Monthly Archives: November 2010

Ray Niles becomes ACSM-THSOA Certified Hydrographer

Degrove President, Ray Niles, has achieved the status of Certified Hydrographer by the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping and The Hydrographic Society of America.  This certification is well-recognized in the hydrographic surveying industry.  It is also considered by many Federal, State, and Local Agencies when selecting consultants.  Ray has been actively practicing hydrographic surveying for over 25 years, and is highly skilled in both hydrographic data collection and processing.

In addition to becoming a ACSM-THSOA Certified Hydrographer, Ray is a Hypack Certified Hydrographer.  This is another prestigious certification, as less than 5% of surveyors who take the certification exam achieve a passing score.  Hypack’s website states the following about the certification exam:

“Users must demonstrate advanced knowledge in Survey Design, Hardware Configuration, Survey, Single Beam Processing, Sounding Selection, Multibeam Calibration and Processing, Volume Computations and General Hydrography in order to pass. Less than 5% of surveyors who take the test achieve a passing score.”

More about the exam, as well as a list of those who have passed the exam worldwide, can be found at

Degrove Takes to the Air for Benchmark Reconnaissance

Degrove has had to utilize a helicopter to access places of the Everglades so remote that even our airboat and marshmaster could not suffice.  This was in support of a benchmark monumentation and monitoring project for the US Army Corps of Engineers – Jacksonville District.  The project included three main tasks. 

The first task was to construct and set six benchmarks meeting the requirements of Class “B” NGS Stability Standards.  We then had to observe these six benchmarks, as well as eight existing control points, to establish accurate horizontal and vertical information on the monuments.  Degrove used a jack-hammer to build the new benchmarks and did 24-hour static observations to establish the horizontal and vertical information.

The second task is the task that is ongoing.  Degrove was tasked with recovering 48 benchmarks and obtaining a measurement from the measuring point of the monument to the top of water.  Most of the benchmarks were submerged.  All of these also had to be accessed with the aid of a helicopter. 

The third task was vegetation monitoring.  Degrove created sketches of each benchmark, showing the location of the surrounding vegetation.

The majority of the field work was completed by Degrove Senior Party Chief, Mark Coxwell (seen in pictures above and below).

Degrove Provides Survey Support for Marion County Watershed Management Plan

Degrove Surveyors is in the process of surveying 600 hydraulic structures in the Lake Panasoffkee and Marshall Swamp watersheds.  The survey is supporting efforts to develop a hydraulic model of the watershed for Marion County.  The model is for the county’s Watershed Management Plan.  Degrove is utilizing a combination of RTK GPS, robotic total stations, and digital levels to establish horizontal and vertical coordinates on the upstream and downstream sides of the 600 structures.  The project is being managed by Degrove Vice President, Tom Tracz, and is being completed through the Gainesville office.