Introducing our Brand Ambassador Beau Winfrey from Oklahoma, USA
Where did you study?
I received a Bachelor of Science in Geography from the University of Oklahoma. I was previously enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering program, but worked for a land surveying company during the summers and part-time through the school year.
What are the requirements to be a surveyor in your area?
Oklahoma currently requires a minimum “core” list of surveying courses to be completed prior to approval to sit for the exams, however a 2 or 4 year degree is preferred and requires less experience if obtained.
How did you get into surveying?
I lucked into a summer job as a “pack mule” for a survey crew after my freshman year of university. I quickly realized that I preferred the survey end of the building to the engineer end of the building when I couldn’t be working outside.
How long have you been in the industry?
I started in June of 2000, so nearing 21 years in the career, 10 as a PLS.
Are you part of any associations or organisations you would like us to mention?
I am a member of the Oklahoma Society of Land Surveyors (OSLS) and the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS).
Why do you want to be a GKiS Brand Ambassador?
I wish someone had told me about surveying at a younger age. I enjoyed my trigonometry and geometry and geography and history classes. Surveying ties in with all of those interests. I also benefited from a few great mentors in my scholastic and professional career and would really enjoy passing on some of my knowledge and putting the satisfaction that a career in surveying has brought into my life on display.
Why is it important for kids to know about surveying and the wider geospatial industry?
I think there are a lot of people who would choose surveying as a career path if they knew it existed and knew that it was obtainable. I spent several years studying to be an engineer because I didn’t know that surveying was a real career path. Due to the boon of technological advances our profession has seen over just the last decade even if they become interested in the geospatial industry as a whole, I believe that benefits everyone.
What are you going to do as an ambassador for GKiS?
As a Parkhill employee, we are encouraged to take part in all types of community outreach. Because of that we make time to participate in events that enrich our community. We do a “touch a truck” style event as part of Public Works Week and our storm water division does outreach with local schools and youth organizations as well. I plan to include a short talk about the role surveying plays in their operations when they do their presentations as well as set up other presentations separately to talk about how surveying and other geospatial play a role in their community and how it was built and functions. I was very active in Boy Scouts growing up and would like to get involved in that world again. My daughter is old enough and interested in some type of scouting, so I anticipate my involvement will begin sooner rather than later.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy day hiking, car camping, puzzles, and DIY projects. I especially enjoy sharing these activities with my family. We have a pipe dream of visiting every national park in the United States.
If you/your company had a GKiS character, what would it be?
I enjoy tromping around outdoors and solving a good puzzle, so I would say a cross between Grizzly Adams and Sherlock Holmes looking through the records, observing evidence in the field with the multitude of tools at my disposal, then utilizing experience and knowledge with the aid of GIS or drafting software to find a solution to the many varying requests that I get from almost every single department and division within the city government. Often times the hardest part of my job is determining how to use the available tools and evidence to get everything to fit into place.
What poster or resource would you like to see next from GKiS?
I would say an agriculture, wind and/or solar farm, or neighbourhood development related poster or lesson would be a great addition to the already impressive collection.
Anything else you want to add that you think our audience (surveyors, teachers, parents) would be interested in?
I think most land surveyors need to see themselves as specialists in the geospatial realm. There are very few surveyors who would not benefit from collaborating with our neighbours in the geospatial industry.