Jim Schiffer / 59

Surveying Technology

Traverse City

JIM SCHIFFER didn’t hesitate to go back to school at NMC, even though decades have passed since he earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Michigan. Now a professional engineer with the Grand Traverse County Road Commission, he only needed to attend for about two semesters to be eligible to take the surveyor’s licensing exam. That put him so close to an associate degree that he decided to go for that, too. He’ll complete his coursework this summer.

The license will also complement Schiffer’s consulting business in general civil and structural engineering.

Why surveying? “If you love anything technical, and you love solving problems, and you love being outside,” he says, “ it’s all there.” N
Clockwise from top left, Schiffer's backpack contains:
  1. Folders: Yellow contains materials for thesurveying licensing exam. Blue contains text materials.
  2. Thermos filled with black coffee.
  3. Tan folders: Class handouts and assignments; pens and highlighter. Yellow ruler is architect’s scale, blue is engineer’s scale.
  4. Textbooks for surveying and UAS classes.
  5. Field book: Legal records of his notes on projects. Water-resistant, pocket-sized. Scientific calculator to use on exam. The Swingline stapler dates back to Schiffer’s undergraduate days at U of M, in the 1980s.
  6. Green drawing templates kept inside the field book; flash drive.
  7. Tablet and stylus. Stickers are associated with dirt biking, one of Schiffer’s favorite hobbies.
NMC offers an associate degree and professional development in Surveying Technology.