Confederation College Survey Course

One of the most efficient ways of completing field work is by having a cohesive, well-trained team working together in the field. This team consists of a Crew Leader (also called Party Chief or Crew Chief) and a Survey Assistant. The Crew Leader typically has a few years of experience under their belt and may or may not have post-secondary education in the Geomatics field. The Survey Assistant is typically either a summer student from a post-secondary program or a new employee looking to enter into the survey industry. The latter will normally require extensive on-the-job training for safety certifications, everyday work practices, and common survey procedures. 
 
As part of ongoing and potential work in the Northwest region of Ontario, a partnership between six First Nations, called Supercom Industries LP (“Supercom”) has been formed. The First Nations involved are Fort William First Nation, Red Rock Indian Band, Pays Plat First Nation, Biigtigong Nishnaabed, Pic Mobert First Nation, and Michipicoten First Nation. Supercom executes all project related economic and employment opportunities for the First Nations. As part of this initiative, Supercom has developed multiple training programs through  Con-federation College in Thunder Bay, Ontario. One of these
programs is an 8 week “Survey Assistant” course. Within the 8 week program, the 
Learning to set up the total station and turning angles.
first 2 weeks consists of safety related training, while the last 6 weeks consist of surveying topics. Valard Geomatics Ltd. was contracted by Con-federation College to complete the 6 weeks of course prep-aration and presentation.

The course is currently un-derway with 12 students from all six First Nations. The pro-gram started on May 23rd running Monday – Friday all day, with the final written exam being administered on July 4th.
 
The topics for this course include:
 
1. Introduction to the Surveying Profession
2. Distances and Units of Mea-surement
3. Angles and Directions
4. Differential Leveling
5. Trigonometry
6. Coordinate Geometry 
7. Traversing 
8. Trigonometric Leveling
9. Areas and Curves
10. Accuracy and Precision
11. Map Projections
12. GPS
13. Topographic Surveying
14. Construction Surveying, and 
15. Land Surveying
 
The students will be exposed to a number of different types of survey equipment; Leica spirit levels, Sokkia SET530 total stations, compasses, Trimble S6 robotic total stations, and Trimble R10 GNSS receivers. The wide variety of equipment coupled with 1-2 field labs per week, and a basic under-standing of survey com-putations and terminology will prepare the students for many different types of field work upon completion. 
 
The final course evaluation will consist of a field test and a written final exam. The field test will examine the student’s capability of setting up the 
Students Setting up the total stations for one the their field labs.
Taking a measurement.
various types of equipment, reading a level rod, and turning angles on a total station. The written exam will test the student’s knowledge of basic survey computations, termin-ology used in the industry and best practices for field work. 
 
This unique opportunity to showcase our in-house know-ledgebase in an educational setting has been a rewarding experience. The promising students have broadened their understanding of the Geo-matics Industry and shown interests to furthering their careers in Land Surveying in Ontario. 

Our program leader, Tracey Peet, took initiative in inspiring and teaching these students. She took extra measures for tutoring and additional time for instrumentation and practical help. Valard Geomatics Ltd. wishes luck to the students on their upcoming exams and future endeavors!

About the Author: Tracey Peet, E.I.T, B.C.L.S.
Tracey is a Project Manager at Valard Geomatics Ltd. She led the development of the course material and taught the Survey Assistant course herself. She manages projects across Canada mainly in British Columbia as a BC land surveyor.