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UVU Set to Offer State’s First Four-Year Geomatics Degrees

17 December 2010 No Comment

December 17, 2010
For Immediate Release

For more information: Danial L. Perry (801) 863-8525
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Matt Reichman (801) 863-6808

Starting fall semester 2011, Utah Valley University will offer the state’s first four-year degree in geomatics, the modern iteration of what used to be known as land surveying.

Last week the Utah State Board of Regents approved both four-year bachelor and two-year associate degree programs in geomatics for UVU’s Department of Engineering Graphics and Design Technology, part of the College of Technology & Computing.

Geomatics encompasses classic surveying skills, Assistant Professor Danial Perry said, but also comprises the latest in data collection and analysis, be it in water, land, air or space. It includes all aspects of geospatial measurement and geographic information systems, or GIS, and is further rounded out by studies in boundary law.

It’s been three and a half years in the making, Perry said, but a national trend is justifying the need thereof. Many states now require a bachelor’s degree for surveyor licensure, and the Utah Council of Land Surveyors may push the state legislature to soon follow.

While having an associate in science degree should land an entry level position with a surveying or civil engineering firm, the bachelor’s degree could earn graduates a supervisory level position in surveying, Perry said, as well as preparation to sit for the National Council of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors Fundamentals of Surveying exam. It was in-state industry demand for such qualifications, in fact, that led to the new degree.

“This is an applied science; they have to do the actual work of surveyors, but also need a solid background of the sciences that are behind the surveying itself,” Perry said. And whether that’s bathymetric studies, measuring geological features on Mars or using GPS to survey property, Geomatics graduates will be well prepared.

“I’ve got people signed up to get the degree that already have a license, but want to become more professional in the field, and gain more understanding of the technology hitting us,” he said. A preliminary sign-up yielded 40 interested students, Perry said, and there should be plenty of seats for all who are interested.

The bachelor’s degree will require 36 general education credits, 51 credits of Geomatics Measurement Core, 12 credits of Legal Core, 19 credits of Surveying Practices Core, and six elective credits.

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