Fall Conference 2019

September 5 & 6, 2019
Hampton Inn by Hilton
Colchester, Vermont
Two Full Days
16 PDH Approved

Early-Bird Registration Fees

*Add a $25 late fee after August 26.

Full ConferenceThursday OnlyFriday Only
Member in good standing of VSLS or kindred society$265.00$185.00$185.00
Life member$198.75$138.75$138.75
Non-member technical staff attending with member$225.25$157.25$157.25
Three or more from same firm (one must be member)$225.25----

*Group discount available for full conference only.

Conference Schedule

7:15 - 8:00 AM
Registration and breakfast
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
History of Geodetic Surveying and Datums of the United States
Presenter: David Doyle, Owner of Base 9 Geodetic Consulting Services 
10:00 - 10:20 AM
Mid-morning Break / Exhibit Hall Opens
12:00 - 1:00 PM
Buffet lunch
1:00 - 2:00 PM
Tech Time - Demos with Exhibitors
2:00 - 3:30 PM
Surveying Methods of the Adirondack Survey and NYS Land Survey 1872-1900 - Presenter: Jim Schaller and Jim Vianna, PLS, Colvin Crew
3:30 - 5:00 PM
Creation and Expansion of Vermont's Geodetic Network — Its Current Uses and Success - Presenter: Dan Martin, Northeast Regional Geodetic Advisor
5:00 - 6:30 PM
Exhibitors Reception
Dinner on your own
Bonfire hosted by Gayle Burchard, Vermont NSPS Director
675 Holy Cross Rd., Colchester (BYOB)
7:15 - 8:00 AM
Registration and breakfast
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Stone Walls in Land Surveying, Part 1 - Presenter: Robert Thorson, Professor of Geology, University of Connecticut
12:00 - 1:00 PM
Lunch and Business Meeting
1:00 - 4:00 PM
Stone Walls in Land Surveying, Part 2
4:00 - 5:00 PM
Stone Wall Mapping Project in Vermont - Presenter: Brendan Gauthier, Senior Archaeologist, VTrans | Jess Robinson, PhD, Vermont State Archaeologist
5:00 PM
Final Announcements

Online Registration is Now Closed.

Hotel Information

Hampton Inn by Hilton
42 Lower Mountain View Dr
Colchester, Vermont
Special rate: $139/night
Reservations: 802-655-6177
*Mention the VSLS Conference for the special rate!

Attention Vendors

Would you like to host an exhibit at the Fall Conference?

Conference Presentations

History of Geodetic Surveying and Datums of the United States (4 PDH)

This presentation details the historical and contemporary developments of the horizontal and vertical geodetic datums of the United States including: the Bessel reference system, U.S. Standard Datum, North American Datum, North American Datum of 1927, North American Datum of 1983, First, Second, Third and Fourth General Vertical Adjustments, the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 and the North American Vertical Datum of 1988.  The program highlights changes in measurement and positioning technologies and their impact on the development of reference ellipsoids, geoid models and contemporary high accuracy reference frame enhancements.  This session is designed to provide a foundation for other seminars that will focus on details, plans and programs of the 2022 reference system changes by the National Geodetic Survey. — Presenter: Dave Doyle

Surveying Methods of the Adirondack Survey and NYS Land Survey 1872-1900 (1.5 PDH)

This seminar will cover the surveying concepts, principles and techniques adapted by V. Colvin to survey the Adirondack Wilderness. We will also discuss the geodetic origin for the Adirondack Survey (USCS), and learn how Verplanck Colvin spread his triangulation network throughout the Adirondacks, its expected accuracy and relevance to today’s time period. By the end of the seminar, participants will have a working knowledge of and the ability to distinguish between monuments of the Adirondack Survey, USCS and USGS.— Presenter: James Vianna, L.S.

Creation and Expansion of Vermont's Geodetic Network: Its Current Uses and Success (1.5 PDH)

The geodetic network in Vermont has a long, and interesting history. From early surveys designed to facilitate safe navigation and commerce to today’s real-time GNSS network.  In this presentation, we will trace the development Vermont’s geodetic network and highlight the underlying activities that promoted its expansion. — Presenter: Dan Martin

Stone Walls in Land Surveying (7 PDH)

In our work we often run into fieldstone walls in the woods — walls that could be anywhere in New England. Surveyors understand such walls, love such walls. Why? Yes, there’s order, control, lines on a map. But there’s also a hidden history with clues. By learning to see the details of such walls, a surveyor can understand the property more deeply, enhancing the work effort. Additionally, there’s forensic information, which stands up in a court of law over boundary disputes.

This day-long workshop will begin with a general history of stone walls and their links to land boundaries. We'll cover geography at a regional to ultra-local scale, and discuss the recognition and classification of walls and related features and what they mean. We'll also cover the forensics of stone walls, including age sequencing and function interpretation. The workshop will be part lecture, part shared experiences, and part hands-on. — Presenter: Robert Thorson

Stone Wall Mapping Project in Vermont (1 PDH)

Ubiquitous to the Vermont landscape, stone walls stand as mute witnesses to over two centuries of Vermont history. Often marking the edges of fields and larger property parcels, these walls serve as tangible evidence of land use patterns that shape the physical landscape that Vermonters see today. By recording and studying these patterns, archaeologists and historians can learn more about the rise and fall of early Vermont settlement patterns and agrarian practices that are now obscured by a heavily forested landscape.  State Archaeologist Jess Robinson and Vtrans Senior Archaeologist Brennan Gauthier -who has already mapped thousands of stone walls in Vermont- will discuss the importance of stone walls to the Vermont archaeological community and showcase a new online mapping tool that allows members of the general public and the surveying community to access and contribute to mapping stone walls across Vermont. — Presenters: Jess Robinson and Brennan Gauthier

Our Speakers

Dave Doyle, NGS Chief Geodetic Surveyor (Retired)
Base 9 Geodetic Consulting Services, Silver Spring, MD

Dave Doyle has been involved in geodetic surveying since 1967. He joined the National Geodetic Survey in 1972 and functioned in numerous positions dealing with national adjustments, datum transformation and outreach to the surveying and geospatial community. He held the position of chief geodetic surveyor for 12 years prior to his retirement in 2013.  He now owns Base 9 Geodetic Services which provides consultation to public and private agencies and companies as well as teaching seminars on the fundamentals of geodesy and the National Spatial Reference System. He is a Past President of the American Association for Geodetic Surveying, and is an active member of the DC, Maryland and Virginia professional surveyors’ associations.    He has published more than 30 technical articles on geodesy and was honored as the recipient of the AAGS 2018 Joseph Dracup Lifetime Achievement award in addition to numerous other service awards from state and national surveying associations.

James Vianna, L.S., Stillwater, NY

Mr. Vianna is a licensed Land Surveyor residing and practicing in Stillwater, N.Y. Jim has been apprenticing in the art and science of Land Surveying for 32 years with the past 18 of those years as owner/operator of a sole proprietorship land surveying firm. For nine years, Jim held the position of Superintendent or Asst. Superintendent of the “Colvin Crew” - leading numerous back country hikes into the Adirondacks to “follow in the footsteps” of noted wilderness surveyor Verplanck Colvin. Jim is an active member of the Eastern New York Society of Land Surveyors as well as a current and past member of their Board of Directors. Mr. Vianna served as Committee Chair for the 2016 Surveyors Historical Rendezvous held in Lake George, N.Y. where the work of Verplanck Colvin was honored by 200+ attendees over a three day period.

Daniel Martin, Northeast Regional Geodetic Advisor

Dan Martin works for the National Geodetic Survey and has been the Northeast Regional Geodetic Advisor since May 2015. As the Regional Advisor, he instructs local surveyors, state and municipal agencies, and the geospatial community at large, on how to use and preserve the National Spatial Reference System, and provides liaison between the National Geodetic Survey and the States of ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI, NY, and NJ, as well as other federal agencies. He worked in the Route Survey and Geodetic Survey sections of the Vermont Agency of Transportation from 1988 through 2003, and held the position of Geodetic Program Supervisor for the Agency from 1999 through 2003. In 2003 Dan began his career with the National Geodetic Survey as the Vermont State Geodetic Advisor.

Dan is a Past President of the American Association for Geodetic Surveying (AAGS), and is a Fellow Member of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping. He is also a member of the Vermont Society of Land Surveyors and the New Hampshire Land Surveyors Association. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Vermont Technical College.

Robert Thorson, Professor of Geology, University of Connecticut

Robert Thorson is a professor of Geology at the University of Connecticut, where he juggles teaching, scholarship, and service. He is the author of seven trade and scholarly books, most recently The Guide to Walden Pond. He is also a journalist andscience writer with 14-years as an Op-Ed columnist for the Hartford Courant. He is coordinator of the Stone Wall Initiative, an online resource about New England's fieldstone walls. He’s also a speaker and field trip leader for a range of topics, notably landscape history, and he consults on diverse projects including geo-forensics, museums, and public education. Away from work, Professor Thorson is a family man, friend, and solitary soul whose principal hobbies are nature, reading, writing, cooking, and NPR. Thankfully, he can walk to work through the woods, above a pond, and over a stream.