Why GHH? Ask Surveyor Calvin Weingart…

Meet Surveyor Calvin Weingart, P.L.S.

A Q & A with a 25 year veteran surveyor, Calvin finds passion and inspiration in his work and brings that to GHH’s clients on every project. 

How long have you worked at GHH?
I have worked here since June 15, 1998, so a little over 25 years.

What do you do and why do you do it?
I am a Professional Licensed Land Surveyor.  I do it because it is a good mix of outdoor physical activity and indoor intellectual activity.   I’ve been the Survey Manager at Godfrey Hoffman Hodge since 2015. I enjoy every aspect of the position from initial client contact to mission planning and execution to training and mentoring of survey technicians.

Why should someone seeking a survey contact GHH over your competitors?
I manage each job as I would want it managed if I was the client: consistent communication, performance to utmost ability, professionalism, patience. My goal is to minimize the chance the client will ask for an update.

What does a typical day look like for you?
I get in the office a little before 8 most days and review the plan of the day for our department.  I start mission briefs promptly at 8:00 and get the crew(s) ready to head out to the field.  If I am part of the field crew I gather files, gear and people and try to be out by 8:20 or so.  Between travel time and company hours there is only about 5 hours of onsite time so every minute counts in the morning.

If I am working in the office, I get the crew(s) launched out the door and start working on whatever task I have for myself that day.  This can range from survey computations, autocad drafting, land records research and quality review of completed surveys.  I have a dual mission in the form of staff and client support, so I am often switching from one function to another.

By about 2:30 or so I start thinking about the next day’s tasking to try and stay ahead of everyone so there is minimal down time and maximum efficiency.  By 3:30 the crew is usually back in, if they aren’t in already. They download the day’s data files and process all the info.  We attend to a few administrative chores such as time keeping and we wrap up at 4:30 with, hopefully, the next day planned out and all gear and files set to go.

What has changed during your career?
Technological advances in data collection, the availability of very accurate open-source data and municipal GIS.  All for the better or worse depending on your point of view.

What hasn’t changed?
The need for a professional surveyor’s expertise to verify measurements, the need to apply the rules of evidence and interpret boundary law and chopping line through dense brush on very hot days.

What’s the most interesting property you ever surveyed?
I  can’t name the exact property but I did get a chance to work in a very interesting location in the very heart of New Haven . Lets just say that we worked in spaces where some globally powerful people once socially  gathered in private.

What’s the hardest property you ever surveyed?
That is a subjective question! Some small parcels are very challenging with respect to forming a boundary opinion so the hard part is intellectual. On the other hand, some large parcels are physically demanding, such the 100 plus acres we surveyed in North Stonington.  I had two back to back days of walking 8 plus miles during one phase of the job. And there was the job this summer where we located and identified 612 trees.

What keeps you going back?
My job checks all the boxes for me: Physical work, intellectual work, technical expertise, mission planning, leadership, doing something that is a little offbeat that most people know a little about but not too much.  And finally, I am truly fortunate that I found a career in which you can start at the very bottom and work your way up to professional licensing through (I know this sounds quaint) hard work and dedication.

GHH Supports Future Surveyors

Lyman Hall Launches Survey Module

GHH is pleased to play our part in this new and exciting program…

In September 2022, Lyman Hall High School in Wallingford launched a surveying module in the Agriculture Science Department. The objective of the one semester course is to provide exposure to the career field and basic skill training. Students who take the course are immersed in basic surveying, mapping concepts and introduced to the standards of work and expectations for the surveying profession.

Throughout the course students gain skills in operating tools for land measurement, reading and making maps, operating unmanned aerial systems (drones), to collect remote sensing data, researching land records, and manipulating data in software such as AutoCAD, Access, Pix4D, and Carlson Photo Capture.  Assignments are associated with real world scenarios. To support the technical side, a wide range of surveying equipment and software was procured through two separate Perkins Career and Technical Education Grants. Students will have opportunities to get hands-on instruction and experience with set up and operation of total stations, data collectors, prism poles, tripods, GPS rovers, RTK and non-RTK UAVs.

Curriculum development was supported by The Institute Of Real World Education and Curriculum Advancement (IRWECA) at Southern Connecticut State University.  The objective of IRECA is for the interdisciplinary educator teams to be able to “develop and implement interdisciplinary curriculum modules aligned with industry needs and best practices in education.” (https://biopath.southernct.edu/irweca)  The team for Lyman Hall consists of Emily Picard,  Wildlife Biology teacher from the Agriculture Science Department,  Ryan Sheehan, Engineering STEM teacher  from the Science and Technology Department, Marjorie Drucker, curriculum facilitator from Drucker Educational Consulting LLC and Calvin Weingart, a licensed surveyor with Godfrey Hoffman Hodge LLC filling the role of industry consultant.

The team has met monthly since January 2022 to share ideas and goals, learn about the surveying profession and ultimately support the development of the curriculum now underway. We are confident that these high school students will come away from the course with the knowledge that the surveying career field is relevant, accessible and intriguing.  Ultimately, the hope is that the students will bring their youthful enthusiasm and passion for learning to the surveying profession.

We are glad to be a part of this exciting program – it’s always a thrill to share our knowledge and help push the profession forward!

What is the Purpose of Preliminary Site Assessments?

site-assessmentPreliminary site assessments are undertaken to determine the most suitable land-use in terms of development and planning, or for construction purposes. This exercise is not only suited for large corporate projects, but also beneficial for individuals, especially those engaged in construction projects in urban areas where pressures on land are great. Furthermore, its best practice to include a section of environmental impact assessment of the proposed project when carrying out this exercise.

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What are Feasibility Studies

Introduction

feasibility-studiesWhen a project is proposed, an important first step towards actualizing it is to assess the value, plausibility and potential of the activity. A feasibility study involves an in-depth exploration that looks at every aspect of the project, aiming to generate an objective picture of the costs, benefits and risks before going ahead. Feasibility studies may also be undertaken for ongoing projects or ventures, to determine whether they are still realistic.

TELOS

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