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Attendee Schedule of Events

67th Annual Convention & Tech Expo Schedule

**Schedule subject to change**

Wednesday, October 3

12:15 pm – 3:00 pm
Skeet Shoot at Texas City Municipal Shooting Range
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm Annual Golf Tournament at Moody Gardens Golf Course
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm Registration Open
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm Past President’s Dinner at Willie G's Seafood & Steaks 
(Invitation Only)
8:30 pm – 11:00 pm TSPSA Open House

 

Thursday, October 4

7:30 am – 5:00 pm Registration Open
9:00 am – 10:00 am TSPS Grand Opening and Keynote Address
Keynote Speaker: Texas State Senator, Larry Taylor (District 11)
9:00 am – 12:00 pm TSPSA Community Service Project with Breakfast: Attendees will help make baby blankets for a pregnancy outreach program for mothers and children in need (no skill or expertise needed). The group will also sign cards to send to Operation We Are Here showing support and appreciation for our deployed troops. The afternoon is on your own to enjoy all that Galveston has to offer.
10:00 am – 5:00 pm Annual TSPS Membership Meeting
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm
Lunch on own
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm TSFI Delegate Election (Begins at conclusion of Annual Membership Meeting)
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Nominating Committee Meeting 
(Begins at conclusion of Annual Membership Meeting)
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm New Member & First-Time Attendee Social
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm RTKNET Customer Appreciation & Reception
Hosted by the new AllTerra Central
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Leica Geosystems Reception
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm TJC Survey Alumni & Friends Reception
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Blucher Institute Alumni Reception (Invitation Only)
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm TSPS Open House/President’s Reception Entertainment by Luxury Trio
8:30 pm – 12:00 am Young Surveyors Outing at The Spot/Rum Shack

 

Friday, October 5

6:30 am – 7:45 am LSLS Breakfast Forum
7:00 am – 5:00 pm Registration Open
8:00 am – 10:00 am Education Session - 2 CEUs

"Managing the Development of Surveying Staff"
Presented by Joe Paiva, PhD, PS, PE

Employee development often doesn’t cross the minds of owners and managers of surveying organizations. This is unfortunate, as it contributes to a lack of robustness in the profession. All branches of society that matter, such as academia, government, industry and even public opinion, regard the efforts an employer make toward developing, training and keeping highly skilled staff to be an essential component of any business involving highly skilled professional services, particularly when they are licensed by the state. In this course we introduce the concept of employee development. We review why this is a good process for an organization to have. We talk about management mindshare that is necessary to have effective employee development and some strategies for managing the time needed to implement it and keep it going.
8:00 am – 10:00 am Education Session - 2 CEUs

"Millimeter Metrology at UT/NASA’s McDonald Geodetic Observatory"
Presented by John Griffin, RPLS and Jullian Rivera

The International Terrestrial Reference System is built using measurements from sensors located at geodetic observatories. There are at least three observatories located on each continental plate. The data from these sensors is combined to form an International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF). This Frame is then used to define various datums and the GNSS positions that surveyors use daily. The ITRF is only as good as the location of each sensor. Traditionally, these sensors are measured to around 10 millimeters. It is the goal of this project to provide methods to make these measurements at the one-millimeter level.
8:00 am – 12:15 pm Education Session - 4 CEUs (includes 3 hrs Rules)

"2016 ALTA/NSPS Standards"
Presented by Gary Kent, PS

The Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys were recently revised and the new version became effective on February 23, 2016. The 2016 standards are the first revision to the 2011 standards which were the first completely rewritten, restructured and reorganized version of the standards since their origin in 1962.

This program will highlight the many changes in the 2016 Standards with a special emphasis on the most significant additions and modifications. The process of revision will also be explained.

In addition, the class will address uncertainties in boundary surveys, certification issues, dealing with lenders, the optional items of Table A and the Relative Positional Precision measurement standard.

Since the standards are a joint document of the American Land Title Association and the National Society of Professional Surveyors, the program also will provide for a clear understanding of the relationship between title insurance and Land Title Surveys, and how that dynamic relates to the ALTA/NSPS Standards.
8:00 am – 12:15 pm Education Session - 4 CEUs

"Tidal Boundaries, an Overview"

Presented by Stephen Blaskey, RPLS, LSLS; Mike Hoover, RPLS, LSLS, CFM; and Dr. Gary Jeffress, RPLS

This class will introduce students to the basics of the science used to observe and quantify a tidal datum, the constituents of a tide, and the tools to apply a datum to a project.
9:00 am – 9:30 am TSPSA Coffee
9:45 am – 3:00 pm TSPSA Event - A Day in Galveston: A Day in Galveston will start with a guided tour of The Grand 1894 Opera House with its amazing architecture, beautiful decor and interesting history. Attendees will enjoy lunch as a group and then have time to Shop on the Strand. The historic Strand boasts art galleries, candy shops and other unique stores for your enjoyment. The day will end with a wine, cheese and cookie reception before returning to the hotels.  
10:00 am – 10:15 am Break 
10:15 am – 12:15 pm Educational Session - 2 CEUs

"Focusing Professional Practice for Tomorrow's Environment"
Presented by Joe Paiva, PhD, PS, PE

Surveyors see many things on the horizon such as potentially decreased numbers in the profession, changes brought upon by technology and our understanding of the world we live on. As professionals, they are the only group licensed by their jurisdictions to perform boundary surveys. But varying by jurisdiction are other aspects of the surveying and mapping spectrum that is added as the exclusive domain of surveyors or as a shared domain, often with engineers, architects and other professionals who work with the land. Some will say there is doubt as to the viability of the profession. Others want to see it prosper and grow. This session’s purpose is to help current land surveying professionals think about the various issues related to current and future practice.
10:15 am – 12:15 pm
Educational Session - 2 CEUs (includes 2 hrs Rules)

"Words Mean Things"
Presented by Doug Turner, RPLS

The Act & Rules of TBPLS. Certifications along with professional and technical standards associated with certifications. 
12:15 pm - 5:30 pm Exhibit Hall Open
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm Annual Luncheon with speaker, Dr. Gary Schwantz
2:00 pm – 5:30 pm Exhibit Hall Grand Opening and Reception
6:30 pm – 11:00 pm Annual Awards Gala & Dinner
Entertainment by Jerry Diaz & Hanna's Reef Texas Beach Music

 

Saturday, October 6

6:30 am – 2:00 pm Registration Open
7:30 am – 9:30 am Educational Session - 2 CEUs

"Sales, Marketing and Business Development"
Presented by Joe Paiva, PhD, PS, PE

What is the difference between the activities and purpose of Sales, Marketing and Business Development? Why should surveyors care? The course will cover how these activities are achieved in a surveying business and how they can impact a business’ health. Practical methods for doing these things so that the economic viability and growth potential of the business are improved will be presented. This is appropriate for existing businesses as well as ones that owners are preparing to sell.
7:30 am – 12:00 pm Educational Session - 4 CEUs (includes 2 hrs Ethics)

"Parish Line Sequel"
Presented by Frank Willis, PLS, PE

This is a fast-moving sequel to the dispute between Rapides and Grant Parishes. The original dispute, which was litigated in 2002, involved a 27-mile-long boundary line created in 1869 between Rapides and Grant Parishes in central Louisiana. The boundary was a straight line that originated at the point where Bayou Darrow emptied into the Red River and ran eastward to the point where Little River emptied into Catahoula Lake. The line was never surveyed on the ground until Grant Parish challenged it in 1999, claiming that the line needed to move a mile south into Rapides Parish. Millions of dollars in annual property taxes and sales taxes were at stake. Rapides Parish disagreed with Grant Parish’s proposal to move the line. A vicious legal dispute erupted.

In 2010, after the parish boundary dispute had been litigated, riparian property owners abutting Catahoula Lake filed a class action lawsuit against the State of Louisiana. The landowners disputed the location of the ordinary high water mark of the lake. Frank Willis had become thoroughly familiar with the lake boundary determining the point where Little River emptied into Catahoula Lake, so the state employed him as the leading expert on the new class action case. The bed of the 25,000-acre lake is oil rich and is the largest and best public waterfowl hunting and fishing lake in Louisiana. The dispute is valued in the hundreds of millions.

The case was litigated in 2015. The results of extensive study of the lake and the intense litigation yielded findings that changed the way that the State of Louisiana determines the ordinary high water mark on the many confusing boundaries of natural lakes in Louisiana and is applicable to other states in the southern and southeastern US. The case involved as many scientific challenges and litigation tactics as the parish line dispute. The seminar will provide background information on that dispute to orient any attendee who did not attend the parish line dispute seminar. The seminar will consist of a fast-moving animated graphic presentation in a format similar to the parish boundary dispute. The conclusion is shocking.
7:30 am – 12:00 pm Educational Session - 8 CEUs (includes 3 hrs Ethics)

"Mock Trial: Harper v. Sunshower Resort"
Presented by Gary Kent, PS

The Harpers had Peyton Mann perform a survey to prepare for construction of a new house on their lakefront property. Sunshower Resort - owners of the property north of the Harpers - took exception to Mann's opinion and hired their own surveyor Tommy Bradley who disagreed with the Mann survey.

Litigation ensued and - although the surveyors met in order to attempt to resolve their differences - title problems, a lack of documentation of original surveys, and numerous historically conflicting surveys prevented a clear resolution to the conflict.

Two actual attorneys and a judge will participate with the audience sitting in as jury as the plaintiff and defendant, the two surveyors, and a title expert and we explore the chains of title, conflicting lines of possession, the related boundary law principles, and differing claims of title.

As an integral part of the trial, questions will be taken from the audience. In addition, the judge will discuss the process and procedures in such a case and the attorneys will offer guidance and suggestions to those who would testify as expert witnesses. 

Josh Leamons, RPLS and Teresa Myers, RPLS who are both licensed attorneys will serve in that role for the Mock Trail. Jennifer Dillon, Attorney at Law will serve as the judge for the Mock Trial.
7:30 am – 12:00 pm Educational Session - 4 CEUs

"Coordinates & Geodesy"
Presented by Jan Van Sickle, PhD

Coordinates? Press a few buttons on a computer and they are automatically imported, exported, rotated, translated, collated, annotated and served up in any format you choose with no trouble at all. There really is nothing to it. Why have a seminar about coordinates? It’s a good question really. Computers are astounding in their ability to make the mathematics behind coordinate manipulation transparent to the user. This seminar is not much about that sort of mathematics. ut it is about coordinates and coordinate systems. It is about understanding how these systems work, and how they sometimes don’t work. It is about how points that should be in New Jersey end up in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean even if the computer has done nothing wrong. And that is, I suppose, the answer to the question from my point of view. Computers are currently very good at repetition and very bad at interpretation. People are usually not so good at repetition. We tend to get bored. But we can be very good indeed at interpretation, that is if we have the information in our heads to understand what we are interpreting. This seminar is about providing some of that sort of information about coordinates and coordinate systems. 
9:00 am – 1:30 pm Exhibit Hall Open
9:30 am – 10:00 am Break with Exhibitors
10:00 am – 12:00 pm Educational Session - 2 CEUs

"Surveying Business Communications"
Presented by Joe Paiva, PhD, PS, PE

This course focuses mostly on letters and other communications that surveyors regularly must write to clients and other stakeholders connected to a surveying job. The discussion will include rationale for why well-written letters must be in the surveyor’s library of tools, and when other forms such as email are OK for these communications. There will also be a discussion on use of phone, texting and other social media. Some templates for these types of communications will be included.
11:00 am – 3:00 pm TSPSA Annual Business Meeting/Luncheon - Reach for the Stars/Make a Wish on a Starfish: Attendees will make memories with friends while creating Lighted Glass Art and unique Wine Bottle Art. This fun and interesting event will give attendees an opportunity to express themselves as they learn a new way to turn trash into treasures. Easy hands on fun making a piece of art that you will cherish for a lifetime. Lunch, Elections and the Installation of Officers will also be included in this memorable day. Door prizes will also be given away during this event.
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch with Exhibitors
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm Educational Session - 2 CEUs

"Pathway to 2022: The Ongoing Modernization of the
U.S. National Reference System"

Presented by Daniel Prouty, PhD

In 2022, the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) will be replacing the US horizontal and vertical datum’s (NAD 83 and NAVD 88). We will discuss what activities are being undertaken to ensure a smooth transition. In addition, NGS is currently in the process of producing an improved national hybrid-geoid model in 2018 to replace GEOID12B. This hybrid-geoid with be the last replacement geoid until the new pure gravitational geoid will be implemented in 2022. New Tools are being developed for Coordinate conversions and vertical transformation between datum’s.
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm Educational Session - 2 CEUs

"The Natural Hierarchy of Surveying"
Presented by Frank Willis, PLS, PE

The natural hierarchy of boundary calls is clearly one of the most logical and important concepts in boundary surveying. However, in certain instances the hierarchy may be misinterpreted, or the calls and monuments may be given the incorrect weight. The interpretations of the hierarchy by various experts can vary as a result of experience or bias. The natural hierarchy is frequently violated or challenged in boundary litigation, where some experts make serious mistakes and others do not hesitate to confuse or violate the hierarchy. Some of the concepts are controversial and should stimulate class discussion.
1:30 pm – 5:45 pm Educational Session (continued from morning session)

"Mock Trial: Harper v. Sunshower Resort"
Presented by Gary Kent, PS
1:30 pm – 5:45 pm Educational Session - 4 CEUs

"Error Analysis & Least-Squares"
Presented by Jan Van Sickle, PhD

All measurements include error, they must, therefore, be adjusted. This is true no matter how they were gathered. To perform those adjustments properly the adjuster needs an understanding of the basic definitions of statistical observations, how they are derived from a population of observations, sampling, least squares and perhaps most importantly the interpretation of the results.
3:30 pm – 3:45 pm Break
3:45 pm – 5:45 pm Educational Session - 2 CEUs (includes 2 hrs Ethics)

"Mr. Ethics"
Presented by Frank Willis, PLS, PE

Mr. Ethics is designed to be a seminar that qualifies for continuing education requirements for ethics training credits. Ethical and unethical activities extend well beyond simple written ethics rules. Money and ego have a substantial impact upon ethics. Often violators are in a state of denial. Some ethics rules are created by a hidden intent to be unethical. Sometimes ethical professionals commit serious ethical violations that are not intended or recognized until it is too late. The seminar will also include ethics issues associated with being an expert witness. The topics were derived from Frank Willis’ forty years of practice, and they range from campaign contributions to professional bias that is virtually impossible to avoid. The seminar is intended to be fast moving, possibly provocative, and should stimulate discussion.
3:45 pm – 5:45 pm
Educational Session - 2 CEUs (includes 2 hrs Rules)

"Moderated Discussion on the Proposed Revisions to the Manual of Practice"
Presented by Doug Turner, RPLS

A panel discussion of the TSPS Standards Committee to explain the objectives and desired outcome to the Manual of Practice proposed revisions and to obtain constructive feedback and recommendations from TSPS members.
5:45 pm Convention Adjourns

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