PLSO The Oregon Surveyor May/June 2022

20 The Oregon Surveyor | Vol. 45, No. 3 Member Spotlight continued  to be done and then does it. And he also is the type of person to bring along other people to help him. “The first thing I did within a year or two of starting up was to form the Lower Columbia Chapter of LSAW,” he says. “I got my peers together and got to know them and, and met some mentors because I was pretty green, obviously, 27 years old when I started.” He became the first president and was a member of the State Board of Trustees. In 1979, on an industry trip to Reno he got excited about solar compasses in government surveys and the history of surveys. He has a surveying history section on his website, and he has authored books on the subject: Surveying North of the River and the reference handbook The First Land Surveyors of Washington, and he edited the book David D. Clarke 1864–1920, Narratives of a Surveyor and Engineer in the Pacific Northwest. He’s also written a history of the GLO in Washington and Oregon. He’s almost ready to publish a book called Surveying South of the River, which has a historical overview of the GLO Surveyors in Oregon. Most of what he has published he has given away or makes available as free downloads. Olson formed Olson Engineering in 1968, and even though he was an engineer, the company only did surveys. “Finally, they had clients say, why do we have to hire those guys? You’re an engineer? Why don't you do this? So, they finally shamed me into it. We started doing that and hired some good engineers who were better than I was.” The company had always done planning for subdivisions and developments, so they ended up hiring landscape architects and the company now offers landscape services. About five years ago, they bought another company that does wetland studies and environmental restoration. Now, they’ve got a good business going in both states with wetlands work and storm pond maintenance. “I have hired some really good people over the years, and we are like a family,” he says. In the ‛80s, he got a list of the GLO surveyors in Washington and where they surveyed and where their contracts were all around the state. He advocated for higher professional standards and continuing education, and in 1985, when an opening on the Board of Registration occurred, he was nominated. “At that time the board was five members who all had Jerry Olson, his wife, Patti, and their new puppy Ronnie. Jerry Olson in 1969 on an Archer Mountain survey in the Columbia Gorge. He’s carrying a concrete corner monument off to be buried at a 1/16 corner.