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TCC surveying students get work experience right on campus

Hunter-and-Slaymaker.png TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 12, 2014) – A group of students at Tallahassee Community College recently got some valuable work experience without even leaving campus. The students, members of instructor Jeremiah Slaymaker’s Route Surveying class, had often practiced using common surveying equipment to take measurements in TCC’s parking lots. This time, however, Slaymaker and Bill Hunter, TCC’s construction coordinator, decided to enlist them in addressing some very real drainage difficulties that were occurring during periods of heavy rain near TCC’s softball field house.

Slaymaker, who is a professional surveyor at the Wantman Group, Inc., was enthusiastic about giving his students the opportunity to experience a real project—with a client and a deadline. So he took the group out to the site, where water had been flowing from the parking lots into a grassy area, pooling and then seeping into the field house.

“I told my students, from here on out, this is our classroom,” said Slaymaker.

Hunter needed to know the elevations in critical parts of the site so that he could design a plan for pipes, a drainage swale or other features to improve the drainage pattern. The students visited the area many times to collect spatial data using both traditional and GPS tools and to prepare a map of survey for Hunter.

According to Slaymaker, the project gave the students a good sense of what professional surveying entails. “We had to deal with plenty of adverse weather conditions, and once, after we had taken some measurements, we came back and it turned out that Bill’s workers had made some changes, so we had to collect that data again. That’s real life for a surveyor.”



Slaymaker passed the survey map on to Hunter in May, and the two men plan to continue their collaboration during future semesters.

“I can keep them busy with projects for a long time to come,” said Hunter.

The Route Surveying class is part of the surveying/GIS specialization within TCC’s drafting and design technology program. For information, contact Bret Hammond at (850) 201-8334 or or visit the TCC catalog at

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