Surveying Mentorships: From Prospects to Veterans
(POB MAGAZINE ARTICLE)
When a surveyor retires, a wealth of knowledge goes with them. Mix that reality with the fact that there is not necessarily a sufficient stream of incoming surveyors to replace their aging predecessors and it becomes clear that action must be taken. One way to address the issue is through mentorship.
Lee Spurgeon, LS, is the chairman of the Educational Goals and Outreach Committee for the Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon (PLSO). The land surveyor of 40 years oversees the group’s mentoring program and says mentorship in the surveying profession is really important. “The average age of a surveyor in Oregon, I think, is 56 years old, which means we’re all going to retire in the next eight or nine years. So we need to find replacements or we might end up with things like a paralegal — a para-surveyor,” he says. “Institutional knowledge is lost when the old-timers retire, so mentoring will be able to pass that information on and just have a much more informed profession so everyone can do a better job of retracing those original monuments.”