As a boy my father said that nothing ever changes but the date and the weather. Well that may not be technically accurate based on the some of the new toys that have graced the surveying profession in the last 20 years. However our fight for education and stricter entry standards, and minimum standards has been going since our inception. Is this a bad thing? NO. Along the way past presidents and past chairman have all made significant strides towards the changes that we seek. Some have stayed involved in the shadows; some have offered quiet support; and others have simply chose to ob-stain. Many believe that we will never achieve our goals because we cannot come together on anything. What are our goals really? Can they be achieved? NO!
Our goals are moving targets. Our goals must change and evolve as our profession does. We will always struggle with minimum standards because as the profession progresses so must our standard of practice. Continuing Education has been on the goal list since we formed. It will remain there until we get the Arizona State Board of Technical Registration to be sympathetic to our cause. Either that or we seek to become separate from the BTR. I for one am not overly impressed with the performance of the BTR and its treatment of the surveying community. A BTR made up of Engineers, Architects, a geologist, and a surveyor; are hardly panel that should be setting the course of our future. The truth is when it comes to surveying decisions; they all follow the advice of the lead of the survey member. That puts too much power at his disposal and there is no balance there. I will say that in recent history we have opened doors and made connections. However the bureaucratic wheels turn frustratingly slow.
I have been reading through past issues of the Arizona Surveyor. There is a good history lesson there. I have read many articles from the past leadership of this organization and it has reminded me that although the great number of surveyors will benefit from our labors. The work has been and will be done by a motivated few. That is part that never changes. I invite anyone interested that has not been involved to jump in. You don’t have to be elected. You can take up a cause form a group and get it done. We have need for volunteers for the newsletter; website; awards and recognition; conference; seminars; legislation and anything else we can think of. A lot of this can be done at the Chapter level. Would there be a chapter interested in publishing the newsletter? Would there be a chapter interested in taking some of the other tasks? Let’s find out?
We have received word that Phoenix College is dropping the surveying program from its catalog. This is shame. Phoenix College would have a problem with enrollment if the BTR would recognize that at least some level of formal surveying education is necessary for today’s practicing surveyor. Is 30 hrs of surveying credit to much to ask? Or an Associates certificate? Apparently it is. The profession of Surveying in Arizona cannot survive in the 21 century if it continues to live in the shadow of the past. Just because we have always done that way is not a reason to continue doing it that way. Our goal should be to make the profession better; not just keep it running.
In closing don’t forget we have elections coming up at the November 15th Board of Directors meeting. Hope to see you there.