Basin Electric surveyor’s award lives on after tragic accident

Gary Bean Plaque

A memorial plaque for Gary Bean is located on the second floor of Basin Electric Headquarters.

Many land surveyors remember Gary Bean as a man with a dream.

Before he died after a tragic motorcycle accident in 2003, Bean shared with his fellow Basin Electric colleagues the idea to create a financial aid-based award for surveying students.

In February 2015, that dream became a reality. The Gary Bean Memorial Award, worth $1,000, was given to Colin Marum, who is studying land surveying and civil engineering at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, ND.

After joining the cooperative in 1977, Bean surveyed mainly in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming. He later entered the North Dakota Society of Professional Land Surveyors (NDSPLS), serving as president from 1995-1996.

Basin Electric Senior Land Surveyor Matt Weeks is also a former NDSPLS president, as well as current chairman of the Education Assistance Program Committee, which carried out the first award in Bean’s name. Weeks was glad to see a noble vision become a reality.

“As a Basin Electric employee, it’s kind of cool somebody who was here before me had the forethought to help today’s generation of land surveying students,” Weeks says.

Weeks says land surveying is a great field of study to consider because of the large amount of jobs available. Plus, there’s great camaraderie to be found.

“If you ask me, we need more students going into the surveying profession,” Weeks says. “Like Gary, we’ll do anything we can to help those students.”

Weeks presented the award during the NDSPLS annual convention in early February.


  1. Grace Baker says:

    Awesome story.

  2. Timothy Frost says:

    Gary was a great man, di many Surveying jobs with Gary and spent time out riding horseback with him also. Glad to see his legacy continue!

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