Fall Conference 2017

September 21 & 22, 2017
Stoweflake Resort & Conference Center
Stowe, Vermont

10 Professional Development Hours (valid in Vermont & New York)

Fill Your Exhibitor Passport and Win!

You'll have three opportunities to visit exhibitors during the conference and fill in your Exhibitor Passport. If you visit them all, you'll be entered into a drawing for prizes including an Amazon Fire Tablet, a Vermont gift basket, and a $50 Visa gift card.

Conference Agenda

Thursday, September 21

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Registration & Pacing Competition Open / Lunch on your own

1:00-5:00 p.m.
Seminar: Finding Case Law for Surveyors (4 PDH)
with Jay Doody, PS & PE, BSCE, MSEnv.Eng

5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Reception in Exhibit Hall, Fill in Your Exhibitor Passport

6:00 p.m.

Friday, September 22

7:00 - 8:00 a.m.
Registration Open / Continental Breakfast in Exhibit Hall
Visit Exhibitors with Exhibitor Passport

8:00 a.m.  - 12:00 p.m.
Seminar: The Role of the Land Surveyor: Adverse Possession and Acquiescence (4 PDH)
with Stephan Nix, Attorney at Law and Licensed Surveyor

10:00 - 10:30 p.m.
Morning break / Visit Exhibitors with Exhibitor Passport

12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Lunch / Pacing Competition Ends / VSLS Business Meeting

1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Seminar: Historical Ecology of Early Vermont Surveys (2 PDH)
with Charlie Cogbill, Forest Ecologist

3:30 p.m.
Final Announcements / Winner of Pacing Competition
Drawing for Exhibitor Passport prizes

Registration Fees

*$50 late fee after Sept. 1st

Full Conference
Includes all meals and seminars on Thursday and Friday.

Member in good standing (VSLS or kindred association)


Life member

Non-member technical staff attending with member

Three attendees from same firm (one must be member)

Thursday Only
Includes seminar and Exhibitors Reception on Thursday. Dinner not included.

Member in good standing (VSLS or kindred association)


Life member

Non-member technical staff attending with member

*Group rate only available for full conference

Friday Only
Includes all meals and seminars on Friday.

Member in good standing (VSLS or kindred association)


Life member

Non-member technical staff attending with member

*Group rate only available for full conference

Become an Exhibitor

Please join our conference exhibit hall. This year we'll offer an Exhibitor Passport for attendees. Those who visit every exhibit will be entered to win a number of prizes!

Hotel Accommodations

The Stoweflake is offering a discounted overnight rate of $159 plus tax. To reserve your room, call 802-253-2232 and mention VSLS.

There are many other hotels nearby offering a range of overnight rates. Reserve now!

Our Seminars
Finding Case Law for Land Surveyors

Land surveyors must know the law. Vermont boundary law is rooted almost entirely in state statutes and regulations, and state case law. The purpose of this seminar is to learn how to find and evaluate online legal resources at our disposal and learn more about how to prioritize and weigh the results of our boundary law research. Some important legal principles of Vermont boundary law and their origins will be presented, including evidence, adverse possession and the rules of construction. We will also remind ourselves that knowing the law cannot be equated with practicing law.

The Role of the Land Surveyor: Adverse Possession and Acquiescence

Stephan Nix will discuss the land surveyor’s role and responsibilities in adverse possession and acquiescence cases. The discussion will compare and contrast the elements of adverse possession, acquiescence and other equitable claims to real property such as estoppel and laches. The discussion will also address the surveyor’s role in applying the doctrine of “practical location.” Practical location refers to the long held rule in boundary law that monuments in the field control over the mathematically calculated metes and bounds described in deeds and on plans. Common misapplication of the rule leads to the “pin cushion corner” and unnecessary litigation. Chief Justice Thomas M. Cooley’s “The Judicial Functions of Surveyors” will be reviewed as background for this discussion.

The Historical Ecology of Early Vermont Surveys

Historical ecologist Charlie Cogbill will discuss the witness tree research he has conducted over the past three decades. Participants will learn how historical surveys can be used to determine the composition and structure of forests before Europeans arrived.  In addition this baseline is key to gauging subsequent changes in species and the forest structure over time. The presentation will discuss surveying methods, lotting maps and compare them with today’s forests, providing vital insights into the current forests and informing the work of land surveyors today.

Our Presenters
John J. Doody, PS & PE, BSCE, MSEnv.Eng

Jay Doody is retired from the Connecticut Department of Transportation after 35 years. He has taught various surveying-related subjects in the Civil Engineering program at Central Connecticut State University for over 25 years. He is presently teaching “Boundary Law” and “Introduction to GPS and GIS Mapping.” He has presented professional development seminars on a variety of topics over the years, including tidal surveying, GPS post processing, title searching, professional development, ethics for engineers and surveyors, legal research and Connecticut surveying history.

Mr. Doody is a CALS, NYSAPLS and VSLS member working on the professional development and scholarship committees. He was awarded the CALS Surveyor of the Year in 1999 and 2001, and the CALS Distinguished Surveyor in 2013. He is the secretary of the Geomatics Society of New England (GSNE) and a fellow in the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS). On December 31, 2014, John became the first recipient of the Charter Oak State College Certificate in Land Surveying. In 2015 John was the recipient of the NSPS Earl J. Fennell award for outstanding contributions to education in surveying and mapping.

Stephan T. Nix, Attorney at Law, Licensed Land Surveyor

Attorney Nix practices in Gilford, New Hampshire, concentrating in real estate and boundary law.  Mr. Nix received his B.S. degree, cum laude, from the University of New Hampshire and received his J.D. from Franklin Pierce Law Center (UNH School of Law). He has been a licensed land surveyor for over thirty years in New Hampshire and Maine and a practicing attorney in New Hampshire for twenty years.   Prior to attending law school, Attorney Nix was a partner in a civil engineering firm in central New Hampshire as chief surveyor and project manager. His work included residential and commercial subdivision and site plan design and permitting, ALTA/ACSM land title surveys, preparation of condominium plans, environmental permitting, and expert witness.

He has lectured for the New Hampshire Municipal Law Lecture Series, the New Hampshire Land Surveyors Association, the New Hampshire Bar Association and other professional groups. He was an adjunct professor at the University of New Hampshire Thompson School of Applied Sciences teaching the legal aspects of land development and land surveying. He is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association (Member, Real Property and Probate Section), the New Hampshire Land Surveyors Association and National Society of Professional Land Surveyors. Attorney Nix also sits on the Gilford Land Conservation Task Force, the Gilford ZBA and is a Gunstock Recreation Area Commissioner.

Attorney Nix’s practice is focused on boundary law, complex title issues, real property and planning litigation, real estate transactions, land use and development, conservation easements, access, rights, littoral rights, condominium law and other real property matters. Attorney Nix’s background as a licensed land surveyor provides a unique multi-profession perspective in his legal practice.