John Bennett, PLS, SR/WA Inducted into Alaska Surveying & Mapping Conference Hall of Fame

February 26, 2016
J Bennett (Web)

R&M’s Senior Land Surveyor John Bennett, PLS, SR/WA was inducted into the 2016 Alaska Surveying & Mapping Conference (ASMC) Hall of Fame.

“It’s a bit overwhelming,” said John. “I never considered myself to be in the same class as those who have been inducted before me but now that I see it’s a reality, I’m very honored to have been nominated and inducted.”

The ASMC Hall of Fame program honors the exemplary contributions of surveying and mapping professionals in Alaska. John was inducted into the Hall of Fame during the ASMC’s Annual Awards Banquet on February 18. The Awards Banquet is one event during the week-long ASMC, the State’s largest conference for geographic information systems, surveying and mapping professionals, which took place February 15-19 at the Hilton Anchorage Hotel in downtown Anchorage.

“During my career I tried to support the profession by participating in efforts to expand a land surveyor’s knowledge through class instruction, website development and production of the Standards of Practice manual,” said John. “Although my intent was not to seek recognition, my induction indicates that my efforts were appreciated and for that I am thankful.”

John is a Senior Land Surveyor at R&M and has more than 30 years of land surveying experience in Alaska. He is based in R&M’s Fairbanks office and is responsible for tasks relating to the development of surveys and plans to define existing rights of way (ROW) or new ROW to be acquired by a public agency. Since joining R&M, he has worked on a variety of airport and highway mapping and title research projects for the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF), title research for a gas distribution system in Fairbanks, provided support to the Attorney General’s office relating to title and acquisition services, and worked on projects for private clients to resolve title and boundary conflicts.

John commenced his career in surveying and mapping with the Alaska Department of Highways in 1972. He spent 28 years with DOT&PF Northern Region ROW, starting as Titles and Plans Supervisor and ending with almost 15 years as ROW Chief. In that time he managed the title research, surveys, mapping and platting of private and public lands for a variety of DOT&PF highway projects. John is a recognized leader in the research and analysis of historic ROW and has both presented IRWA seminars on the subject and published a definitive guide in the Alaska Society of Professional Land Surveyors Standards of Practice manual. He is also a certified instructor with the International Right of Way Association and has co-presented seminars relating to access law and highway rights of way in Alaska.

Now that John has retired from a management role at DOT&PF, he spends most of his time working on the research and mapping projects he enjoys so much. “I had always considered surveying a great mix of science, law and the outdoors,” said John. “But when you focus on right-of-way mapping, you add a strong component of history that can make the research required to map a right-of-way almost addictive.”

John holds an A.A.S. in Surveying Technology from the University of Alaska Anchorage. He is a senior member and a certified instructor with IRWA, and a member of the Alaska Society of Professional Land Surveyors. He has lived in Fairbanks since 1966 when his parents transferred to Fort Wainwright for work. He loves that Fairbanks is the right size, has plenty of opportunities and allows for a semi-rural lifestyle where you can still afford a little outdoor space. John spends his free time working on his house, pretending to fish and catching up on his reading list of adventure and thriller novels.