Ambassador Spotlight ‘Jesse White’

Introducing Jesse White from Beaverton, Oregon in the USA:

Where did you study?

I started learning surveying in the United States Navy as an Engineering Aid in the Seabees (NMCB-74).  They gave me a great foundation of fundamentals of surveying and the opportunities to learn as much as I wanted to.  Beyond your technical school, where you learn and hone the minimum skills needed for battalion, they offer continued education classes in surveying and drafting giving me the opportunity to really excel.

What are the requirements to be a surveyor in your area?

I live in the state of Oregon, and there are three main pathways to become a licensed surveyor of the state.  All pathways require you to pass the Fundamentals of Surveying, Principals and Practices of Surveying, and the State Specific Exam.  Pathway one is achieve a 4-year degree in Land Surveying (or engineering degree) from an accredited program and four years of experience.  Pathway two is to achieve an accredited two-year Land Surveying and six years of experience.  Pathway three is to work hard and get 12 years of qualifying experience.

How did you get into surveying?

The summer between Highschool and College, I was working for my grandfather building a golf course in southern California and I remember one day seeing the surveyor laying out, what I know now to the be the gridlines, the building and when I went over to talk to him about what he was doing he actually stopped and took the time to talk to some 18 year old kid about surveying and how cool it is.  From there I know that along with civil engineering this is something that I wanted to do.  I then decided to join the military and due to having parents and friends in the military I already know about some of the jobs that they offered.   I went into the Navy recruiter’s office and said that I wanted to become an Engineering Aid so I could be a surveyor and that’s all that I wanted to do.

If you are not a surveyor, what do you do?

I think that if I wasn’t a surveyor I would have become a civil engineer.  I actually went to Oregon State University for civil engineering, but it became too costly for me and I had an opportunity to take a job surveying on a huge project and I took the opportunity.

How long have you been in the industry?

I started my surveying career roughly in the beginning on 2001.  So I have been doing this for about 23 years and I love every bit of it.

Are you part of any associations or organizations you would like us to mention?

I am part of our state surveyors organization, Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon (PLSO), a member of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), a member of American Council of Engineering Companies of Oregon (ACEC Oregon), and the Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS).

Why do you want to be a GKiS Brand Ambassador?

There is nothing more important to the profession that focusing on our next generation of surveyors.  I would not have gotten to where I am at today had it not been for the great mentors that I have had.  I used to coach 12-under football, both outdoor and arena, and the reward that you get when you see the joy in a child’s eyes when they finally accomplished their goals.  I want to create roughly the same environment to give the opportunity for young individuals to find that love and passion for surveying as well.

Why is it important for kids to know about surveying and the wider geospatial industry?

Maps! We all need to know how to get somewhere and today we take for granted that we can just pull out that little piece of plastic and electronic parts out of our pockets. 

What are you going to do as an ambassador for GKiS?

My goal as an ambassador is to spread awareness of the Land Surveying & Geomatics profession to all, especially the future generations.  Today with outside influences, STEM industries are being lost in the wake and we need to get back to a point where professions like surveying are at the forefront. 

What are your hobbies?

One of the hobbies that I find myself doing the most is taking pictures with either my camera, phone, or flying one of my drones.  The world is a beautiful place and we need to get out there more to just admire it. 

If you/your company had a GKiS character, what would it be?

Everyone who knows me knew my dog.  She (Augie) was a boxer and I wouldn’t go anywhere without her.  She would go to work with me, to the store, and out to eat.  If she wasn’t allowed in then we wouldn’t go there.  Some places even knew her more than me. My previous dog (Duke) was a boxer too, and he would go to work with me and even wear a survey vest.  So I would have to say that it would be a boxer dog.

What resource would you like to see next from GKiS?

I think that something that we might want to look more into is making video with kids surveying and posting them on the website.

Anything else you want to add that you think our audience (surveyors, teachers, parents) would be interested in?

This is from my website under the educational tab.

I was once asked by one of my mentors, “What is the one thing in this world that no one can take away from you?”  I came up with all sorts of answers before he let me know that “the one thing in this world that no one can take away from you, is the knowledge that you’ve obtained!”  It was this seamlessly innocent question that changed my life.  From that point forward I started taking in information that would help me excel in whatever I was doing and in turn passing on the information that I have gained to others. 

Some people say that learning and studying is a chore and tend to shy away from it.  I don’t know about you, but I grew up with one simple song that was always stuck in my head, “I don’t want to grow up, cause I’m a Toys “R” Us kid!”  Some of the first toys you get as a child are educational toys, like putting the pegs in the hole or finding out what sounds all the animals on Old Macdonald’s farm make.  I don’t see why that joy and fun has to end just because we are getting older.  The only difference between then and now is the different toys we get to play with.

The STEM field is a great place to learn and play with cool toys. If you are a student, teacher, or parent interested in learning more about land surveying and the cool things that we get to do, check out the educational links below or reach out to me to set up a Survey STEM demo day at your school or other event.