PLSO The Oregon Surveyor Nov/Dec 2018

Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon | 11 I t was an absolute scorcher of a day, with anticipated highs exceeding 100 0 F, but the surrounding landscape as we drove along the Big Sheep Creek heading into Imnaha along OR350 was absolutely breathtaking. There’s some- thing magical about driving along the base of steep cliffs shaped by time and water that is refreshing and reenergiz- ing on a mid-August day that started before the sun had risen and which, we were beginning to realize, wouldn’t end until the sun had set. We were on a hunt for our first new benchmark of the day, after having already been on the road for four hours that morning. This benchmark was located on the banks of the Imnaha River, along a road that was more gravel than pavement, and where the water tempted me continuously as we drove from the Imnaha Post Office on our retracement of the description written in 1945. After a twenty-minute (or so) hunt in the location indicated by both scaled coordinates and the description, the benchmark was found with a serendipitous kick of moss fur- ther from the rock face than where we had been looking. A lucky find; one that wouldn’t be repeated for the rest of the day, as our other benchmarks were de- termined to be deep under the waters of Hells Canyon Reservoir, found after a white-knuckled drive along a Forest Service road descending from the ridge overlooking the Snake River to the actual banks of said river. This day was just one day of the twelve weeks I spent working on the National Geodetic Survey’s GPS on Benchmarks project. The agency that hired myself and another intern (both from Oregon Tech) for this project championed the push to observe the prioritized benchmarks se- lected by NGS; by the time the summer was over, we had completed over 150 four-hour static sessions, and searched for all prioritized benchmarks not already submitted, excepting 10 insignificantly remote locations in the south-east cor- ner of Oregon. The goal of NGS’s GPS on Benchmark project was to collect coordinates on benchmarks used in the development of the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88), which had been leveled through, but had only scaled coordinates for position. NGS is using the data gathered to develop GEOID18 and North Ameri- can-Pacific Geopotential Datum of 2022 (NAPGD2022). At the end of theNGS dead- line for data to be included in GEOID18, Oregon had effectively submitted over 90% of the prioritized benchmarks. Our neighboring states did not achieve as much towards this project; Washington and Idaho were both under 20%, where- as California had 63% of their prioritized benchmarks submitted. As survey internships go, I feel like this particular internship was like working only the best parts of a job. We traveled a lot, had easily measurable metrics as to whether we were being productive, saw a lot of great locations in remote Oregon (or at least off the beaten path), and actu- ally accomplished a decent amount by the NGS deadline in September. As this was only my second time working in survey- ing, after an equally memorable summer a few years ago working with the Forest Service as an intern, and my first large- scale project within the industry, it has done quite a bit in terms of solidifying my desire to work in a field where so much simple enjoyment can be had, even if it is a rare opportunity to perform this par- ticular type of project. I am grateful I had the opportunity to work on this project, and hope that enterprising surveyors check out the NGS page on the GPS on BM project and pick up where we left off; it’s not too late to submit data for the de- velopment of NAPGD2022!  x OrYSN Corner On the Quest for Benchmarks By Stephanie Jameson Oldest observed monument 1910 Section corner, Frenchglen, Oregon Crowley, Oregon at Sunset Yachats Near Imnaha on OR350