C.J. (Hans) Nederveen

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Hans Nederveen, ALS
Known for Also a sailor

As provided by Mr. Nederveen in 1999.

I was born and raised in Holland, where my education was directed at preparing me for a career in land reclamation, whereby economically unproductive land areas are recon¬figured into productive farm and parkland similar to replotting schemes of old subdivisions in Alberta.

This preparation allowed me to immigrate to Canada, where the immediate necessity of having to earn a living led me to contribute to the economy as a machine operator for a bottle manufacturer, a ranch hand and a saw¬mill worker before I was able to reestablish my connection to the land by embarking on a career as an Alberta Land Surveyor.

Land surveying attracted me by its balance between physical outdoor activity and mental indoor activity. My subsequent career as a sailor allowed me to balance recreation with education in a return to my Dutch heritage of the sea.

While attending SAlT from 1956 to 1958, I had the pleasure of meeting about 15 future Alberta Land Surveyors (20% of the survey students), - who were all taught by Jim Clark ALS #214 (commissioned in 1955). Jim was so kind as to lend me the necessary funds to complete my studies at SAIT.

Alberta Land Surveyors with whom I was closely associated at various times during my survey career include Dave Usher ALS #163 (commissioned in 1951), to whom I was articled. Dave provided me with a broadly based survey experience that included boundary and location surveys for oil and mineral exploration, land development, construction and mapping projects in Alberta, BC and the Northwest Territories.

Don Duffy, who later became BC Surveyor General, was a SAIT graduate and the reason why I decided to attend, although I had already passed the preliminary examinations allowing me to article to Dave Usher. I assisted Don in the performance of road, right of way, subdivision and wellsite surveys in Alberta and BC. When Don moved to Prince George to take over the practice of Fred Burden BCLS #9 (1909), I accompanied him. By that time we had started to use mechanical calculators that allowed the use of natural trigonometric functions instead of logarithms. Don continued to practice in BC, but I returned to Alberta to get married and continue my articles under Dave Usher directly.

Dave Usher was one of the first Alberta Land Surveyors to acquire electronic distance measuring (EDM) equipment such as the Geodimeter and the Tellurometer as well as an electronic computer, the LPG 30. The EDM equipment was used mainly in the establishment of control networks for construction, mapping and oil exploration projects.

One of those projects was an air photo control network to plan the Edmonton river valley freeway system. Others were control networks for the construction of bridges across the North Saskatchewan River such as the Beverly, Capilano, MacDonald, and Quesnel bridges. This was before the establishment of the Alberta Survey Control networks.

The Rainbow Lake Control project in 1966 was one of the first Alberta Survey Control projects that I conducted on behalf of Dave Usher. I was ably assisted in this by Don Tomkinson, who did not let vertigo interfere with the use of aluminum towers transported by helicopters. Don achieved his commission as an ALS #395 in 1975 after I had left Usher & Associates Ltd. to form Coordinate Surveys Ltd with Marlin Sexauer ALS #317 (1967) and Norm Mattson ALS #330 (1968).

Marlin, as president of Coordinate Surveys Ltd. took on business development as his area of expertise, while I became vice-president responsible for field operations and Norm was treasurer as well as office manager responsible for computing and drafting. Our first project using coordinate based delayed posting plans consisted of the Town of Grande Cache. House construction however destroyed enough iron posts that it was possible to build a small replica of the City of Edmonton's famed spaghetti tree, which was erected in front of the Grande Cache Town Office for a short time.

Another project that benefitted a great deal from the use of coordinates was our involvement with the construction and right of way surveys of the Edmonton LRT system, which was built simultaneously in separate sections.

Coordinate Surveys Ltd. also pioneered the establishment of branch offices in Fort McMurray, Peace River and Whitecourt to allow our previously articled students to practice as Alberta Land Surveyors. Gerald Whaley ALS #386 (1975) managed our Peace River office, while Brent Murray ALS #483 (1978) managed our Fort McMurray office. This development was most fortunate when the Alberta economy collapsed in the early 1980s allowing these practices to continue operating on their own merit and allowing me to leave Coordinate Surveys Ltd. to become a sailor.