Women in Land Surveying

Women in Land Surveying

Just last week the first book discussing women as land surveyors appeared on the shelves. It was written by a land surveyor who had been in the business for over 40 years now and she was adamant to tell her stories and the stories of other women in land surveying. It may not seem like much, but the land surveying job isn’t actually a very common one for women at the moment. In fact, seeing one that has been doing the job since about the time women were first able to really start digging into non-traditional jobs, is remarkable because there aren’t many others.

The Book, Titled Marked, was written by Karen Zollman and she pressed focus on women surveyors in the Pacific Northwest for this particular book. And it digs into not just a single woman’s time as she explores and surveys the land, but as she actually lives off the land and the woods. It goes through weather and terrain and even contractors as obstacles, but in the end, it is the adventure that ends up triumphing.

The book goes through regions and areas across Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, and all those same regions are where Karen Zollman spent some extra time revisiting so that she could get acquainted with what kind of challenges she and her colleagues and friends faced when it came to surveying the wilds of these regions.

Today Karen is one of many who survey for Washington, around the Seattle area in particular for the Seawall replacement program and a number of other environmentally important projects. Although the book itself is a work of fiction, it is based on accounts that Karen had taken and even experienced on her own, and it certainly gives an in depth look for anyone interested, or even for men in the field to see just what it is like for a women in the job. And because of that, it just goes to show how much we really are alike when it comes down to it, even if other people treat us differently for something like our gender.

Written by Andy Sikes

Andy Sikes

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