Ambassador Spotlight ‘Josh Saunders’

Introducing our new Brand Ambassador from Missouri, USA it is Josh Saunders

 Where did you study? Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE)

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

For the two state that I live near (Missouri & Illinois)

      1. Have to a Bachelor’s Degree in a related science with 24 credit hours of Land Survey classes
      2. Successfully pass the Fundamentals of Survey Exam
      3. Work four years under a Professional Land Surveyor
      4. Then pass the Principle of Surveying test as well as the state specific exam

***Missouri does offer some additional routes to licensure, depending on work experience and education but for the most part bachelor’s degree is the most widely route for surveyors in my area.

How did you get into surveying? A construction material supply company that I worked for 10 years closed down in 2009 at the end of a large recession in the United States.  In late 2007, prior to the company’s closure, I decided to start back to school in pursuit of a degree in Construction Management.  When the company I worked for closed its doors for good, I was left scrambling to find another job to support myself, my wife and my 1 month old daughter.  I reached out to a close friend of mine who worked for what I thought was an engineering firm but in reality was a Surveying company.  They hired me as a draftsman and the more I learned about surveying the more interested I became in it.  I like finding monuments that were centuries old and while at college getting introduced to some of the upcoming technologies, like Laser Scanning (I know, I know that’s like so 2010).  The college I went to offered a specialization in Land Surveying (basically the 24 hrs of surveying classes needed for licensure) to go with my Construction Management Degree, so it seemed like all my chips were falling into place.  From there I finished school, worked my way through the ranks from drafter, to rodman/instrument man, to crew chief, to survey crew coordinator, to Professional Land Surveyor.  That is my 11 year journey in a nutshell.

How long have you been in the industry? Since 2009

Are you part of any associations or organisations you would like us to mention? Southwest Chapter of the Illinois Professional Land Surveyors Association & the St. Louis Chapter of the Missouri Society of Professional Surveyors.

Why do you want to be a GKiS Brand Ambassador?  For the last 5 or 6 years I have been a proponent of introducing elementary, high school, and college students to Land Surveying.

Why is it important for kids to know about surveying and the wider geospatial industry?  There is a huge disparity for Land Surveyors in the United States and I assume all over the world.  Rather than just let a historic profession die or be absorbed by another profession like civil engineering or geography.  I like to see if I could generate interest with students by introducing them to the most exciting and technologically loaded profession out there.

What are you going to do as an ambassador for GKiS?  I am going to get the next generation of surveyors fired up about land surveying.  That is a little more difficult now with the COVID19 restrictions in place but just as with most surveyors I am adapting to the environment.  In October, I am attending my first ever virtual career fair, so I am excited to see how that turns out.

What are your hobbies? I enjoy camping, boating, travelling, fishing, and most things with friends and family.

If you/your company had a GKiS character, what would it be? Either a techy kind of surveyor wearing AR glasses flying a drone while riding on an automatous vehicle (just spit balling some ideas here) or a futuristic space surveyor (see the answer for the next question).

What poster or resource would you like to see next from GKiS? With space exploration getting closer and closer, I think it would be neat to see a poster with surveyors on Mars helping with the exploration of the planet with all of our equipment (that is something I talk about with students on where the profession could be going).