National Surveyors Week Spotlight | Justin Brown | Survey Technician

How many years of experience do you have as a surveyor?

I have 7 years of experience as a surveyor; I started in February 2014.

When/how did you discover that you wanted to become a surveyor

Happenstance really. I had the opportunity to start surveying with zero field experience and ended up enjoying it!

What do you like most about the work you do?

The first warm day in the spring; the first cool afternoon in the fall; the quiet noises of the woods; following a stone wall; and finding boundary evidence over 150 years old are all things I enjoy most about surveying.

Describe a typical (or ideal) work day in the life of being a surveyor.

The ideal work day for me is a quiet day in the woods, minus the mosquitoes. You have already finished the research for your parcel, and you know what you’re looking for and where it could be. You get to walk through the woods following old boundary evidence and create a strategy for collecting the necessary data. Being outside on a nice day is good for the soul.

What is your favorite/most notable project and why?

My most notable project would have to be my current one: the superflood entrance structure for the PNSY dry dock. Ordinarily this would be considered a standard structural layout, except this project is being built on a boat… in the ocean. With the constant waves and changing of the tides, the traditional method of leveling the instrument to gravity cannot be used. By creating a theoretical plane relative to the boat itself and turning off the instrument’s compensator, we are able to roll with the boat and stay relative to the project coordinate system.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about pursuing a career in surveying?

Surveying has many different paths to choose from. Field work can take you essentially anywhere in the country doing any number of tasks, while office work will make you a historian and take you back in time. It is a very rewarding career path both physically and mentally.