Ambassador Spotlight ‘Austin Corcoran’

Introducing our latest Brand Ambassador Austin Corcoran from Nova Scotia, Canada!

Where did you study? I studied Civil Engineering Technology at Northern College in Timmins, (Northern) Ontario, Canada

What are the requirements to be a surveyor in your area? To be designated a Professional Land Surveyor you must take a Geomatic or Survey related University program. Spend 2-3 years under a licensed surveyor and complete a non-for-profit project and exam to earn your license.

If you do not plan to do land surveying there are shockingly no mandatory requirements to be a surveyor in other fields like construction or mining, although post secondary education is helpful. Many survey programs have been dropped from Colleges and Universities, it is becoming a lost art.

How did you get into surveying? After working the summer after graduating in road construction and at an engineering firm I was hired on as a surveyor at a local underground gold mine. My survey professor in school provided me the foundation to build on, but I really learned how to survey from the team at Blackfox who subsequently did not go to school for surveying.

If you are not a surveyor, what do you do? If I wasn’t a Surveyor I would be a Wildland/Firefighter, that was the only other career I considered when applying for programs. Being a surveyor on a mine site I am able to be a part of the Mine Rescue Team. It’s the best of both worlds for me really.

How long have you been in the industry? I have been in the Survey industry for 6 years now.

Are you part of any associations or organisations you would like us to mention? Outside of the Professional Land Surveyors Association and Ontario Land Surveyors, there are no other associations to be a part of that are survey orientated in Canada. (That I am aware of)

Why do you want to be a GKiS Brand Ambassador? For many of the reasons mentioned above. It’s hard to want to be or do something when you grow up if you’ve never seen or heard about it.

Why is it important for kids to know about surveying and the wider geospatial industry? Surveying has such a wide variety of directions you can go with it. Everyday brings a new challenge and it’s the perfect mix of field and office work. Everything in moderation.

What are you going to do as an ambassador for GKiS? First thing is solidify the resurgence of the Survey Program at Northern College (this is already in the works) and the second thing is help my survey professor continue to spread the word about the program to do what all our goal is, get more kids into surveying.

What are your hobbies? Outside of work I enjoy sports, travel, and reading. I play and coach Ice Hockey. I also practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Golf among other sports. My most recent trip I hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. The book I’m currently reading is The Man Watching: Anson Dorrance and the University of North Carolina’s Women’s Soccer Dynasty. (highly recommend as a book on leadership)

If you/your company had a GKiS character, what would it be? I think you need an old pot bellied man with a pickaxe and a beard who teaches the kids the history and importance of (Mining) survey related things.

What resource would you like to see next from GKiS? I think informational videos that are fun and catching would be a real way to draw attention to the program.

Anything else you want to add that you think our audience (surveyors, teachers, parents) would be interested in? I still have an article from August 2021 from Consulting Surveyors National out of Australia about the Survey Academy program they started to target geographical industrial needs for proper survey training by bringing the education to the people where proper training was not available. I think they are on to something great that we can all learn from and implement with the right support.