NMSU launches new geomatics program supported by national education award

Writer: Linda Fresques

The New Mexico State University Surveying Engineering program recently received a $10,000 National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying Education Award. The award will provide scholarships and state-of-the art instrumentation for the newly revamped surveying engineering program, which will be offered in the fall as geomatics.

The NCEES annual award “recognizes surveying programs that best reflect the organization’s mission to advance licensure for surveyors in order to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the public.”

“The geomatics program was developed with substantial direction and support from industry, state and national professional societies,” said Tom Jenkins, engineering technology department head.

“We are excited NMSU has transformed the program to meet current and future demands of our industry as well as the traditional and not-traditional student,” said Debra P. Hicks, president and CEO of Pettigrew & Associates, NMSU engineering alumna and NMSU regent.

“This program re-design will stand out as a premier program in the country for anyone pursuing higher education in the geospatial industry,” said C. Scott Croshaw, vice president of Wilson & Company, Inc., and NMSU engineering alum.

The geomatics four-year bachelor’s degree will feature studies of new technologies and flexible ways for degree completion.

Students may begin the program while attending community college or through online coursework and complete the final two years on campus, geomatics is a two-year completion program: students can take general education courses, along with geomatics pre-requisites such as drafting, beginning surveying, math and science online or at a community college. The remaining two years of technical coursework would be completed at the main NMSU campus in Las Cruces.

Updated coursework will include instruction on emerging technologies in geomatics measurement and analysis; the legal principles of boundary location; the laws related to boundaries and land use; and applicable mathematical and computational theories and principles.

Also new, the degree requires only 120 hours to complete, rather than 128 which was formerly required. The reduction in hours for degree completion is being implemented throughout NMSU to align with peer institutions’ requirements and to enable full-time students to graduate in four years. The program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Geomatics is the science of precision measurement of terrestrial and three-dimensional position of points on, above and below the earth’s surface and the distance and angles between. This information is used for the design of infrastructure including roads, bridges and legal boundaries for ownership.

Graduates of the program will meet the educational requirements for registration as a professional land surveyor in the state of New Mexico as well as other states. They will be qualified to work in the geospatial industry for private surveying, construction and engineering firms; government highway departments, land commissions, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, many others.

“Our surveying engineering graduates had 100 percent employment and earned very competitive salaries,” said Jenkins. “This is a field that is in high demand.” Jenkins estimates that approximately 40-50 students will enroll in the program over the next two years.

For more information, visit https://et.nmsu.edu/academics/surveying-engineering/.


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