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  6.  | Survey Technicians Join R&M Consultants

Survey Technicians Join R&M Consultants

Feb 22, 2024 | Engineering, Right Moves

R&M Consultants

A pair of Survey Technicians joined R&M Consultants in the firm’s Geomatics Department. Both specialize in the collection, processing, and mapping of survey data, and they provide day-to-day support to the surveying and mapping teams in Anchorage and Fairbanks for civil infrastructure projects.

Laron Thomas began working with R&M seasonally last summer and became full-time over the winter, working at R&M’s Anchorage office. He has performed boundary, design, topographic, as-built, and hydrographic surveys, and he has experience with land ownership and boundary research. At R&M he has worked 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 he provided mapping for surveys of 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,” Thomas says. “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.”

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Laron Thomas

R&M Consultants

Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree in linguistics (Yup’ik Eskimo) from UAF and has a master’s degree in teaching (secondary education) from UAS, yet his career path veered into geomatics. “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,” Thomas says.

Thomas is proficient in the use of Trimble GPS, total station instruments, and AutoCAD Civil 3D. He can often be found outdoors, scrambling peaks in the Chugach or hiking with his wife and three kids.

At R&M’s Fairbanks office, Lauren Hurst has developed custom web applications, geodatabases, dashboards, and cartographic products for federal and state clients. She has been involved with the False Pass Snow Removal Equipment Building, Center Creek Road Rehabilitation, and various right-of-way projects.

Lauren Hurst

R&M Consultants

Hurst earned a bachelor’s degree in geography from Western Washington University and a master’s degree in geospatial technologies from the University of Washington. She is experienced in the range of ESRI mapping products, GPS surveying methods, and LiDAR. During her two years of surveying and GIS experience, she has contributed to scientific studies in national parks, automated workflows with Python scripts, and developed mapping products such as georeferenced orthomosaics and mobile map packages.

“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,” Hurst says. “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.”

Hurst is passionate about applying geospatial technologies toward community development and the management of wildlife and resources. She is certified as a Wilderness First Responder and a GIS Specialist for Incident Management through the National Wildfire Coordinating Group. Outside of work, Hurst can be found working on her cabin, practicing landscape photography, or learning to play the acoustic guitar.

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The 2024 Corporate 100
April 2024

In their company kitchens, the Corporate 100 blend wholesome ingredients with exquisite utensils to create the scrumptious ambrosia that keeps employees gratified and contented. Meet the top Alaska employers ranked by number of Alaskans on their payroll, and learn the recipe for success. This issue also includes a focus on economic development initiatives in Anchorage and Kodiak.

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