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Media Release

NOAA Conducts Geodetic Survey & Education Outreach in Pohnpei

September 2, 2011

On August 31 and September 2, United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Geodetic Survey (NGS) Pacific Region Geodetic Advisor Edward Carlson presented “The National Geodetic Survey and its role in Pohnpei” at the College of Micronesia-FSM National Campus and Pohnpei State Campus, respectively. The presentation was part of the U.S. Embassy/COM-FSM Forum Lecture Series, which provides U.S. Government professionals as guest speakers for COM-FSM students, faculty, staff, and interested community members.

Since his arrival in July, Carlson has assisted the Pohnpei State Department of Land and Natural Resource (DLNR) in a geodetic upgrade project. NGS is responsible for defining, managing, and providing public access to the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS), a consistent national coordinate system that provides the foundation for mapping and charting; state boundaries; transportation, communication, and land records systems; and numerous scientific and engineering applications. NSRS provides an extremely accurate geographic framework throughout the United States and its possessions and Pacific islands.

The plan is do a high accuracy geodetic leveling and GPS on the island of Pohnpei, since it has been almost forty (40) years since any new control was established and over the years a large number of marks have been destroyed. The last time any geodetic work was done in Pohnpei was by the USGS in 1970.

During both Forum Lectures, Carlson outlined the Geodetic Survey project goals: determining a High Accurate Spatial Reference Network; Establishing a geodetic quality leveling network; Training the DNLR personnel in high accuracy GPS techniques and geodetic leveling at no cost to the local government, and; Upon competition of the project the DNLR will maintain the information and publication of the results of the geodetic surveys.

The geodetic upgrade project will provide the horizontal and vertical integration and positional improvements required to support the diversity of GIS, engineering, geophysical, charting and mapping applications required within F.S.M. government agencies, U.S. Federal government agencies, and private sector requirements.

The geodetic upgrade project is being done over two years. In 2010, all the reconnaissance and some mark setting was done with personnel NGS and DNLR. This year, the remaining mark setting and the field work was conducted with the personnel from DNLR with assistance of NGS. The fieldwork consisted of one digital leveling crew of 4 to 6 people from DNLR for six weeks and GPS observations for two weeks.