Robert R. G. King
SLS, P. Surv., ALS
President’s Message to the Membership
The last couple of months within the association office has been very colorful to say the least. On that note, I need to send out a huge thank you to our council and our executive director as they have dealt with numerous inquiries and additional phone calls from across the country since the beginning of the year. As council has been dealing with the “elephant in the room” since our October meeting, their efforts and work on this are recognized. There are still plenty of upcoming discussions and working meetings remaining ahead of us as we work towards a solution. Ultimately, we will come to a solution that is in the best interest of our association and the public we serve. I would also like to thank the members of our association for actively providing council with comments and feedback on the process.
It will be good to change gears in council as well. I look forward to working with our committees and ISC on the changes to the Provincial Lands (Agriculture) Regulations and Crown Resource Land Regulations and what this means for establishing boundaries along water boundaries. These discussions are set to begin in April and we will keep our members abreast of any items that arise within our association.
I recently had the opportunity to travel to the North Dakota Society of Professional Land Surveyors Annual Convention. Their commitment and dedication to their surveying students, was impressive to say the least. To walk into their annual meeting and see that they invited all thirty of the surveying students from the North Dakota State College of Science to attend. The students were provided travel, accommodations and meals paid for by the society for the two-day session. Their society holds an auction and a raffle annually to support these additional charges. Due to the large support of the members, the remaining funds are contributed to the scholarship fund for the students. In talking with a couple of the students, they were all excited to be able to attend the meetings, and felt it as a good introduction and welcome into their future professional society. Further investment in our students and future land surveyors may be the model we need to adopt in order to retain and maintain upcoming land surveyors in Saskatchewan.
The North Dakota Society meeting was also the first experience I had with the augmented reality sandbox. As I took my turn to play in the sand, I was enticed as to how we could bring an augmented sandbox to Saskatchewan to visit career fairs and schools. I have always supported career days and promoting our profession to youth. Today’s youth are drawn to technology. Having a drone, a robotic total station, a video showing a 3D model from data collected in the field, or in this case a 3D model they can build out of sand, will draw youth to ask, “What is Land Surveying?” Of course, there are limitations when dealing with 150 pounds of sand and the mobility of the sandbox. My goal is to try out an augmented reality sandbox at a career fair in May. I hope that the results are positive and help our association determine if an augmented reality sandbox would work for the association to invest in one. The North Dakota State College of Science is using their augmented reality sandbox to teach geomatics students about contours, grading, elevations and drainage. If anyone is interested in learning more about the augmented reality sandbox, type “UC Davis augmented reality sandbox” into any search engine and read about the technology that is available.
In closing, I would like to invite all of our members and guests out to our AGM this year at Elk Ridge Resort near Waskesiu, SK, from June 7-9, 2017. The hotel block is now available for bookings. Please book early to ensure your accommodations for the meeting. I am looking forward to seeing you all at the resort for lively discussions at our next AGM.