Episode 2

During my first adventure out of the office and into the field, I spent the day working alongside Cody Meyer at a housing development in Dundas, Minnesota—which if you haven’t laughed through that post yet, I highly recommend reading the entertaining account of my ‘orientation’ day as a land surveyor.

In the first story, I (literally) dove headfirst into the duties of a land surveyor. While traversing the jobsite with Cody, I began to realize just how engaging his job was. It was much more technical than I had imagined but carried an atmosphere far different than being at a desk. Safe to say, I was eager to learn more. For my next adventure, I got a hands-on lesson on the importance of communication and relationships to ensure the project is done right.

I had the opportunity to work alongside ISG Land Survey Specialist Mac Guhlke, at Siesta Hills, an 85-acre retirement community located in Mankato, Minnesota. Our job was to place markings down for wastewater runoff, which entailed placing over 200 hubs across the development. Thankfully, I had plenty of practice hammering from my experience the day before.

With a hammer in hand, Mac and I began working on placing the markers in their correct locations. While this newly learned skill proved to be valuable, we were soon approached by the contractor who addressed a few concerns about accuracy and placement with Mac. After a few conversations addressing this inquiry we revisited our old sets to ensure accuracy, which greatly put the contractor at ease.

In this instance, I was amazed by Mac’s knowledge of his work, his professionalism, and communication skills. He explained that communication in this role was key, as he was a representative of ISG’s timeliness and responsiveness as a surveyor and took great pride in his work. We continued to work closely with the contractor for the remainder of the day, ensuring that all concerns were met with as much information and guidance as possible.

Nearing the end of the day, the site’s additional contractor approached us again with a need to install 50 more hubs for future condos which included footing locations for deck and porch areas. Keeping client satisfaction in mind, along with resilience and efficiency, Mac and I wrapped up this request quickly. As we were packing up to head home for the day, a farmer came over from his field to chat. He and Mac shared old stories about their time and experiences in construction and drainage in the area, which was a refreshing transition from a hard day’s work. Watching the two connect over shared experiences gave me another new perspective on land surveying.

The main lesson I took from this experience is the professionalism ISG land surveyors must have in their role, not only in the office, but in the field. It isn’t all knowledge of GNSS software and skill with a hammer, but much of it is interpersonal communication and remaining cordial in almost any setting. Along with the need for soft skills, I learned the importance of accuracy, flexibility, self-motivation, and teamwork. That being said, working out on the jobsite is quite a bit of fun, especially with the other surveyors I had the pleasure of shadowing. Stay tuned to hear more about my adventures in our final episode!

Meet Craig Kneeland