boswell Surveyors Inc., Mr. Terrance Garraway and the faculty of Guilford Technical Community College, last but definitely not least, Mrs. Peggy Fersner and Dr. Jerry Nave of the Geomtics program at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. None of my success, thus far, would have been possible without the help and dedication of the named individuals. I am both fortunate and proud to have been a part of these organizations and educational programs.

March 2014

The WIFM Theory


Traveling east bound on I-40 on a wonderful February Saturday afternoon I ask myself what am I taking home from the NCSS 50th Annual Convention and Trade Show. I think that is a reasonable question after committing two and a half days in Asheville, North Carolina and the expenses incurred. The list became quite long and I will share just a few things that I feel more than compensated me. For eight and one-half hours on Thursday I was able to be a part of an excellent seminar by David Doyle on the National Spatial Reference System and the upcoming 2022 adjustment. The energy and passion Mr. Doyle brings to this conversation is unparalleled. The brief history lesson and the hey look what's coming was worth the trip. Mr. Doyle granted the NCSS Education Foundation President, Chris Witherspoon, PLS, an interview to be posted at be.a.surveyor.com website very soon. The taping was done by NCSS Education Foundation Board Member Nancy Williamson. The very informative lunch informational session given by the North Carolina Board of Examiner's staff and Board Members was a don't miss event. Friday was full of meetings and one hour break out sessions addressing a very good variety of contemporary issues to surveyors. Friday night proved to be the highlight social event as the new officers were sworn in and Mr. Marion Sandlin, PLS, incoming President challenged the group with his dream for NCSS. Senator Wesley Meredith gave the keynote address. He discussed the passing of legislation, during the 2013 session, benefiting surveyors needing underground utilities located by 811 providers. The conference concluded with the NCSS Board of Directors meeting on Saturday morning. As a profession we have some very important issues that can only be addressed in a governing format such as NCSS. I concluded that what was in it for me far exceeded the cost. If you are looking for a great bang for your buck, plan now to be at the Great Wolf Lodge, near Concord, NC for the 2015 NCSS Convention.

July 2014

Aging is not a virus


This past Tuesday I had the opportunity to be caregiver for my thirteen year old granddaughter who had been sick for a few days. With parents permission we made a doctor's visit in the afternoon and learned she had the Adenovirus. The doctor assured us that she would be back to normal in a couple of days. Come Thursday she was back in school, kicking a soccer ball and resuming a fast paced life style. A couple of days later my wife exceeded her limit of yard work and has been wearing a knee brace ever since. She commented to me that you don't heal from aging. What a true statement. We can grow old gracefully with many keeping good health into later years, some not so lucky appear to lose many abilities early. No one, not even the Dick Clark type, is able to retain the teenage years with energy to spare. As a profession we are aging and the only way for the profession to survive is to replenish. I see the new technology and ache for the opportunity to start over, not going to happen. As an aging Professional Surveyor I can encourage beginners to prepare for tomorrow by equipping themselves with all the education possible and by participating in activities that provide educational opportunities. As a member of the Board of Directors for the NCSS Education Foundation I am excited to be a part of the energy and funding to support education in North Carolina, education is the cradle for the future of surveying.

December 2013

NC-SC State Line Survey


 North Carolina State Line Surveyors recently completed a multi-year, multi-phase project to retrace the NC/SC State Line.  In the first phase of the project surveyors retraced a total 54 miles of ridgeline forming the NC/SC state line between Transylvania, Henderson and Polk counties in North Carolina and Pickens and Greenville counties in South Carolina.  This first project phase began at the point where the Cherokee line intersected the ridgeline (beside Continental Divide Road) and proceeded eastward along the watershed boundary of the Saluda River in South Carolina and the Green and Pacolet Rivers in North Carolina.  The survey required discerning and locating the ridgeline dividing the watersheds, retracing the original 1815 survey, surveying property lines, and setting monuments every 200-300 feet along the state line.  

  Upon successful completion of the first phase, surveyors continued with the second phase, which required setting monuments along the straight line section of the NC/SC State line that extends from the point on the ridge at the Cherokee line westward to the NC/SC corner at “Commissioners Rock” which is located on the eastern bank of the Chattooga River, a total distance of almost 20 miles.  

  South Carolina MonumentThe third phase of the project required retracement of the original 1772 NC/SC survey beginning at the “Old North Corner”, located just off US 521 where Lancaster County, SC, makes a 90 degree corner with Union County, NC, and running north and then westward with the old Catawba Indian Line to the Catawba River, proceeding up the river to the confluence of its northern and southern forks and then continuing westward to the mountains, a total distance of almost 110 miles.  The retracement of this phase was completed in three different sections.  The first section began at the point of confluence of the Catawba River and the South Fork of Catawba River and proceeded approximately 67 miles westward to the “Block House” at the end of the ridgeline survey.  The beginning point, which is currently located under Lake Wylie, was determined using historical surveys that were performed prior to the formation of the lake.  The next section of the survey was completed by the South Carolina Geodetic Survey who utilized hydrographic surveying procedures to determine the centerline of the Catawba River.  The third section began at the “Old North Corner” and ran with the Catawba Indian Line northerly, northwesterly, and southwesterly around to Lake Wylie where the line intersected the centerline of the Catawba River that was determined from the hydrographic survey.  

  The fourth phase of the project was a retracement of the 1764 NC/SC survey that began at the “Old North Corner” and proceeded approximately 50 miles eastward to the Pee Dee River.  

  The fifth phase of the project was a retracement of a 32 mile portion of the line that was re-surveyed in 1905 between Richmond County and Scotland County, NC and Marlboro County, SC.   The 1905 retracement survey included the recovery and positioning of granite monuments that were set at approximately one mile intervals along the line. Surveyors recovered 16 of the 37 original monuments and computed the location of 2 additional monuments from historical evidence.  

  State Line MonumentThe final phase of the project was a retracement of 1735-1737 survey of the state line between Robeson County, NC and Dillon County, South Carolina.  This section of line was approximately 31 miles long and included several large properties and swamps and also confirmed that “South of the Border” is indeed located in South Carolina.  

 One additional section of the state line was completed by the South Carolina Geodetic Survey and was a retracement of a 1928 survey that ran from the coastline to the Lumber River.

More Articles...