Things you may not know!
The new member packets that are distributed to new NSPS when their dues are sent to NSPS by their respective state surveying societies contain a lot of valuable information. Included among the contents is information about the NSPS Insurance Program which provides discounted rates on a variety of coverage types.
In order to assist members in better understanding the options in the program, NSPS Executive Curt Sumner will be running a series of shows on the NSPS Radio Hour with Lisa Isom, President of Assurance Risk Managers, the exclusive agency for the NSPS insurance program. After the initial introductory show, each show will focus on one of the variety of coverage options.
Be sure to listen to this series which will run monthly.
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Did you know that many companies participating in the CST Program
pay or reimburse the exam costs when you pass?
Surveyors traverse Capitol Hill on NSPS lobby day
NSPS members from 19 states ventured to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on November 21 to visit their Congressmen and Senators during the society’s Lobby Day. Scores of representatives were contacted on Davis-Bacon; the “Map It Once” bill; the need for locating pipelines, railroads and underground infrastructure; and concerns that privacy legislation will result in unintended limits on surveying and mapping. A wrap-up meeting of the NSPS delegation featured remarks by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, who has lead the investigation into the Labor Department’s new policy classifying survey technicians as “laborers and mechanics” subject to the controversial Davis-Bacon Act. Walberg thanked NSPS for its efforts and called the Labor Department’s actions an “affront” to the profession, and a costly burden, particularly on small business surveying firms.
Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) chats with NSPS members before delivering remarks during Lobby Day. Pictured L-R are Bob Akins (OH), Tony Gregory (IN), Wade Bennett (OK), Becky Roland (CO), David Doyle (AAGS), Rep. Walberg and Jan Fokens (MI).
A NSPS delegation met with the staff of Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) in the U.S. Capitol. Pictured L-R are NSPS Lobbyist John Byrd, Katherine Haley, Labor Policy Advisor to Speaker Boehner, Bob Akins , NSPS Governor /OH, NSPS Executive Director Curt Sumner, and NSPS Government Affairs Consultant John Palatiello.
NSPS invited to testify before Congress on geospatial coordination, federal land inventory
NSPS Executive Director Curt Sumner, LS, has been invited to testify before a Congressional subcommittee on December 5 on legislation affecting federal geospatial coordination and a parcel-based inventory of land owned by the federal government. The views of the surveying community have been requested on H.R. 1604, the Map It Once, Use It Many Times Act, introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO), and H.R. 916, the Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform (FLAIR) Act, introduced by Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI). The hearing before the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will be on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 9:30AM EST in the 1324 hearing room of the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
What's new in NSPS government affairs?
NSPS government affairs consultants, John M. Palatiello & Associates, Inc., have prepared a comprehensive semi-annual report on issues affecting the surveying and mapping profession. To learn the latest on issues and NSPS activities, see the report on the NSPS website.
Russian GLONASS stations in U.S. draw objections
A proposal by the Russian space agency bid to locate GLONASS ground stations in the United States has drawn a backlash among U.S. defense and intelligence agencies and some in Congress, prompting several proposed legislative bans or limitations on any foreign satellite navigation facilities on American soil. Proponents of the ban say the GLONASS ground stations could be used for spying and to improve the accuracy of Russian missiles. The State Department supports the proposal.
Congress to revisit FEMA flood insurance program
The number and costs of claims for storm after storm have exhausted the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) resources, and recent storms like Hurricane Sandy have drained the program of cash. As a result, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act in 2012 to increase the accuracy of flood risk assessment and the mapping of hurricane and coastal storm areas. The new law sought to strengthen the future financial stability of the NFIP and ensure that future claimants receive full compensation in a timely manner. However, despite Congress’s bipartisan effort, nonpartisan observers such as the Government Accountability Office have concluded that FEMA is unable to implement these reforms. In fact, FEMA’s actions over the past year have caused unforeseen harmful consequences, and many homeowners are seeing their flood insurance premiums increase as much as 1,000 percent. A bipartisan group of 141 lawmakers have introduced the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, H.R. 3370. The bill addresses the recent flood insurance premium increases by requiring FEMA to roll back rates to where they were prior to the most recent increase. In addition, the bill will delay certain pieces of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act until FEMA completes the mandatory affordability study, proposes solutions, and gives Congress adequate time to review their findings. It would also give FEMA more time to complete the study, reimburse qualifying homeowners for successful map appeals, give communities fair credit for locally-funded flood protection systems, and create an ombudsman within FEMA to answer policyholder questions. On Tuesday, November 19, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on “Implementation of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Act of 2012: Protecting Taxpayers and Homeowners”.
What are your thoughts on the FEMA program? What reforms do surveyors recommend? How can the program better serve homeowners and taxpayers? Submit your ideas, comments and recommendations to NSPS.
Senate panel endorses higher resolution remote sensing imaging
The Senate Intelligence Committee approved legislation recommending that U.S. commercial remote sensing firms be permitted to launch satellites with sensors providing higher-resolution imagery.
US homeland security not ready for GPS outages, GAO says
Jamming and disruptions to the nation’s positioning, navigation and timing satellites could make U.S. homeland security vulnerable, a November 6 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report said. GPS “has become an invisible utility that users do not realize underpins their applications, leaving sectors potentially vulnerable to GPS disruptions,” according to the report.
Applications are Being Accepted for 2014 FIG Foundation Young Surveyors
The clock is ticking ... only 1 week until the 1 December deadline to apply for one of the FIG Foundation Young Surveyor Fellowships to attend and participate in the 2014 FIG Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – June 16-21, 2014.
For application form, Click Here. A total of 8 fellowships will be awarded: one each to 6 regions (Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania and South America). An additional two fellowships will be awarded to young surveyors in developing countries. If you are a young surveyor 35 years old or younger you should apply!
Complete details are available on the FIG Foundation webpage: www.fig.net/figfoundation.
NSPS Radio Hour — Dec. 2, 11 a.m. EDT
Lisa Isom, President of Assurance Risk Managers, will provide an overview of the NSPS Insurance Program in this first of a series of shows about the program. Subsequent shows will focus of specific types of coverage, including a show on implications of the Affordable Care Act. Join host Curt Sumner and Lisa at 11 AM Eastern at www.americaswebradio.com for the kick off show.
If you are unable to listen to the show when it is being broadcasted, listen to the archive of the show at http://www.radiosandysprings.com/showpages/ACSM.php. Archives for each show are typically available for listening within a few days after the show airs.
During the show, listen for the "key question" and be the first to email the correct answer to firstname.lastname@example.org to win a $50 gift certificate from our sponsor, Parker Davis Quik Stakes. No purchase is required to receive the gift certificate. Winners limited to once every three months.
NSPS Apparel through Lands End
Click here to order directly from the NSPS Lands End eStore.
NSPS website links to job opportunities.
Employers interested in posting job opportunities on the NSPS website should contact John D. Hohol at email@example.com.
Arizona Professional Land Surveyors Association Annual Conference
April 10-12, 2014 - Tucson Marriott University Park
Florida Surveying and Mapping Society
Massachusetts Association of Land Surveyors and Civil Engineers
New York State Association of Professional Land Surveyors
Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors
Registration is now open for the 2014 PSLS Surveyors' Conference!
Please join PSLS in Hershey January 12-15 at the 2014 Surveyors’ Conference - our biggest event of the year!
Texas Society of Professional Surveyors - TSPS Symposium, February 21-22, 2014 in Lubbock, TX at the Overton Hotel
Virginia Association of Surveyors - VAS 66th Annual Convention, Wyndham Va. Crossings Hotel, Glen Allen (Richmond), VA - January 23-25, 2014. For More Information, Contact: Judy Hite.
GPS III prototype proves compatibility with existing constellation
The Lockheed Martin prototype of the next-generation GPS satellite, the GPS III, has proven that it is backwardly compatible with the existing GPS satellite constellation in orbit. During tests that concluded on Oct. 17, Lockheed Martin's GPS III testbed successfully communicated via cross-links to Air Force simulators of the current GPS constellation in orbit. The current GPS constellation includes GPS IIR, GPS IIR-M, and GPS IIF satellites.
Geospatial data project lets anyone put almost anything on a map
Sensors & Systems
A powerful Web-based system enabling people worldwide to better predict such things as damaging floods and potential effects of climate change is the goal of a $4.5 million, four-year project begun by Purdue University researchers. The project, funded by the National Science Foundation, will add geospatial data hosting, processing and sharing capabilities to Purdue's HUBzero, a platform for building feature-rich websites enabling research and education.
Skybox Imaging launches SkySat-1
After much anticipation, Skybox Imaging of Mountain View, Calif., launched the company's first satellite into orbit. The success of this launch on a Russian Dnepr vehicle led NSG Analysts to improve Skybox's ranking from No. 12 to No. 7 on the NSG 100 index. With SkySat-1 achieving correct orbit, SKYB returned to the top 10 privately held companies on NSG's core index.