Laron Thomas and Lauren Hurst recently joined R&M as Survey Technicians in the firm’s Geomatics Department. In this role, Laron and Lauren support the collection, processing and mapping of survey data and provide day-to-day support to the surveying and mapping team in support of airport, highway, railroad, waterfront and other civil infrastructure projects.
Laron has three years of surveying experience and is based in R&M’s Anchorage office. He joined the firm in Summer 2023 as a seasonal Survey Technician, moving into a full-time role in Winter 2023. Laron has performed boundary, design, topographic, asbuilt and hydrographic surveys for a variety of projects throughout Alaska. He is also experienced in land ownership and boundary research, and creating and editing easement, survey data and plat land maps. Laron is proficient in the use of Trimble GPS, total station instruments and AutoCAD Civil3D. Since being at R&M, he has supported field and office survey tasks. This includes working as an instrument person on the Fish Creek Trail, Seward Highway MP 36-48 Seward/Sterling Intersection Improvements, Pittman Road Shoulder Widening and various airport surveys, and providing mapping for airport surveys for the McGrath Airport and Tununak Airport Rehabilitation.
“I wanted to work with the best land surveyors in the profession, which is at R&M, giving me the opportunity to grow and become the best land surveyor possible. Also, I wanted to work on projects focused on improving Alaska. Projects that allow me to travel and experience the lands, wildlife and people throughout the state; and communicate regularly with coworkers on a wide variety of fascinating projects and other Alaskans I meet while working on these projects. I find it amazing work in surveying involves such a wide variety of tasks, from researching deeds and maps to digging holes to walking all day over rough terrain to making computations based on map projections.”Laron Thomas
Laron has a M.A. in Teaching, Secondary Education from the University of Alaska Southeast and a B.A. in Linguistics/Yup’ik Eskimo from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He can often be found outdoors, scrambling peaks in the Chugach, running, rock/ice climbing or hiking with his wife and three kids. Laron’s other current hobby is cooking healthy food that is delicious to his kids.
Lauren has two years of surveying and GIS experience and is based in R&M’s Fairbanks office. She has developed custom web applications, geodatabases, dashboards, and cartographic products for federal and state clients. Lauren’s experience also includes contributing to national scientific study efforts in multiple National Parks, automating workflows with Python scripts and developing a variety of mapping products, such as georeferenced orthomosaics, and mobile map packages. She is experienced in the range of ESRI mapping products, GPS surveying methods and LiDAR. Lauren is passionate about applying geospatial technologies to aid in the development of communities, as well as the management of wildlife, resources and utilities. At R&M, she has been involved with the False Pass Snow Removal Equipment Building, Center Creek Road Rehabilitation and various right-of-way projects.
“I really like the people I get to see at the Fairbanks office each day, the opportunity to travel to remote places and the chance to learn new skills. With my background primarily being in GIS, there has been some crossover with surveying, but this is the first time I have been able to use certain equipment and software.”Lauren Hurst
Lauren has a M.S. Geospatial Technologies from University of Washington and a B.A. in Geography from Western Washington University. She is a certified as a Wilderness First Responder and a GIS Specialist for Incident Management through the National Wildfire Coordinating Group. Outside of work, Lauren can be found working on her cabin, getting outside with friends, listening to live music or practicing landscape photography. She is currently learning to play the acoustic guitar.
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