September 2019

Pres Dianne Collins

Here we are and another month has simply flown by. As I was contemplating a topic for this month's message I ran across an article written in 1961, by Curtis M. Brown,    entitled "The Professional Status of Land Surveyors" which was published in the American Congress of Surveying and Mapping, Surveying and Mapping, vol. 21, no.1.    I was truly astounded by how accurate and on point this article was some 20 years before we here in Florida actually did anything out our "professional status". I would like to provide you with some quotes from the article for you to   ponder with regard to being considered a "professional" in what we call Geomatics/Surveying and Mapping.

"Professional stature cannot be attained by self proclamation… If the land surveyor is to have a professional standing, that standing must be earned – and bestowed upon him by others."  Think about that one.. A professional is not a "professional" because they think they are.. only what others think of you establishes you as a professional.

Under Attributes of a Profession, Mr. Brown states "Man's knowledge in itself does not make a profession; man must use knowledge to aid, assist, teach or benefit others. Application of knowledge to the affairs of others is an   essential part of the definition of a profession." Our younger generation needs to understand this concept. While a degree in Geomatics is essential to becoming a professional in Florida, that degree does not make one a professional. "The knowledge and experience of a professional man combined with his ability to reason and arrive at a solution to a problem is why others seek his       advice."

"Any surveyor can attain eminence without necessarily earning much    money… what do other surveyors and the public think of you? Do they   consider you ethical? Have you contributed anything to the surveying profession, or do you just sit back and let others advance the profession?... Are you active in your professional society?... or do you just sit back on your prerogatives?.. One of the first duties of a professional man is to advance his profession."

 Mr. Brown has a lot to say on Ethics and professionalism. "Ethics is that branch of moral science which treats of the duties which a member of a profession owes to the public, to his professional brethren, and to his client. Without ethics land surveying can never be a profession…. True professional      stature arises from obedience to the unenforceable….If we as surveyors are to maintain a respected position as professionals in the community, we must look beyond the club of the law to ethical standards which prohibit doing of that which the law does not forbid."

 When we look at ourselves we must look at what others think of us. Many surveyors dislike the idea of being held liable for their work. In that Mr. Brown states "Since we as surveyors are liable, one of the greatest deterrents to substandard work is the liability. While liability to the individual may be considered a disadvantage, it is an advantage to a profession as a whole… professional liability is a privilege tending to prove the land surveyor's professional standing."

There is so much more in this article I'd like to say as it really made me think about myself, the manner in which I conduct myself in business, as well as how "others" likely perceive us as a group. Are we truly "professionals" in this world? We should be, as what our court system indicates, there is nothing more important than the life of an individual and the property rights of the individual.

I would encourage you to read the full article at: 1961 ACSM Brown Article.pdf

 “Never let the things you can’t do stop you from doing what you can.” - Ronald Reagan