State University of New York at Morrisville

Dr. Walid H. Shayya
School of Agriculture and Natural Resouces

Course Outline for NATR 142



Fall 2018

Blackboard Access of Course Material On-line (for students enrolled in the course)


Dr. Walid H. Shayya

Instructor's Contact Information


NATR 142 covers the basic concepts of plane surveying as it relates to agriculture and natural resources.  Such applications include field work in land drainage, pipeline stakeout, and parcel boundaries.  In addition, review is made of survey planning and associated survey computations, including traverse surveys.  Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on the operation of modern land measurement equipment including the automatic level and the theodolite as well as the total station and GPS.

Prerequisite: MAGN 101 or equivalent
3 credits (2 lecture hours, 3 laboratory hours), fall semester


At the successful completion of NATR 142, the student is expected to have:
  1. Developed an understanding of plane surveying principles.

  2. Understood the basic skills of surveying work including distance and angles measurements.

  3. Developed skills in using plane surveying instrumentation.

  4. Understood how to collect, document, and analyze plane surveying measurements.

  5. Learned how to conduct a variety of surveying exercises (with emphasis on location surveys).

  6. Developed an understanding of applying basic plane surveying techniques in the field.

  7. Demonstrated an understanding of how to perform plane surveying computations, including those involving traverse surveys.


The instructor has the following designated office hours per week:

If necessary, students are also encouraged to make appointments to see the instructor at other times.


NATR 142 is a three-credit hour course.  It includes five contact hours per week (two for lectures and three for the laboratory).  One section of the lecture and two sections of the laboratory are offered during the 2018 Fall semester.  The schedule of the offered sections is as follows:


The following represent the required textbook and two manuals for NATR 142 which may be purchased from the campus bookstore:
  1. Kavanagh, B.E.  2014. Surveying Principles and Applications (9th  edition).  Prentice Hall, New Jersey.
  2. Shayya, W.H. 2018.  Introductory Surveying Lecture Manual (9th edition).  School of Agricultureand Natural Resources, State University of New York at Morrisville. 
  3. Shayya, W. and J. Cronn.  2018.  Introductory Surveying Laboratory Manual (8th edition).  Environmental Sciences Department, State University of New York at Morrisville.



Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Disability Services (DS) office immediately to register for services and receive a Notification of Disabilities form. Once you have this form, we will meet privately, to discuss your specific needs.   Although you may register for services at any time, please attempt to make arrangements within the first two weeks of the semester so all appropriate academic accommodations can be set. 



Evaluation is a shared responsibility between the teacher and the student. The purpose of the evaluation is to demonstrate how well the professor has taught and the student has learned specific course materials, the principles, concepts, and terms relevant to the covered topics.  Evaluation is also intended to assess the student's ability to utlize the acquired knowledge and how s/he can use this knowledge in problem-solving.

The breakdown of grading in this course will be as follows:

The distribution of grades in this course will be based on the A-F College grading scheme. The letter grades correspond to the following percentage scale: A (90-100%), A- (87-89.9%), B+ (83-86.9%), B (80-82.9%), B- (77-79.9%), C+ (73-76.9%), C (70-72.9%), C- (67-69.9%), D+ (63-66.9%), D (60-62.9%), and F (<60%).



Lecture Topic*

Date Textbook
1 Introduction to NATR 142
Surveying: An Overview
Aug. 27
Aug. 29
2 Surveying: Basic Concepts
Surveying Methods of Measurement (& problems)
Sep. 3
Sep. 5
1 & 3
3 Distance Measure and Review of Significant Digits
Taping Techniques 
Sep. 10
Sep. 12
3 & Handout
4 Taping Errors and Corrections/Working with Angles
Area Computations/Review of Exam 1 Study Guide
Sep. 17
Sep. 19
5    Progress Examination 1
Introduction to Leveling
Sep.  24
Sep. 26

6 Review of Exam 1/Equipment for Leveling
Differential Leveling
Oct. 1
Oct. 3
7    October Break (no lecture)
Profile Leveling
Oct. 8
Oct. 10

8 Profile Leveling Application in Pipeline Construction/X-section Leveling
Angle Measurement
Oct. 15
Oct. 17
2 & 4
5 & App. H
9 Field Operations with Theodolites
Topographic Surveys/Review of Exam 2 Study Guide
Oct. 22
Oct. 24
10    Progress Examination 2
Review of Exam 2/Basic Trigonometry
Oct. 29
Oct. 31

App. B

11 Trigonometric Leveling
Stadia Principles

Nov. 5
Nov. 7
12 Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM)
EDM and GPS (multimedia presentation)
Nov. 12
Nov. 14
3 & 5
3 & 7
13 Overview of Traverse Surveys
   Thanksgiving Break (no lecture)
Nov. 19
Nov. 21
4 & 6
14 Closed Traverse Surveys
Traverse Survey Computations
Nov. 26
Nov. 28
15 Review of Practicum/Exam 3 (Study Guide)
   Laboratory Practicum (Part 1)  
Dec. 3
Dec. 5
16    Progress Examination 3 (scheduled during the finals week)    
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Laboratory Topic*

1/Aug.29 or 31 Laboratory Procedure, Note-keeping, Standardization of Length of Pace
2/Sep. 5 or 7 Taping on Level Ground (introduction to the 100-foot steel tape)
3/Sep. 12 or 14 Horizontal Taping on a Slope (breaking tape)
4/Sep. 19 or 21 Taping Survey of a Five-sided Polygon (area calculations)
5/Sep. 26 or 28 Introduction to Leveling (using the dumpy level)
6/Oct. 3 or 5 Closed Level Circuit (using the automatic level)
7/Oct. 10 or 12 Profile Leveling (using the laser level)
8/Oct. 17 or 19 Closing the Horizon (using the repeating optical and digital theodolites)
9/Oct. 24 or 26 Prolongation of a Straight Line (using the digital theodolite)
10/Oct. 31 or Nov. 2 Turning Angles (using the digital theodolite)
11/Nov. 7 or 9 Locating Points (using the digital theodolite)
12/Nov. 14 or 16 Tacheometry and Trigonometric Leveling (using the digital theodolite and total station)
13/Nov. 21 or 23    Thanksgiving Break (no laboratory)
14/Nov.28 or 30 Closed Traverse Measurements (using the digital theodolite and total station)
15/Dec. 5    Laboratory Practicum (Part 2)
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*The topics and corresponding dates listed in the tables above are tentative and may be subject to change during the semester.