What if Christopher Columbus had not set sail in 1492? In his day, the experts were practically unanimous advising of the danger of sailing across the Atlantic Ocean.
We surveyors are also explorers, discoverers and pioneers. When we discover a presumed lost monument, we go where no one has been for a long time. We see what was thought not to exist. We uncover and unravel mysteries that have been kept hidden. We shed light on the original surveyor’s faded footsteps.
As our friends, family and loved ones struggle to understand our fascination for a career, in which difficulty and obscurity are the norm. We continue to rise early in the morning for the field and continue to wrestle a problem late into the night. Why do we do this? I am convinced that we have no choice but to follow our hearts.
Exploring, measuring, and discovering truth is a noble profession. A career as a professional surveyor is not for the faint of heart. Surveying is a demanding mistress. Surveying seems to ask the right individuals to dance a dance that lasts the entire lives of all those consumed by her.
Our love for Surveying has captured our attention since the early days of our relationship. We develop and mature into surveyors of good character and high honor. We learn to listen to that small voice in our guts that dictates the next measurement to perform and record to review.
Surveying has wooed surveyors for centuries. When surveys are performed correctly with the appropriate controls, she is forever faithful. As surveyors, we have the wonderful fortune to bear witness to the truth and to experience our world with the profound depth of feeling and conviction.
Christopher Columbus did not have a choice to set sail. He was beckoned irresistibly by the sea with all of its hidden treasures. The sea continues to beckon. Let us set sail. Let us continue to be bold and risk all for love. Surveying will continue to beckon us for the rest of our days, and I earnestly hope that the next generation will also fall for her charms.
J. A. Cavell, PLS, CFedS
(Inspired by the words of