N.R. (Ross) Woolgar

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Ross Woolgar, ALS
Known for Professional Recognition Award (2013)

By Fred Cheng, on the occasion of Ross Woolgar receiving the Professional Recognition Award, 2013

I am here this morning to honour a very special individual; a respected Alberta Land Surveyor who is well-deserved in receiving this year’s Professional Recognition Award. Among other criteria, the Professional Recognition Award is bestowed on individuals who have developed new systems and new methodologies towards the betterment of our land surveying profession.

This individual has, indeed, developed a new way to educate the next generation of land surveyors. Mr. Ross Woolgar, would you please come to the podium and be recognized.

Mr. Woolgar has developed a new system and new methodology towards educating the next generation of land surveyors by establishing Eclipse College which he co-founded in 2009.

Why is Eclipse College so special? It is the first of its kind. It is a joint online and classroom learning venue. Eclipse College is not a registered educational institution with any government jurisdiction. It is an entity known to Alberta Land Surveyors and their articled pupils. Through Eclipse College, Ross has been conducting educational seminars relating to professional land surveying practices under the roof of Eclipse Geomatics and Engineering Limited in Calgary.

It started out as a classroom-style of seminars and has evolved to seminars being run in combination of classroom and online delivery on a weekly basis. The number of pupils in attendance range from 24 to over 50 at times. There would be at least four land surveyors in the classroom to help facilitate the seminar each time. There were a total of six land surveyors in the room for one class I attended recently. Topics in the seminar are in the areas of professional practice in Alberta including survey law presented by Dr. Alec McEwen, natural boundaries presented by Dr. Brian Ballantyne, railroad surveys presented by Clayton Bruce, ALS, professional ethics presented by Lyall Pratt, ALS just to name a few. Other elite speakers are hand-picked by Ross.

The seminars have benefited articled pupils tremendously in terms of educating our budding Alberta Land Surveyors. As a practicing land surveyor myself, I very much enjoy these seminars. Each time, I learned something new from the speakers through discussions with the audience.

Ross unselfishly donated his own time, his expertise, how own office space, his computer equipment and his own resources to help articling pupils better serve the public as knowledgeable, future land surveyors. All learning opportunities provided by Eclipse College are free of charge. As long as people are willing to learn, Ross is there to help.

I have received numerous comments from my former college graduates; some from St. Paul, some from Medicine Hat, Lloydminster and Edmonton. They have all indicated to me that if it had not been for Eclipse College, they would have had a hard time passing their ALSA professional exams. In fact, some graduates writing CBEPS exams expressed how helpful it is to attend the online seminars.

Eclipse College has demonstrated to be an effective learning venue to all.

In addition to Eclipse College, Ross served on Council from 2001 to 2003. He served on many ALSA committees such as Standards, Public Relations, Legislation, RPR Ad Hoc and took on the role of South Regional Chair for a time.

Over the years, Ross has helped and nurtured some individuals to become Alberta Land Surveyors. Ross has also spoken at seminars on the methodology in evaluating survey evidence within urban setting and has been involved as a presenter in Getting It Right seminars. For a number of years, Ross has represented our profession and made presentations to SAIT students about land surveying and their career choice. He has positively influenced many young people towards land surveying as a profession. Ross truly is making a difference in the future of our profession in Alberta.

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in celebrating Mr. Ross Woolgar’s achievements and successes in his unselfishness and tremendous efforts to continually education our up and coming land surveyors.

Mr. Woolgar addressed the luncheon as follows:

I can’t do this without the support of Bruce Gudim, Peter Yorke, Fred Cheng and all the volunteers that present at Eclipse College. It takes about 40 individuals to put on about 24-25 Eclipse College classes. If it wasn’t for all of the students that tune in and, like Fred said, over 50 sometimes are online taking advantage of our senior members presenting at Eclipse College. I would like to thank everybody who participated at Eclipse College.

I am looking for more presenters to sign up and, in particular, I’d like more from the north half of the province (Grande Prairie, Edmonton, Fort McMurray) to sign up and participate in Eclipse College. Last year, we had about 38 presenters; about eight were from the Edmonton area and the other 30 were from the Calgary area. I would like to have the north half of the province step up and participate because I think it is just as valuable to have your points of view as I am not a practicing member in the Edmonton area. We are looking at putting together an Edmonton chapter of Eclipse College. We have not worked out the details yet but I have three surveyors who have come forward to help present and put together Eclipse College in an Edmonton location.

Please volunteer and I would like to thank you all for this wonderful award.

On the occasion of his nomination for vice-president, 2003 and updated in 2005

  • Born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, 1943
  • Graduated from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Diploma in Survey Technology, 1967
  • Articled with W.E. Turner and R. Fulton
  • Received ALS commission, 1976
  • After SAIT, employed by Midwest Surveys, Walker Newby and Strong Lamb & Nelson
  • Belonged to Toastmasters organization for several years
  • Started N.R. Woolgar & Associates in 1978 and operated as a sole practitioner until 1997
  • Employed with Challenger Geomatics as a project manager
  • Started participating in Association affairs as Southern Regional Chairman in the late seventies
  • Also served on the Legislative and Planning committees
  • Former chairman of the Public Relations Committee
  • Chairman of the Professional Development Committee, 2004-2005
  • Served as member of ALSA Council 2001-2003
  • Served as Council Liaison to Public Relations, RPR and Standards committees