More Info & Reading

OPTICAL SURVEYING
SHARPEN YOUR EYES: LAYOUT FOR EARTHWORKS AND WATER

Advanced Permaculture Course

with instructor Tom Ward

6 day certificate course for advanced students
2017 course will be at Wolf Gulch Farm, Little Applegate

Basic surveying and layout are essential skillsets for every farmer, homesteader, designer and consultant.  

Tom Ward teaches the use of many types of analog (non-battery operated) surveying tools, along with advanced skills in keyline, pond and swale layout, mapping, and other core knowledge necessary for design and execution of permaculture projects.


Students will become familiar with swale, terrace, ditch and pond layout, profile cross-section drawing, keyline and trail system locating, solar assessment, ditch and wiggle water way layout, small cabin orientation and pad layout, staking, note taking, and compass and map reading.  We will use telescope-like devices and other hand tools such as sight levels, pocket transits, builders levels, A-frames and various vertical measurement rods, as well as measuring tapes and wheels.  The course will include flagging for trails, swales and ponds, as well as observations on the landscape with mapping of plants, birds and trees.


The course is held at Wolf Gulch Farm where Tom has designed and surveyed trails, ponds, swales, keyline terraces, and water & irrigation systems over the last 15 years.



The Permaculture Design Course is a prerequisite for getting an advanced certificate from this course.  Others may have the certificate held until they have a PDC certificate.  You must complete all six days of the course to get your certificate.  The course is open to all who have a working knowledge of Permaculture.


More Information on the course at these Links:


Logistics: Directions, what to bring

Optional course reading and reference materials: see attachments below.
1)  The first seven attachments are excerpts from the most relevant chapters of Elementary Surveying, Russell C. Brinker and Warren C. Taylor, 4th Ed., pub. by The Haddon Craftsmen, Inc., Scranton, PA, 1966.
2) Grade and Declination Charts from the Pocket Reference.
3) Instructions for using a hand sighting level.
4) Tables for Sine, Cosine and Tangent equivalencies.  Explained by NASA in the link below.
5) Guides from the U.S. Geologic Survey
  • Topographic Map Symbols
  • Map Scales
  • Finding Your Way with Map and Compass

Using your tools:
Brunton 8099 Eclipse Manual can be seen here. 
Sine, Cosine and Tangent explained by NASA here. The tables, which are all you need, can be found with buttons at bottom of this page. All 3 tables laid out for printing on one page in attachment below.
Using the Compass, a power point type presentation by Geoff Gariepy describing declination and orienteering.  This takes awhile to download but is quite useful.

Solar Assessment: This site shows how to chart your site's solar access.
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What people have said about Optical Surveying:

"Tom weaves wisdom with technical and local historic knowledge into a course that expands the basic practices of optical surveying into a truly integrated skill set for permaculture whole systems design."

"The course provides a good overview of optical surveying for permaculture in a real-life setting where some of the concepts can be understood and internalized. It comes close to an immersion program." 

"Coming into this with an engineering background and forestry skills, I learned so much more than I thought I knew. There really is no cookie cutter best practice. You must survey!

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Melanie Mindlin,
May 1, 2013, 8:33 AM
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Melanie Mindlin,
May 1, 2013, 8:34 AM
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Melanie Mindlin,
May 1, 2013, 8:34 AM
Ċ
Melanie Mindlin,
May 1, 2013, 8:35 AM
Ċ
Melanie Mindlin,
May 1, 2013, 8:33 AM
Ċ
Melanie Mindlin,
May 1, 2013, 8:35 AM
Ċ
Melanie Mindlin,
May 1, 2013, 8:35 AM
Ċ
Melanie Mindlin,
May 1, 2013, 8:36 AM
Ċ
Melanie Mindlin,
May 1, 2013, 8:36 AM
Ċ
Melanie Mindlin,
May 1, 2013, 8:36 AM
Ċ
Melanie Mindlin,
May 1, 2013, 8:37 AM
Ċ
Melanie Mindlin,
May 1, 2013, 8:38 AM
Ċ
Melanie Mindlin,
May 1, 2013, 8:37 AM
Ċ
Melanie Mindlin,
May 1, 2013, 8:38 AM
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