Welcome to the Terrane Brand Ambassador team! It is comprised of the following members:
- Samantha Pletsch | Marketing Specialist
- Colin Palmer | Project Surveyor PLS
- Jeff Savage | Project Surveyor PLS
Let’s learn a bit more about them!
If you are a surveyor:
Where did you study?
Colin: I attended East Tennessee State University, where I received a Bachelor’s of Science in Surveying and Mapping.
Jeff: I started surveying in 2005 without any formal education in surveying. I participated an dozens of after hour courses put on by the Land Surveyors Association of Washington (LSAW) as well as in house courses that professionals provided at my company.
What are the requirements to be a surveyor in your area?
Colin & Jeff: To become a licensed Land Surveyor in Washington state you are required to pass the 8-hour Fundamentals of Surveying exam, the 6-hour Principles and Practices of Land Surveying exam, and the 4-hour Washington State specific exam. In addition to these tests, you must also possess 8 years of professional-level experience under the direct supervision of a licensed surveyor (4 years of education may count towards this).
How did you get into surveying?
Colin: My neighbor in NC was a land surveyor and he offered me a job when I got home from Germany, after serving in the Army for 3 years after high school. After 6 months of working for his company I decided I never wanted to do anything else!
Jeff: A very good friend of mine was a surveyor, given our similar interests in outdoor activities he told me several times that he thought I would love surveying. I had a good job at the time, with a lot of upward potential but I did not enjoy it. It was a difficult decision but ultimately I decided to give it a shot, it’s one of the most rewarding decisions I’ve ever made.
How long have you been in the industry?
Samantha: I have been with the company for one year.
Colin: A little over 20 years.
Jeff: I have been in the Surveying industry since July, 2005 (17 years) and licensed since December 2014 (7.5 years).
Are you part of any associations or organizations you would like us to mention?
Colin: I am a member of the LSAW (Land Surveyor’s Association of Washington).
Jeff: I am a member of the Land Surveyors Association of Washington (LSAW). They are an organization committed to the growth and development of Land Surveyors as well as creating a community for Land Surveyors in the state of Washington.
Why do you want to be a GKiS Brand Ambassador?
Samantha: I want to help spread awareness of this really cool industry I didn’t know existed up until my last 20’s.
Colin: I am very passionate about this profession and love to explain surveying to anyone who will listen, especially children. I have three boys and I have had the opportunity to speak at their schools about surveying on several occasions. It’s so much fun!
Jeff: From the moment I got into surveying I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve always excelled at mathematics and finding a career that can challenge and utilize those skills is great. Being able to show kids that there is a practical application to the math that they are learning will hopefully help in keeping them inspired to learn it. Along with the historical aspect of how surveying has affected common life is something that I’m very excited about passing on.
Why is it important for kids to know about surveying and the wider geospatial industry?
Samantha: Land surveying is such a crucial industry that is not widely discussed among schools. Which is ridiculous as it is the very foundation our cities are built on top of! Everything can be impacted if a survey goes wrong.
Colin: Surveying gets a bad rap sometimes. People think that surveyors are the grungy guys they see on the side of the road with the “cameras” on tripods. Kids should know that surveying is such an important part of our society.
Jeff: Surveying is a crucial step in many different trades and careers from real-estate to construction and engineering, having a better knowledge of the surveying world will not only get kids more interested in perhaps pursuing a career in surveying but also create a better level of respect in the other many related fields they may choose. Understanding how maps get made is very important to understanding the ever-growing world of GIS, so many companies are integrating a variety of GIS platforms to their client facing websites as well as their internal production engines. Understanding how the world relates to GIS through surveying will be a huge benefit to anyone taking that path.
What are you going to do as an ambassador for GKiS?
Samantha: I am going to help plan and coordinate local outreach efforts with my company’s PLS’s. We will attend career fairs and spread the joy and knowledge of land surveying everywhere we go!
Colin: Help children to see how cool of a profession this is!
Jeff: I am open to classroom presentations to all ages, capturing the interest in children as early as possible has always been something that I’ve wanted to do. Not only to hopefully get them interested in the profession I’ve come to love but at the very least I would hope to show them that math is not a useless venture of the school system, this stuff has real world application.
What are your hobbies?
Samantha: My hobbies include swing dancing, reading, collecting crystals and rocks, playing pool, and participating in ultimate frisbee.
Colin: Exercising, hiking, reading, and being a Dad.
Jeff: I enjoy hiking, camping, and coaching my daughter’s softball teams. I’m a diehard Seahawks fan and love going to games. I am also co-owner of a small business which takes up a lot of my spare time.
If you/your company had a GKiS character, what would it be?
Samantha: We currently have a dog (Daisy Mae) as our “event coordinator” so maybe we would use her as our character? Open to suggestions.
Jeff: It would have to be a dog, our company is filled with dog lovers. Also having a dog out in the field is the absolute best!
What poster or resource would you like to see next from GKiS?
Jeff: I would just love to see more resources dedicated to schools, whether it’s posters, books or physical presentations in the classroom, all of it would be great for the kids.