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L151T
American Land Surveying, an Essential History: The Profession of Frontiersmen, Philosophers & Presidents (Timed & Monitored)

Patrick C. Garner, PLS

American Land Surveying examines the grand and sometimes tumultuous history of land surveying from its earliest days to its current status as a highly respected profession. The course surveys a period from the 1630s to today—more than 360 years.

From its earliest days, bold personalities were attracted to the work and famous men toiled in the field. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Daniel Boone, Abraham Lincoln and Henry David Thoreau all worked as surveyors, often serving crucial roles in their local communities as the creators of boundaries and lease holdings. Theirs were often the original footsteps, which surveyors for generations afterward retrace.

The course reviews ancient and pre-American colony surveys. It assesses Colonial and Public Land System surveys–how and why they developed into the complex systems that they are today. In addition to discussing famous personalities from the 18th and 19th centuries, the course reviews early surveying instruments, early surveying texts, metes and bounds descriptions and forms of monumentation. The expansion of federal and state surveyor regulations is discussed, as well as the movement within the profession in the 20th century to recognize the differences between surveys by civil engineers and surveys by boundary surveyors.

An overview is also provided of land surveying university programs, state licensure and the on-going discussion about the nomenclature of a Registered Land Surveyor (R.L.S.) versus a Professional Land Surveyor (P.L.S.). The role of accreditation by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), national exams, continuing education, national surveying organizations and state boards of surveying is discussed.

This American history is essential to the understanding of the tradition and rich heritage that underlies the profession of land surveying today.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.


* If you are a registered professional land surveyor in Florida, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Texas or Vermont, you need to take the approved courses for that specific state under the course category "Surveying & Mapping".

User's Guide to Timed & Monitored Online Courses:

For Timed & Monitored (T&M) online courses, you need to log into your account to view the course content. You must complete the required study time (min. 50 minutes for each PDH) before you can submit your quiz answers and obtain your certificate of completion. However, you may print out the quiz questions anytime after purchase.

You do not need to complete the T&M course in one sitting. You may view the course content from office or home using different devices with Internet connection. Our website will keep track of your total time spent. If necessary, you may print the course content for ease of reading while you are online. You may also preview the content of L151T by viewing the content of L151 since they are identical.

For T&M courses, You need to actively view course content online - at least click your mouse once in a while. The on-screen tracking clock may stop due to inactivity at your end. If that happens, you may resume your clock by pressing F5 key on your keyboard or by refreshing your screen. Thank you for your cooperation.

Note: This course requires users to pay first before viewing the course content.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.

AIA Members: You must take the courses listed under the category "AIA/CES Registered Courses" if you want us to report your Learning Units (LUs) to AIA/CES. If you take courses not registered with AIA/CES, you need to report the earned Learning Units (not qualified for HSW credits) using Self Report Form provided by AIA/CES.

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