TAMU-CC’s Geographic Information Science and Surveying Program Wins First Place in National Surveying Competition

Published: April 04, 2017

TAMU-CC’s Geographic Information Science and Surveying Program Wins First Place in National Surveying Competition

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Geographic Information Science (GISc) and Geospatial Surveying Engineering program continues to achieve excellence. A team of six undergraduate students in the program placed first in the National Society of Professional Surveyors’ (NSPS) land surveying student competition during March in Washington, DC.

“All the hard work in the field and office paid off,” exclaimed Anna Neumann, GISc junior. “If it would have been appropriate to shout, I think all of us would’ve jumped out of our seats with a fist-pump.”

The GISc and Surveying program provides students with access to competitions, research positions with professors, paid summer internships and faculty and staff that have real-world experience. Dr. Tony Nettleman, Professional Assistant Professor of GISc and Geospatial Surveying Engineering, advised the team during the competition. As a professional surveyor in Florida and Texas, as well as a Florida attorney, Nettleman used his knowledge to guide the team in taking different approaches during the competition.

“Every team this year worked hard, but the TAMU-CC students have the technical and legal knowledge to complete the job as professionals – not university students. This gave them a competitive advantage,” said Nettleman. “I’m very proud of their dedication and success.”

The hand-picked team used the topic of high-precision vertical control applications by monitoring elevations through monuments on Ward Island, home of to the Island University. They asked if there was any truth to the idea that Ward Island was sinking, especially where the Camden Miramar dorms are located. After spending more than 200 hours on their project, they determined the structures built over the various years subsided an average of 0.57 feet since their construction. The drop in elevation could potentially be due to soil type or that Oso Bay covered the southeast side of the Ward Island before being filled in the 1930s. The students combined their research and findings into a clear presentation that earned them first place.

“If we show we are dedicated and willing to learn, the faculty are equally dedicated to our success and will go to great lengths for us,” said Neumann. “For this project, the faculty put in countless hours reviewing our technical report, documentation binder, poster and presentation.”

Due to the fast-growing field and demand for younger graduates, the GISc and Surveying program provides an environment for students to develop their skills. The program prepares students for the work environment and graduate school. This education proved beneficial when it came to field work.

“There’s an unofficial rule in surveying—collect everything you can when you can,” said Austin Burklund, graduating GISc senior. “It helped with the many hours spent in the field for the project.”

The winning team included: Austin Burklund, senior GISc major; Yeoshua Cohen, GISc post-baccalaureate; Mitchell Grimm, junior GISc major; Daniel Martinez, graduating senior GISc major; Anna Neumann, junior GISc major; Christopher Reynolds, graduating senior GISc major. 

To learn more about the GISC program, go to sci.tamucc.edu/CSCI/GISC.