Category Archives: Uncategorized

Degrove Attends/Sponsors UF Geomatics Weekend

Degrove Surveyors was once again well represented at the annual University of Florida Geomatics Alumni Weekend, which is a part of the School of Forest Resources and Conservation (SFRC) Spring Celebration.  The weekend serves as a sort of homecoming for Geomatics alumni, and is the program’s largest annual fundraiser.  Degrove, having three UF Geomatics alumni currently on staff, sponsored and attended the Geomatics Trap Shoot and various other events throughout the weekend.  The University of Florida is home to one of the nation’s leading Geomatics programs, and Degrove is proud to support for the efforts to better educate future surveyors and mappers.

Pictured above: Degrove President and UF Geomatics Alumnus Ray Niles at the UF Geomatics Alumni Weekend Trap Shoot.

Degrove Exhibits at FSBPA Technical Conference in Jacksonville, FL

Degrove Surveyors recently attended the Florida Shores and Beaches Preservation Association’s (FSBPA) Annual Technical Conference in Jacksonville, Florida.  Ray Niles and Tyler Tracz attended and represented Degrove in the exhibit hall.  With various engineers, surveyors, scientists, and public officials present, the exhibit hall provided an excellent opportunity to dialogue on the many issues affecting Florida’s shores and beaches.  Degrove was honored to be present among such an impressive and diverse group of professionals.  Degrove highlighted the many survey services we offer that support beach/shore monitoring and preservation efforts—particularly the hydrographic surveying and multibeam services.  Degrove appreciated the opportunity to reconnect with friends who share our interest in the preservation of Florida’s beaches. 

Further information on Degrove’s survey support for beach and shore preservation projects can be viewed here.

Degrove Completes Hydro/Topo Survey and Muck Probes on Harney Pond Canal – South Florida

Degrove Surveyors, working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, recently completed a topographic/hydrographic and structure survey on the Harney Pond Canal in South Florida.  The survey covered over 2.5 miles of the Harney Pond Canal, which flows into Lake Okeechobee on the northwest side of the lake.  Topographic and hydrographic cross-sections of the canal and bordering levees were surveyed at intervals of 100 feet, and 50 feet in areas with water control structures.  Seven water control structures were also surveyed.  In combination with the hydrographic portion of the project, Degrove crews completed muck probes in order to determine the thickness of the muck layer that has formed throughout much of the canal.  The project supported general monitoring and planning efforts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Degrove Provides Subsurface Utilitity Location for IGP Water Main Design in St. Johns County, FL

Degrove Surveyors, working on a team that included CDM and Bradshaw-Niles & Associates Inc.,  completed services supporting the design of the International Golf Parkway reclaimed water main to Palencia in St. Johns County, Florida.  The work was completed for the St. Johns County Public Works Department. Degrove was responsible for all subsurface utility designations and approximately 90 soft-dig test holes along the 8.5 mile route.  Degrove utilized a variety of subsurface location equipment, including electromagnetic locators, ground penetrating radar, and a vacuum excavator.  Degrove worked closely with the project surveyor, Bradshaw-Niles, to provide CDM with complete and accurate documentation of the route both above and below ground. The water main will provide reclaimed water to the Palencia development for irrigation of the golf course and common areas.

Degrove Completing Hydrographic Survey and Muck Probes on Lake Apopka – Supporting SJRWMD

Degrove Surveyors is near completion of a project on Lake Apopka in Orange County, Florida that will support planning and dredging efforts of the St. Johns River Water Management District.  Lake Apopka, once a prime fishing and boating attraction in central Florida, now holds a layer of muck and silt so thick that the lake depths are as low as two or three feet throughout much of the lake. 

In order to support the St. Johns River Water Management District in their planning efforts, Degrove is completing a Hydrographic Survey of specified transects of the lake, as well as 1,700 muck probes on grids varying between 50, 100, and 200 feet.  The hydrographic data was calibrated to determine a consistent lake bottom in very inconsistent bottom densities.  The muck probes are being completed using survey range poles with a water pump system attached.  The water is sprayed through a hose system that is attached to the probing rod, which helps to blow away the dense layers of muck that make it very difficult to probe and determine the depth of the original sand bottom.  At each of the 1,700 probe locations, the top of the muck/silt is determined, as well as the depth of the muck above the historical sand bottom of the lake.  This data is being used to create two digital surfaces that will assist the engineers in dredge and cost planning.  The muck depths in the lake have ranged between seven and 30 feet.

Degrove has been serving SJRWMD for over 15 years and is pleased to continue supporting water management efforts throughout the state of Florida.

Degrove Exhibits at AIWA Conference in Charleston, SC

Degrove Surveyors attended the annual Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association (AIWA) Conference in Charleston, South Carolina, and also contributed as an exhibitor.  The conference was held at the historic Francis Marion Hotel in downtown Charleston from November 13-14.  Attending for Degrove were Randy Tompkins and Tyler Tracz.  Mr. Tompkins and Mr. Tracz attended a variety of sessions given by representative’s from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and a variety of local and state representatives.  In the exhibit hall, Degrove had the opportunity to highlight our diverse capabilities, particularly regarding single-beam and multi-beam hydrographic surveying.  We were excited for the opportunity to attend this conference, and we thank the staff of AIWA for their efforts which made the 2012 Conference such a success. 

Degrove looks forward to attending future AIWA events and being active members of the Association. 

For more information regarding AIWA and the work they do, please visit their website:

Tracz, Pyle attend FSMS Retracement Camp

Tyler Tracz and Will Pyle of Degrove Surveyors attended the three-day Sectional Retracement Camp organized by the Florida Surveying and Mapping Society (FSMS).  The Camp was based at 4-H Camp Ocala in the Ocala National Forest, near the town of Altoona.  Through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on field work, students learned about the history of the Public Land System and how to retrace the sectional boundaries established by the original GLO surveyors in the mid-1800s.  Classroom topics included the formation, administration, and equipment used for the Public Land System, as well as theoretical instruction on sectional retracement.  Field instruction gave students a hands-on opportunity to retrace the footsteps of the original GLO surveyors through searching for the necessary evidence to prove individual section corners.  Some of the evidence found included decades-old tree markings, stump holes and charcoal remains of reference trees set in the mid-1800s, and a lighter wood post likely buried some time in the early 20th century. 


Will Pyle (left) pictured here with Lemar Evers (middle) of FDEP Division of State Lands and Lee Willingham (right) of Bradshaw-Niles & Associates, uncovering the stump hole and charcoal remains of a bearing tree referenced many decades ago. 

Tyler Tracz is pictured here using an historical surveyor’s compass in an attempt to find remains of historical reference trees that will help prove the location of the nearby section corner.  Compasses like this were used by the original GLO Surveyors in the mid-1800s.

Retracement Camp instructor Milton Denny, PLS, (middle) pictured here with Retracement Camp students, discovering the remains of a lighter wood post, buried as a survey marker probably sometime in the early 20th century.

Degrove Completes Hydrographic Surveys for National Park Service at Cumberland Island, GA

Degrove Surveyors recently completed two Hydrographic Surveys for ferry docks at Cumberland Island and St. Mary’s, Georgia.  The ferry transports visitors back and forth between St. Marys and Cumberland Island.  The project is owned by the National Park Service and the surveys will support construction efforts for dock modifications.

Degrove Surveyors Attends FSBPA Conference as an Exhibitor

Degrove attended the 2012 Florida Shore and Beach Preservation Association (FSBPA) Conference in Naples, Florida.  Randy Tompkins and Tyler Tracz attended and represented Degrove in the Exhibit Hall.  With a variety of engineers, surveyors, scientists, and public officials present, the strength and effectiveness of FSBPA was made evident throughout the conference.  The professionals in attendance were among the best of the best in their respective fields.  Degrove enjoyed the opportunity to re-connect with these other professionals who share our interest in the preservation of Florida’s shores and beaches.  We were also pleased to exhibit our extensive experience providing survey support for beach nourishment and shore preservation.  More information on Degrove’s qualifications and experience with providing survey support for coastal projects can be found here.

Degrove Attends FSMS Conference in Naples, FL and Serves in Local Chapters

Degrove Surveyors was once again well-represented at the 2012 Florida Surveying and Mapping Society (FSMS) Conference, held this year in Naples, Florida.  Degrove President, Ray Niles, attended the Conference along with his wife, Mary.  Mr. Niles is a Past President of FSMS, and is currently serving as the FSMS Liaison to the Florida Board of Professional Surveyors and Mappers (BPSM), and on the Society’s Legislative Committee.  Having been recognized with the Society’s most prestigious awards, he is a Fellow and Life Member of FSMS.

Also attending the Conference were Degrove team members Tyler Tracz and Will Pyle, who are each serving as Secretary of the FSMS Crown Chapter and North-Central Florida Chapter, respectively.  Other Degrove team members who are currently serving as officers are Tom Tracz, currently serving a second term as Crown Chapter Treasurer, and Randy Tompkins, serving as Crown Chapter Vice President.

Degrove recognizes that good professionals are involved in their profession.  Our firm is proud to continue our active involvement with and support of FSMS.  We send our thanks to all FSMS staff and volunteers who contributed to another great Conference!