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Land Surveying and Geomatics Application Deadline

The Online Land Surveying/Geomatics degree program is currently accepting new applications for Fall 2019. All transcripts and applications must be submitted by June 1, 2019, to enroll in the Fall 2019 semester!


Program Advisory Board


“Being employed full time and with a family, the desire to advance my career as a Professional Land Surveyor had been weighing on me for some time. Due to the fact that many states are requiring some education before I am allowed to take their licensure exam, I needed to obtain my degree. I searched online for any University that could help me achieve my required education without sacrificing my job and my family. I came across the surveying program at Great Basin College (GBC) and found that it was an ideal solution for me. After I received approval from my state board of licensure, I began my college courses at GBC. Now with several years of the program completed, I am on my way to getting my degree and soon my licensure.”

- Norman, NM

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Program Graduate Biographies

The online land surveying/geomatics bachelor degree program of applied science was co-developed by Great Basin College (GBC) and the Nevada Association of Land Surveyor’s Advisory Committee. The land surveying/ geomatics program was implemented in response to the growing need for licensed professional surveyors in Nevada to capture, store, process, and manage spatial data. The four-year bachelor’s degree program in land surveying/geomatics has served Nevada students and distance learners from around the country effectively since its inception in 2005. The land surveying/geomatics program model is ideally structured for students who are employed (or seeking employment) in a surveying or geospatial related profession that require the flexibility and accessibility to coursework delivered outside the typical undergraduate learning environment.

Hear Their Stories

Graduates with a BAS with an emphasis in land surveying/geomatics succeed. They don't just find jobs, they launch new careers!  

Shane Trotter, Dayton Nevada

I am a native Nevadan. I was born in Carson City Nevada in 1983. I graduated Shane Trotter graphic.from Carson High School in 2001, and 6 years later I married my wife Nichole Trotter. Nichole and I have two daughters, Kylah and Zoie, and we currently reside in Dayton NV. I have been employed by N.D.O.T. for 10 years, where I serve as a survey party chief and currently supervise five people. I will be graduating Great Basin College in May with a 3.51 GPA. I am currently an LSI, and I passed the National PS exam in January of 2017. I am hoping to be approved by the board to sit for the Nevada state exam and obtain licensure after I receive my degree. My degree from Great Basin College will allow me to become a professional land surveyor in the State of Nevada. I would like to stay at N.D.O.T., as my PLS will allow for upward mobility into a position that will help me serve the citizens of Nevada in a greater capacity. I am grateful that this degree was made available completely online, because I travel a majority of the time at my current position, I would not be able to attend college otherwise.

Mark Van Slyke, Elko Nevada

Mark Van Slyke graphic.I first became interested in surveying in the late 1970s when I went to work one summer day with my Dad, who worked for Nevada Department of Transportation. I watched him doing measurements and calculations. This impressed me immensely and I did not forget it when I became an adult. I went to work for NDOT in the mid-1980s, moving to construction administration in 1991. I started taking college courses in 2002 with the intent of improving my work skills for the betterment of the department and the state’s highways. I acquired enough general credits by 2012 that I qualified for an Associate of Science through Great Basin College, transferring credits from Western Nevada Community College in Fallon. I decided to continue the courses in the Land Surveying/Geomatics program at GBC to improve my skills for the greater good of the department and my community. The LSG program at GBC is very thorough in preparing the student for the LSIT licensure exam as well as developing the other skills needed for the surveyor to create, own, and manage their own business, or to be a productive member of another’s team. The ability to have a meaningful dialog with engineers and designers is only one benefit of having gone through the program. Moving into the future, the skills and confidence I have gained through the LSG program at GBC will benefit my community, and has already benefited NDOT, and the state of Nevada through the experience gained with on the job utilization of the skills acquired.

Leland Johnson, Carson City Nevada

I was introduced to the land surveying profession while working as an intern Leland Johnson NV Energy. While working with the survey group, I gained an appreciation for the work that surveyors do. I found that I enjoyed the mix of office and fieldwork, and the opportunity to work in locations throughout Northern Nevada. Ultimately, a position opened in the survey group at NV Energy and I was hired as a full-time employee. I enrolled at Great Basin College (GBC) and began taking classes in 2012. The online program at GBC has allowed me to earn a degree in Land Surveying/Geomatics while working full time and remaining involved with family activities. The knowledge I have gained at GBC has allowed me to succeed in my current position at NV Energy. Additionally, earning a bachelor’s degree in the Land Surveying/Geomatics program will allow me to gain licensure as a Professional Land Surveyor in the state of Nevada.

Norman 'Scott' Weese, Raton New Mexico

Norman Weese graphic.I started this program because I applied for licensure in Texas and New Mexico in the spring of 2013. Having been licensed in Colorado and Oklahoma and surveying for many years, I didn't think there would be problems. I quickly learn that both of those states required of a bachelor's degree in surveying to be accepted. Being already employed and raising a family, the option of going back to college was very brim. I just didn't have the resources or time to quit work and move near a college that offered a surveying degree. I started looking on the Internet for possible online classes. Quickly, I discovered Great Basin College and its complete online Land Surveying/Geomatics program. After speaking with Dr. Elithorpe, I was convinced that this program would benefit me even though it could possibly not meet the education requirements for licensure in New Mexico. I started part time in the fall of 2013. The program exceeded my expectations and taught me many things that I have applied to my job as a land surveyor. Because my finances were tight, I applied several times to the NALS Scholarship Program. The NALS scholarship was a huge blessing to help me continue my education. Taking the Land Surveying/Geomatics program at GBC was the best decision I made.

Nicholas F. Carter

Nicholas Carter graphic."I became interested in surveying while working on the Nevada Approach portion of the Hoover Dam Bypass project. I was looking online for any offerings of survey courses in the Las Vegas area and found the Great Basin College Land Surveying/Geomatics Program in an Internet search. After taking the first semester of courses I became very intrigued by the program. Having previously earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Iowa State University, I had anticipated the course material to be elementary and fairly routine. To my surprise, the program proved to be highly challenging and the course content was very thorough. Due to the excellent instruction and academic challenges that highly exceeded my expectations, I decided to pursue the Great Basin College Bachelor’s of Applied Science. I have been able to use my Land Surveying/Geomatics education to meet and exceed my goals and also provide me with a level of understanding of the surveying profession and practice that could not have been obtained by field work alone."

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Kevin German

"I began the Great Basin Land Surveying/Geomatics Program in the fall of 2006. I was able to transfer in much of my lower division and general Kevin German from coursework completed at previous institutions; it took me 3 years (6 semesters) to complete my degree. I started out taking two classes per semester but ramped it up to 4 classes in order to expedite the process. The online nature of the program gave me the flexibility to do this while working full time and raising a family. After a number of different majors over the years and attendance at four different institutions of higher learning, I graduated from Great Basin College in May of 2009 and successfully tested for licensure as a Professional Land Surveyor in Nevada in October of 2009 and California in April of 2010."

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Troy Hicks

Troy Hicks graphic."I heard that the state of Nevada was going to be requiring a bachelor’s degree specifically in Land Surveying as part of their licensing requirements for Professional Land Surveying. So I looked into it and found Great Basin College. Back then I lived in Reno and I was a bit concerned about how I would be able to do the classes. They were offering remote televised classes (Interactive Video) and I tried it out and that worked very well. One benefit from the education there at Great Basin College is that I can confidently prove to prospective employers that I have the knowledge they are looking for. Before I finished the degree program I found myself needing to move my family to Alaska. So I timed the move to coincide with the GBC Land Surveying/Geomatics Program completely moving to an Online Program. After moving I did not miss a beat and was registered for another semester and finished the remaining classes while at home. Great Basin College had made the survey classes available through the Internet while maintaining the same standard as the live classroom. I was able to complete the degree and graduate, all while living in Alaska."

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Ron Wilhoit

"I have always been driven by the passion of attaining a Ron Wilhoit graphic.four-year degree to complement my associate degree professional courses in order to add value to my career. For me, I must say, I welcomed the online program offered by the Great Basin College in Land survey/Geomatics program as a moment of joy in my life. I first learned about the program as I perused through the POB magazine classified advertising, where I later gained interest in it. I had many expectations for the degree program, but I must acknowledge that the program GBC offers surpassed my expectations by far due to its uniqueness and student-focused learning. Dr. Elithorp was quick to reply to my earlier letter to him about the four-year degree program, whereby he provided me with a personal learning plan, which finally became my road map to success. Unlike other colleges or universities, Great Basin College took time to prepare a study outline for my benefit. The studies allowed me to participate in the course work, clarify what I do not understand while at the same time exposing me to fieldwork activities to enhance my understanding. My studies at GBC came along with so much benefit."

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Cory Smith

Cory Smith graphic."I started college at the College of Southern Nevada in 2004. Shortly after starting at CSN, I moved to Caliente, NV. While I was attending CSN, I learned of the Great Basin College Land Surveying / Geomatics Program, which would allow me to receive my bachelor’s degree through long distance education. I graduated with my associate degree in 2007 from CSN and entered immediately into the GBC program. I was able to take 3 classes a semester and continue to work full time utilizing the Internet classes as well as interactive video courses as offered. Even though Great Basin College did not have a campus in town I was able to find locations in the area that allowed me to use their technology to attend class this way. The Interactive Video and Internet courses allowed me to work in the profession concurrently while attending school. I was able to learn the theory and the field practice at the same time which I feel helped me understand more thoroughly the profession as a whole. I graduated from Great Basin College in 2011. Although it took me longer to graduate than attending full time, the knowledge I gained through CSN and GBC programs have been invaluable in aiding me in my career thus far. I know that the knowledge I gained through these programs will aid me in whichever avenue I choose."

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Ross Doyle

Ross Doyle graphic."As a student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I probably fell into the majority of college students and just went through the motions and eventually ended up in a business major because that’s what everyone else was doing. I started at VTN back in 2005 during the residential boom and at the time we were running 30 crews. When I found that very few people working around me had a college education I knew that getting a degree in Land Surveying would set me apart from everybody else. I had always wanted a college degree because I felt it was important so I started taking classes in pursuit of a Land Surveying degree. Whatever branch of Land Surveying I finally end up at I just want to make sure I’m successful at doing it."

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Jolene Hoffman

Jolene Hoffman graphic."I previously served in the US Air Force as an Instrumentation and Telemetry Technician, and then worked as a Financial Planner and Loan Officer after finishing a BS in Business. The real estate market dropped and awarded me the opportunity to look at a new career. Landing in Elko, NV I reviewed the programs at Great Basin College to add more specific, technical and updated skills to my resume to get me out from behind a computer every day. Land Surveying fit the bill. The reason I followed through with this choice is largely because of the people I met and aligned with through the GBC program, NALS Great Basin Chapter, technical users groups and annual land surveying conventions. While attending Great Basin College I accumulated cadastral surveying experience as a seasonal intern for the Forest Service and later mine surveying experience with a local gold mine. Upon completion of the Land Surveying/Geomatics degree, I took a Survey Analyst position with Wallace Morris Surveying which is a technical savvy company who has managed to grow its business in this economy and recently opened a new office in Elko, NV. Here I have had the chance to get my feet in the dirt on some construction surveying and be intimately involved in positioning to take on pipeline projects. "

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Land Surveying/Geomatics Careers

Surveying is the art and science of measuring the physical features of the earth using specialized equipment and procedures to obtain results that meet the specifications of clients. Career opportunities in surveying are available with firms engaged in surveying/mapping, civil engineering, resource management, mining and others; as well as diverse opportunities within the federal, state, and local government agencies. Specific job titles may include: City Planner, Wetlands Delineation and Resource Management Specialist, Flood Plain Manager, Construction Surveyor, Department of Transportation Surveyor, Mining Surveyor, Onshore/Offshore oil and gas extraction and exploration Surveyor, Certified Photogrammetrist, Certified Geodesist , Geospatial Analyst, Advanced Imaging and Mapping Specialist, Computer Aided Drafting Professional, US Forest Service Federal Surveyor, Bureau of Land Management Federal Surveyor,United States Geological Federal Surveyor, and a National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Analyst.

For More Information

Byron Calkins
Program Advisor
Land Surveying/Geomatics Program 
Great Basin College 
1500 College Parkway, HTC 130 
Elko, Nevada (USA) 89801
Phone: (775) 753-2344

Why Great Basin College

Great Basin College wants to be your choice for higher education. GBC offers associate and baccalaureate level instruction in career and technical education and academic areas. About 4,000 students are enrolled annually online from across the country and on campuses and centers across 86,500 square miles, two time zones, and ten of Nevada’s largest counties. We border Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and California. We are GBC!

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