2023 Topics & Speakers

Note: Click topic for speaker handouts (if applicable)

Astronomical Observations of the Southwest by Chris Chavez
Boundaries and Adjacent Properties by John Stahl
Standards on Practice by Glen Thurow & Tasha Huhta
Concepts and Computations in the PLSS by Glen Thurow & Tasha Huhta
Parentheticals and Area Relationships by Glen Thurow & Tasha Huhta
Ethics by John Stahl
Photogrammetric Processing of Planetary Images by Dr. Ahmed Elaksher

Speaker Bios

    Chris Chavez is currently a sole member of Territorial Land Surveying LLC, currently performing property boundary surveys in several traditional communities, which include Chimayo, Pecos, El Guique, Trampas, Truchas, Las Vegas, and Abiquiu. Employed by the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Region 3 Albuquerque, New Mexico. In my last position as the Regional Land Surveyor my responsibilities included oversight and direction of the Land Surveying and Boundary Management Program in Region 3 which includes 5 National Forest in New Mexico and 6 National Forest in Arizona. In my capacity as the Regional Land
Surveyor, I worked with attorneys and legal experts from the U.S.D.A. Office of the General Counsel and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to seek resolutions and to function as an expert witness involving land title issues that affected the said National Forests, this included title claims and encroachments. Over the years I have worked with several Northern New Mexico Land Grants regarding title claims, encroachments, and the identification of land grant boundaries. Also, in my capacity as Regional Land Surveyor I was involved in surveys associated with aboriginal land claims including the Pueblo de San Ildefonso Claims Settlement Act of 2005, the Santo Domingo Pueblo Settlement Claims Act of 2000 and the Sandia Pueblo Mountain Land Claim.
As a registered professional land surveyor in New Mexico, I was also responsible for reviewing and evaluating boundary surveys, legal descriptions, and any other descriptions that require a registered surveyor’s certification for land acquisitions, land conveyances, title claims and encroachments.


    Dr. Ahmed Elaksher is a Professor in the College of Engineering at NMSU. He holds a BS, an MS, and a PhD in Civil Engineering. He is a Licensed Professional Surveyor and a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of New Mexico and an ASPRS Certified Photogrammetrist. Dr. Elaksher has more than 25 years of experience in both academia and industry. He is actively involved in serving different professional and academic organizations including NCEES, ABET, ASCE, AAGS, and ISPRS. His research activities cover developing automated algorithms for 3D mapping from satellite images, GNSS/GPS, UAVs, and laser datasets.  In 2020, he was selected as the NMSU Teaching Academy Most Distinguished Faculty Member, and he was awarded the NMSU College of Engineering Synergy Faculty Leadership Award in 2021. In 2022, he was awarded the NSPS Earle J. Fennell Award for my leadership in building the geomatics program at NMSU; and in 2023, he was awarded the  NMSU College of Engineering, Ed Foreman Excellence award. He is the Editor of the Surveying and Land Information Science Journal, chair of the ASCE Surveying and Geomatics Division Education Committee, and technical chair for the ASCE/UESI Surveying & Geomatics conferences in 2018, 2022, and 2024. He is the program coordinator for the geomatics program at NMSU.


    Tasha Huhta is the Cadastral Training Coordinator and CFedS Program Manager virtually located in Phoenix, AZ & physically located in Anchorage, AK. She started her career with the BLM in Colorado (1998) as a SCEP Land Surveyor. Tasha transferred to BLM-Alaska in 2001 & worked her way through the Field Section, Review Section, & Contracts Section. In 2013, she was promoted to Supervisory Land Surveyor, Cadastral Office Section & in 2018, she accepted the duties as the Cadastral Training Coordinator, BLM-NTC. Tasha completed a Bachelor of Professional Studies, Surveying and Mapping, 2001, Metropolitan State College of Denver. She is a lifelong learner of: OJT, skilled co-workers, and the world around her.


    John Stahl is a registered professional land surveyor in Utah and Montana,  currently owning and operating Cornerstone Professional Land Surveys, Inc., and Cornerstone Land Consulting, Inc., in Salt Lake City. Mr. Stahl specializes in surveying land boundaries, resolving boundary conflicts, performing title and historical research, land boundary consultation services, mediation, and dispute resolution. He has been qualified as an expert witness in numerous boundary,
access, and negligence cases and has actively participated in preparing amicus curiae briefs for the Utah Supreme Court. He has furthered his education by participating in a state-qualified mediation training program and earning recognition as a Certified Federal Surveyor. Mr. Stahl has served his profession as state chairman of the Utah Council of Land Surveyors and a Utah delegate to the Western Federation of Professional Surveyors. He is an adjunct instructor for Salt Lake Community College and Utah Valley University, where he has taught mathematics, ethics and liability, and boundary law courses for land surveying students since 1991. He also is a licensed Real Estate Instructor in Utah. Mr. Stahl received his AAS degree in land surveying from Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, Montana, and has authored numerous articles and publications covering topics on boundary laws, research, and resolving conflicts of evidence.


    Glen Thurow has been licensed since 1991 and is currently the owner of Land Links Consulting Service, a surveying and geospatial development firm in Albuquerque, NM. Prior to his current position he was vice-president for Geographic Coordinate Data Base development at Premier Geospatial, Inc. and oversaw projects in the development of the Cadastral National Spatial Data Infrastructure. Glen has also taught surveying and Geographic Information Systems courses at the Central New Mexico Community College and is a former chair of the Surveying Engineering Industrial Advisory Committee to the surveying program at New Mexico State University. He is a past-president of the New Mexico Professional Surveyors and was honored as the NM Surveyor of the Year in 2003. He served as the state lobbyist for NMPS from 2000 to 2006. Mr. Thurow was also the NSPS governor for New Mexico from 2009 to 2014. He was one of the founding directors of the New Mexico Professional Surveyors Educational Foundation and was appointed to the New Mexico Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Professional Surveyors in 2013. Glen currently serves on the NCEES Education Committee and is a past member of the NCEES Law Enforcement Committee. He is also developing online training materials for the NSPS Certified Survey Technician program.


Session Descriptions

Astronomical Observations of the Southwest by Chris Chavez

Astronomical Observations of the Southwest presentation is a trip back in time to see how surveyors, navigators, astronomers, explorers, and cartographers observed celestial bodies, which includes the Moon, Stars and the Sun for the purpose of finding direction, establishing coordinates, and to tell the time of day and year. This presentation will also include two significant aspects, the astronomical marker at Chaco Canyon and the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition of 1776 in which more than a dozen astronomical observations were made. The field notes of the observations  were taken by Fray Silvestre Velez de Escalante, a Franciscan Friar, with amazing detail. This Expedition took place at a time in which the Declaration of Independence was being drafted giving birth to the United States. In addition, this presentation will also briefly cover a few examples of real-world applications using Spherical Trigonometry, Geodetic Astronomy, and time calculations.


Boundaries and Adjacent Properties – Skelton Revisited by John Stahl

The Legal Elements of Boundaries and Adjacent Properties by Ray Skelton is a foundational text offering learned and practical studies, informed methodically throughout by federal and state appellate and supreme court decisions, on the practice of land surveying. Skelton’s unique coverage of land surveying principles and boundary laws provides a thorough perspective on the rules, reasons for the rules, and the application of the rules governing the surveying professional’s boundary location decisions. Through presentation, discussion and case studies, this seminar will help the professional land surveyor learn and discern the legal basis for their boundary decisions.


CFEDS Standards of Practice by Glen Thurow and Tasha Huhta

The CFedS Standards of Practice provide the operational requirements for CFedS in both Federal and State Authority surveys. In addition to the standards, an in-depth review of the CFeds Program Handbook will also be covered. Current CFedS who attend and pass a related quiz will receive one continuing education credit.

This presentation will also interest those individuals who contemplate becoming CFedS in the future and wish to improve their professional credentials.

*Note: CFEDs Credit will be available for this course at a 50% saving in cost! Each 4 hour session is $25 for 1 CE credit (normally $50 for each credit). If you attend both the morning and afternoon sessions, you will receive 2 CE credits for $50.

You do not have to pay for CFedS credit to attend. Only those wishing to receive CFedS credit will need to pay the extra charge at registration.


Concepts and Computations in the PLSS by Glen Thurow and Tasha Huhta

This course will be a refresher on some basic mathematical concepts operating in the Public Land Surveying System, including an understanding of lines of constant bearings and lines of constantly changing bearings, calculation of forward and reverse bearings, and GLO plat interpretations.

This course will also review the concepts of parenthetical calculations and the relationships between parentheticals and areas, with particular emphasis on non-standard and fractional sections. Participants are urged to bring a calculator to this presentation.


Ethics by John Stahl

This course will provide a thorough review of the Maxims of Jurisprudence found mentioned throughout our case law history and even codified in statutory form in a few states. These maxims form the conceptual foundation of our legal justice system and encapsulate the ethical considerations woven into the fabric of our modern law. Studying these maxims will bring a fresh perspective to the ethical premise upon which our land tenure system is based. We will review the ancient English and Roman influences on our modern law. We will review the direct correlation between the maxims and the land boundary principles applied when making modern land  boundary determinations.


Photogrammetric Processing of Planetary Images by Dr. Elaksher Ahmed

In this presentation, we will go over a brief historical background of photogrammetry and how it developed. We then will introduce the different imaging systems and the principles and geometry of aerial image acquisition and stereo viewing.
The pipeline for photogrammetric processing of images will then be presented including bundle adjustment, ground point surveying, image matching, DEM extraction, and least squares refining techniques. Next, we will present different
platforms including orbital satellites that orbit our Earth, the Moon, and Mars. We will present the concept of mapping the Mars surface with Hirise images and MOLA data. In addition, we will present different geospatial products used by NASA to understand the Earth and other planets and how these products are produced using photogrammetric techniques.

 

 

One thought on “2023 NMPS Conference

  1. I really enjoyed the whole conference but there were not enough vendors. I met a lot of good people and surveyors. Thank you for everything. Happy Holidays and Thanksgiving to you and your staff.

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