Introducing our latest Brand Ambassador Nick LaFond from Oregon, USA.
Where did you study? Oregon Institute of Technology Klamath Falls, Oregon, USA
What are the requirements to be a surveyor in your area?
The shortest path to licensure in Oregon is a 4-year degree + 4 additional years working under a PLS. I did the degree in 5 years because I began in another major.
How did you get into surveying?
I went to college after high school and studied computer hardware engineering for a year and realized it wasn’t for me. I got lucky finding the Geomatics major at my school at a career fair.
How long have you been in the industry? Although I began my first surveying classes in 2003, I did have a [forced] 2-year vacation smack in the middle of my education. Then in 2009 the housing market collapse left me without survey work. Let’s call it around 15 years 🙂
Are you part of any associations or organisations you would like us to mention?
I’m a member of my state professional society (PLSO) and NSPS. I also run a [private] Discord community called “Pro Surveyor”
Why do you want to be a GKiS Brand Ambassador? Volunteering as state coordinator for the NSPS Trig*Star program in my home state of Oregon has allowed me to see firsthand the challenge Surveyors face in inspiring high-school students to consider Surveying as a career. I recognize we must begin earlier to have the potent effect that we aim to have and what the market desperately needs right now.
Why is it important for kids to know about surveying and the wider geospatial industry? It’s important to society that we continue to rear these niche professionals to maintain the stability of boundaries, among many other things.
What are you going to do as an ambassador for GKiS? My goal is to tap into my diverse network to show off what I’m doing and spread the word about this initiative. Easy things like handing out shirts, comic books, stickers, etc. should be in all of our toolkits.
What are your hobbies? Surveying, of course! Followed by adventuring with my young family, chess, and FOREX & crypto trading.
If you/your company had a GKiS character, what would it be? Since my company is veteran-owned and focused on mediation of boundary disputes, it would have to be a friendly patriot-type character who gets down to brass tacks and solves problems for landowners. My 5 year old daughter really seems to love Setsuko 🙂
What poster or resource would you like to see next from GKiS? Good question.. Have you ever tried an outbound marketing campaign where the call-to-action is for the community leader to organize an event where a Brand Ambassador could facilitate an introduction of the GKiS media/resources to either educators or other organizations directly to groups of kids?
Anything else you want to add that you think our audience (surveyors, teachers, parents) would be interested in? The greatest leverage I’ve found on life has been to get the 4-yr Geomatics degree (apply for scholarships!), then get the professional license, and finally start a business. I’m happy to share more if anyone has specific questions for me, feel free to reach out via social media.