Basin Electric celebrated surveyors during National Surveyors Week


Basin Electric employees participated in an event to show the community importance of the work and role of surveyors and their contributions. (From left): Robert Kohler, land surveyor; Matt Weeks, surveying supervisor; and Alan Dale, survey technician III.

Last week we celebrated our surveyors at Basin Electric as part of National Surveyors Week.

From calculating heights, depths, property lines, and other characteristics of terrain, to defining access areas to build transmission lines, our surveyors are an instrumental part in our mission to provide safe, reliable, and affordable power to our member co-ops.

Basin Electric employs three individuals in the surveying profession. They are among more than 45,000 professional surveyors in the United States, according to the National Society of Professional Surveyors.

Robert Kohler, Basin Electric land surveyor, says whether we realize it or not, the work of surveyors impacts our everyday lives. “Surveying is everywhere you look, from the neighborhood where you live, to the roads that you drive on,” Kohler says. “It’s important to recognize the profession to not only understand what surveyors do, but how important surveying is for things people may take for granted every day.”

The North Dakota Society of Professional Land Surveyors along with the North Dakota State Board of Registration for Professional Engineer and Professional Land Surveyors kicked off National Surveyors Week with an event at Bismarck’s Kirkwood Mall on March 17. The various booths at the event allowed passersbys to look back at the historic contributions of surveying and look ahead to the exciting new technologies.

“It was great to talk with the kids and parents about the many different facets of surveying,” Kohler says.  “There is a strong need for a younger generation of surveying professionals.  It is important to give the public a glimpse into the day-to-day tasks to hopefully generate interest in the younger generation.”

Matt Weeks

Matt Weeks shows a family the diorama table. It is a representation of how section lines continue into, and through, towns.

Matt Weeks’, Basin Electric surveying supervisor, career in surveying began more than 35 years ago. “It started as just a summer job that I liked because I got to work outdoors. Then I found I enjoyed finding original survey marks that were over 100 years old. After my years of surveying, I still get excited when I find an original survey monument that was set 150 years ago,” Weeks says. “It’s important to convince kids that it is a worthwhile occupation to go into.”


Alan Dale demonstrates the 3D sandbox. It digitally maps and contours any surface created in the sand and assigns different colors to different elevation. Digital water can be created and  flow to the lowest elevations.

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