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A Harris
(@a-harris)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 7536
February 7, 2019 2:08 pm  

@ MightyMoe

Our cannon of Ethics states for surveyors to work within the scope of our expertise and knowledge.

There are surveyors that are trained for FEMA surveys, Septic Tank Perk Testing and Irrigation Planning and Design and other things on top of their RPLS license.

That can not be said for PEs about land surveying unless they carry a dual license. There are very few that were "grandfathered in" before the Survey Act of 1979 that definitely ended the practice started in the 50s that would license PEs that would simply ask for a surveying license. The Surveyors Act of 1979 was the 1st act created after the onset of the first Sunset Commission's recommendation to the Texas Legislature. The Sunset Commission was created when when engineers came before the Texas Legislature and demanded the end of surveyors being able to obtain  a license and make obsolete any that were in existence.

0.02

RPLS NE Texas
d[-_-]b


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MightyMoe
(@mightymoe)
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 5830
February 7, 2019 2:57 pm  

@ A Harris

I don't think any of the old timers that got a LS thrown at them as they left the PE test are still active in this area. We are a small state population wise, I would imagine our issues while similar are very small compared to Texas, last time I was in the Dallas area it had expanded so much just in two years, it was busy to say the least. Made me wonder how many surveyors are out there working away. 


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holy cow
(@holy-cow)
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Posts: 14997
February 7, 2019 7:56 pm  

Canons of Ethics

Cannon is a blast.


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Duane Frymire
(@duane-frymire)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 1624
February 8, 2019 6:52 am  
Posted by: MightyMoe
Posted by: Duane Frymire

Sorry Glenn, didn't mean to be an ass.

This topic is just frustrating after so many years.  Engineers think "if it can be done, we (not necessarily I) can do it", where Surveyors think "I can't do it, so no surveyor can do it".  I know that's not what you said. I agree, can't think of hiring an engineer but do refer clients to them regularly.

 

Different parts of the country must have very different work flows for surveyors.

I know I need engineers on board for some tasks to complete subdivisions, water projects, ect. They are happy to do it as long as I run payment through me. The last one was a consumptive use report needed to finalize a permit application. That engineer hires me more than I hire him. 

Anyway, good luck with the Texas board reshuffle, ours has always been engineer/surveyor and I don't have an issue with them because of that.

I don't know if the workflow is so different.  I prefer the client has a separate contract with the Engineering firm, mostly because of liability reasons.  FEMA regs. used to state they would accept flood study from PE or LS, haven't looked recently.  But if I had a client that needed a full blown one, I would get the engineering firm I work with involved.  My small operation simply can't handle the liability.  Flood studies are regularly in court because no two professionals can possibly get the same answer, even though both did everything correctly.  It's empirical and 100 year floods are regularly not at elevations determined in the studies.  But I can't think of anything more Land Surveying that a flood study.  Measurement and analysis of the earth and things on the face of it; contours, soils, vegetation, rainfall, I love it.  On the other hand, designing structures to control floodwaters is not Land Surveying.


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Alan Roberts
(@alan-roberts)
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Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 28
February 8, 2019 7:48 am  
Posted by: MightyMoe

@ A Harris

I don't think any of the old timers that got a LS thrown at them as they left the PE test are still active in this area. We are a small state population wise, I would imagine our issues while similar are very small compared to Texas, last time I was in the Dallas area it had expanded so much just in two years, it was busy to say the least. Made me wonder how many surveyors are out there working away. 

That could certainly be true. But how many engineers that grandfathered or got the EZ Pass as far as surveying experience to become licensed have for better or worse mentored, trained or indoctrinated current surveyors.

The bilateral boards that I have encountered had a majority of PEs (probably because of the multidisciplinary nature of PEs). Then there were a few joint PLS/PE* members then a few LS members.

On board  surveying related matters, the PEs would defer to the PLS colleagues.

This post was modified 2 weeks ago by Alan Roberts

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eapls2708
(@eapls2708)
1,000+ posts Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1766
February 8, 2019 1:01 pm  
Posted by: Alan Roberts
Posted by: MightyMoe

@ A Harris

I don't think any of the old timers that got a LS thrown at them as they left the PE test are still active in this area. We are a small state population wise, I would imagine our issues while similar are very small compared to Texas, last time I was in the Dallas area it had expanded so much just in two years, it was busy to say the least. Made me wonder how many surveyors are out there working away. 

That could certainly be true. But how many engineers that grandfathered or got the EZ Pass as far as surveying experience to become licensed have for better or worse mentored, trained or indoctrinated current surveyors.

The bilateral boards that I have encountered had a majority of PEs (probably because of the multidisciplinary nature of PEs). Then there were a few joint PLS/PE* members then a few LS members.

On board  surveying related matters, the PEs would defer to the PLS colleagues.

In CA, it has been a combined PE/LS Board for 80 years or so.  Surveyors have been licensed since 1891 and PEs since about 1930.  PEs were authorized to survey as an incident of the PE license until 12/31/1981.  Any licensed prior to 12/31/81 are grandfathered in.

I believe that authorizing PEs to survey in the past was reflective of the fact that almost all CE degree programs at the time contained a significant survey component, and that later separating that authorization from the PE license was a recognition that the survey component in most CE degree programs had become minimal or non-existent.

Here, the authorization to survey was removed from the PE license under the authority of the combined BPELS.  PEs (and I think EITs, but not certain of that) do not need to take the FLS (previously the LSIT) exam but do need to pass the LS exam in order to practice.  PEs are still authorized to do construction staking and topo surveying as long as they use plane surveying methods.  By my personal experience and according to the last time I looked into it, the average ABET accredited 4-yr survey degree had quite a bit more engineering content than any BS CE program that I've seen has survey content.  It would make more sense that an LS, particularly with an accredited BS in surveying should be able to bypass the EIT (or FE) than for PEs to bypass the FS.  But that's not likely to happen.

If TX combines the Boards, as seems likely, that will not automatically give PEs the authority to practice surveying.  Nor would it give the Board the authority to change the regulations to give PEs the authority to survey.  That change would need to be made through legislation.  However, if that ends up being the direction the new combined Board wants to go, they would have a very influential voice when the legislature takes comments on any such proposal.

IMO, the PEs on the Board, and PEs in general would be foolish to press to have the authority to survey granted with the PE license as the lack of relevant training and experience among PEs would create liability problems for those PEs who are too smart to recognize what they don't know, and would create an enforcement backlog for the Board in fairly short order.

As Mr. Roberts pointed out, even as the previously authorized PEs are diminishing in number, there remains a legacy problem in the surveying profession of those surveyors trained under an engineering mindset.  Of the PEs who also surveyed (or perhaps still survey), most are competent at construction staking and many were/are good mappers, most were/are very good measurers, but only a few were/are good boundary surveyors or had any understanding of geodesy and datums.  (How many times have you seen engineering plans that declare the plan datum to be "mean sea level" when it was really either NGVD29 or NAVD88 as derived from the closest convenient (but not necessarily verified) BM?

Those trained under the engineering mindset typically look at all projects from the perspective of making the ground reflect the plan and elevating the significance of numbers (dimension or quantity) while lacking understanding of the importance and significance of most other forms of evidence.  They tend to see all projects as an exercise in geometry rather than recognizing the surveying of existing boundaries as primarily exercises of investigation and reasoning.

Also as Mr. Roberts pointed out, on combined boards, when matters of a technical nature specific to a particular area of practice come up, members tend to defer to those members licensed for that specific area of practice.  On the surface, that's great and just how it should be.  But when a particular practice is represented only by one licensee, it can very easily backfire.

Board members sometimes get their appointments as a result of a reputation for practicing at high standards and high levels of technical & professional knowledge.  More often, they get there by having been successful at negotiating the politics of their professional societies and becoming known in certain political circles at the State Capital, regardless of their level of technical and professional expertise.  If you get such a schmoozer as your profession's one representative, and that person has personal agendas that don't align with good or proper practice, it can have lasting negative effects on your profession.

As some others have suggested, fighting against the boards being combined is almost certainly a lost cause at this point.  But pressing for at least 2 LS board members will be important for the long-term health of the profession and the continued long-term viability of surveying as a profession.

In CA, we have only 1 LS Board Member.  Our LS member of fairly recent past was of the philosophy that the way to ensure the continued viability of the license, and more importantly, the influence of the one LS member on the Board was to maintain or increase licensing numbers by any means necessary.  The effects of that philosophy, even though that board member has moved on, continues and will continue for the forseeable future contribute to the ongoing degradation of the authorization to survey from that of a licensed profession to that of a technical certification.

It won't be the combining of licensing Boards that lead directly to the demise of surveying as a profession (if it ever comes).  Nor will it be the increasing average age of licensees or diminishing numbers of licensees than some seem to constantly wring their hands about.  If surveying is lost as a profession, it will be due to the diminishing expectation of actual expertise in the areas of knowledge that the public expects of us.  Highest among those areas are boundary location and mapping - which include all areas of knowledge that allow us to competently provide those services.

Evan A. Page, PLS


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