Ambassador Spotlight ‘Garrett Smelker’

Pleased to introduce our Brand Ambassador Garrett Smelker from Texas, USA

Where did you study? I studied at New Mexico State from 2013 to 2017 when I obtained my Bachelor of Science degree in Surveying Engineering while also graduating with over 20 credit hours in the Civil Engineering Technology program.

What are the requirements to be a surveyor in your area? As I am currently licensed in 9 states the requirements vary per state with the strictest being the surveyor must have obtained a degree from an ABET accredited 4 year Surveying or Geomatics program with 4 years of experience in the field of Land Surveying. The states that I am currently licensed in are Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arizona, Wyoming, Nevada, Idaho and Utah.

How did you get into surveying? Growing up my father was a civil engineer so I always wanted to follow in his footsteps. In high school my Ag teacher brought in a transit and level for the class to see that he had used when he was younger working for the highway department. That got me interested because the math and concepts were similar to civil engineering but it gave me the opportunity to work outdoors.

How long have you been in the industry? I began surveying in 2011 working for a small local company, LandCraft LLC, in Las Cruces, NM. I worked for that company all the way through college while also doing a summer internship with Wilson & Co. in Albuquerque (2015).

Are you part of any associations or organisations you would like us to mention? I am a member of TSPS (Texas Society of Professional Surveyors)

Why do you want to be a GKiS Brand Ambassador? I would like to be a brand ambassador for GKiS because I am passionate about teaching and helping others grow. I see surveying as an amazing career field that has endless opportunities but is often forgotten or disregarded in schools.

Why is it important for kids to know about surveying and the wider geospatial industry? Surveying is important to introduce back into schools because there are students that want to be able to pursue a great career that allows one to be outdoors but just don’t know its an option. In land surveying there are so many options available all the way from being a survey technician to party chief to a licensed surveyor. There is also endless job opportunities in this industry whereas the engineering fields have hundreds of graduates each semester from colleges competing for the same jobs.

What are you going to do as an ambassador for GKiS? As an ambassador I would like to attend local career fairs for high schools students while trying to set up outreach programs such as a boy scout merit badge activity or working with some of the local vocational teachers at high schools to do surveying lab like my Ag teacher did. By having the help of GKiS I will have a better support system and possibly materials to use in those efforts.

What are your hobbies? When I’m not working I enjoy going shooting, hunting, or even golfing. I like to spend as much time as I can outdoors.

If you/your company had a GKiS character, what would it be? This is a hard question just because I’m not the artistic type. The company that I recently founded is focused on Real estate and land development projects utilizing drones for aerial imagery. We also use 3D scanners on various projects. If I had to describe the character it would be on that embraces technology as part of surveying.

What poster or resource would you like to see next from GKiS? Again this is not a very easy question for me just because I’m not usually the artistic type but more of a critical thinker. I have gone through most of the content on the website and am blown away by the materials.

Anything else you want to add that you think our audience (surveyors, teachers, parents) would be interested in? In the past I had hosted weekly lunch n’ learn classes to help people who are trying to get licensed or are pursing certification through the Certified Survey Technician program. I would like to continue to grow the CST program within our industry because I see it as a way to help individuals further their careers and improve the surveying industry.