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KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon/Marianas Variety, Mar. 12) - Over 70 participants from the Western Pacific region are attending the first conference of surveyors to be held in Palau.

The conference started on March 10 and will end on March 14.

Minister of Resources and Development Fritz Koshiba said the conference was made possible by a $22,500 U.S. Department of the Interior grant to Palau Community College.

Expected to attend the conference are representatives from Washington, D.C., Hawaii, the Marshall Islands, Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Saipan, Guam, Yap and Palau.

James Johnson, director of technical services of the U.S. Office of Insular Affairs, will speak during the conference.

He is a longtime supporter of efforts to modernize surveying activities in the former U.S. Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands, which are now the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Johnson, Koshiba said, will give an overview of the Interior Department’s support for the Pacific region surveying, land registration, titling programs and the Geographic Information System.

Dr. James Reilly, chairman of the Department of Survey and Mapping of New Mexico State University, is the keynote speaker.

Reilly is a well-known author of surveying textbooks and his surveying programs at NMSU is widely recognized as one of the top programs in the U.S.

The Guam Society of Professional Registered Land Surveyors will be represented by its president, Tom Condon.

Also attending the conference is J.M.P Bernabe, project manager for one of the largest construction companies in the Philippines, F.F. Cruz & Co.

Bernabe was Palau’s national surveyor in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The U.S. National Geodetic Survey will be represented by David R. Doyle, senior geodesist of the observation and analysis division, and Edward Carlson, Pacific geodetic advisor from Hawaii.

Carlson will speak about the Global Positioning System which obtains surveying measurements and positions using signals from satellites.

The Bureau of Land Survey in Palau has been using GPS for almost 10 years.

March 12, 2003

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