JOINT COMMISSION WORKING GROUP ON
UNDER-REPRESENTED GROUPS IN SURVEYING
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FIG Working Group on Under-represented Groups in Surveying
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Open Workshop Wednesday April 19 during
the FIG Working Week in Paris
In Memoriam: Mary C. Feindt
Article by Wendy J. Woodbury Straight,
Note by Robert W. Foster, USA
Note by Gabriele Dasse, Germany
Personalities: Gabriele Dasse, Germany
"Guidelines for FIG to Enhance the Involvement of Under-represented Groups
in Activities of FIG and to Implement Gender Mainstream in FIG's Work"
The Workshop takes place Wednesday April 16 11:00-12:30, Commission 1
Room and is open to all Working Week participants.
One of the Working Group specific projects is to provide guidelines for
FIG. These guidelines should be presented in 2006 during the FIG Congress
in Munich, Germany.
During the Workshop in Paris we’d like to start with a discussion about
these and maybe more questions:
- How to increase the participation of more countries in the work of
FIG by recognizing the importance of cultural issues and linguistic
- How to enhance fair competition for minority groups?
- How to get more information about the participants of FIG congresses
and Working Weeks?
- How to intensify the work within the FIG Commissions to support
women and cultural and language minorities?
- How to implement Gender Mainstreaming in FIG’s work?
- How to increase the number of female delegates and Commission
- How to increase the number of young delegates?
- How to encourage a multicultural and gender balanced Council?
- How to enhance equal opportunities for individual members within
FIG, not depending on gender or native language or other cultural
If it is not possible for you to attend the working Week in Paris
please be so kind so send your ideas, questions, proposals, statements to
Gabriele Dasse, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Reprinted by permission from Progress & Perspectives
|The international surveying community is mourning the loss of Dr.
Mary C. Feindt, PLS (Michigan), who passed away on January 29,
2003 following an extended bout with cancer. Mary (Bastian) Feindt was
born in Chicago in 1916 and grew up in Albion, Michigan. She was the
daughter of Ernest H. Bastian and Lila M. (Waitt) Bastian.
Records indicated that Mary is most likely the first woman to have
become a registered land surveyor in the state of Michigan. She
received her license in 1942, four years after graduation from the
University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Geodesy and
Surveying. She also held a Bachelor of Arts degree from Albion
College, and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the
University of Michigan, a degree she had gone on to earn in 1944, the
same year that she became owner and president of the Charlevoix
Abstract and Engineering Company in Charlevoix, Michigan.
In 1999, Mary received an honorary doctorate from Ferris State
University, where she had helped to organize a surveying department
and had served on its industrial advisory committee. Her mission was
to provide insight for the faculty, so that classroom teaching would
accurately reflect the real world of the practitioner. In 1993, the
College of Technology recognized her with an award for outstanding
service. Until her recent illness, she had continued to work full time
with her company, and she had continued to hold the post of County
Surveyor, a position to which she had been continuously re-elected
since 1948. Additionally, Dr. Feindt testified in court as an expert
witness on land surveying and title examination issues.
Dr. Feindt served the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM)
in a number of capacities, including the position of liaison to the
American Land Title Association (ALTA). As late as 2002, she continued
that commitment, travelling several times each year to national
conventions and meetings for both organizations. Together, ACSM and ALTA
produce and publish surveying standards that are considered the highest in
the nation. With Mary’s help, the standards were regularly updated and
clarified. She had earned several Presidential Citations from ACSM, the
most recent bestowed in 1999. However, as early as 1987, the Michigan Land
Title Association honoured her many contributions to the profession by
establishing the Mary C. Feindt Award, given to those who exhibit
professional dedication similar to hers. When Dr. Feindt received the
honorary degree at Ferris State, one of the highlights of her address was
her rendition of the recently popular joke about three men who discover a
genie and who then each receive the proverbial wish. In turn requesting to
become increasingly intelligent, the first two men are pleased with their
newly enhanced brain power. The third man, however, asks for so great an
increase in intelligence that the genie must turn him into a woman in
order to grant the wish.
Mary’s steadfast support of women’s issues allowed her to be a mentor
for several generations of women in surveying. Her own granddaughter has
also followed Dr. Feindt into the geomatics profession. In 1983, Mary
became a co-founder of ACSM’s Forum for Women in Surveying and was elected
the Forum’s first chair. Under her watch, and in spite of a conservative
backlash from some members of ACSM, the Forum established advertising
guidelines that remain in use today, eliminating sexist advertising and
curbing gender bias in surveying journalism.
When the Forum was born, trade journals were full of surveying
instrument ads featuring women in swimsuits, negligee, or less. The
national association for surveyors was only one percent female. That
number, while still embarrassingly small, has more than quadrupled in the
past twenty years. Known for her patience and forbearance, Mary was able
to facilitate dialogue among opposing groups on various subjects within
her profession. She said that she had learned her coping skills by
attending engineering school at a time when women were most unwelcome in
such settings. Her many instructors and administrators, attempting to
persuade her to drop out, warned her that surveying was not a field for
women. Had it not been for the steady encouragement of her father and one
professor, Mary said that she might have given up. Later, it was her
husband J. Lawrence Feindt who supported her goals, and they worked
together until his death in 1988. She was joined in the business by her
son Larry and his wife Faye. Her stepson C. Fred Feindt
(now deceased) was also a member of the business in the 1970s and 1980s.
Her granddaughter Amy Feindt has most recently joined the practice,
which is now known as Advanced Geomatics. Mary was active in her local
community and had been involved with the Charlevoix Area Chamber of
Commerce since its inception. She was an avid member of her local
Charlevoix Downtown Development Authority and a member of Zonta
International of Charlevoix.
In 2000, Dr. Feindt revealed that she was the great great grand niece
of astronomer Maria (pronounced Mar-eye-ah) Mitchell, who
lived from 1818 until 1889. Mitchell had also been inspired and encouraged
by her father. Mary explained, “Maria grew up on the island of Nantucket
in a house filled with telescopes and scientific paraphernalia. She began
some of her astronomical observations at the age of twelve.” Mary went on
to explain that the Mitchells were outwardly Quakers, but they owned a
piano in spite of their religion’s interdictions. Mary also said that
according to other family lore, Maria was advised by a physician to use
lager beer as a tonic but made a point of jokingly admonishing bartenders
for their “immoral traffic.” It was the scientific interests and
subsequent astronomy and engineering careers of her ancestors that first
intrigued Mary about an engineering career for herself. “It was because I
heard so much about my grandfather and his scientific family,” Mary said.
“The study of engineering went along with my own love for mathematics,
Happily representing surveyors at international conventions, Dr. Feindt
presented an image that would have put her doubting professors to shame.
Persistent yet kind, Mary was known as a strong and mostly solitary person
who greatly respected and enjoyed her colleagues, and who deeply loved her
family. She is survived by her son Lawrence R. Feindt, daughter-in-law
Faye A. (Whitley) Feindt, her sister Lois Metzler, and three
grandchildren, Amy C. Feindt, Rene P. Feindt, and Jacob H.
Feindt. She is also survived by three great grandchildren,
Christine and Isaac Zeitler and Jesston Whitley.
The family suggests that memorials be given to the Mary C. Feindt
Surveying Scholarship c/o Debra Jacks at Ferris State University, 330 Oak
West 100, Big Rapids, MI 49307; the Mary C. Feindt scholarship for women
entering the fields of mathematics and science at the Charlevoix Zonta
Club; or to her home church, the First Congregational Church of
Wendy J. Woodbury Straight
Robert W. Foster, President of FIG 1999 –
“I had a very high regard and personal affection for Mary Feindt. She
was a dedicated professional who enjoyed the respect of the whole
profession here in the US; she was a successful proprietor in her
business; she was an innovative practitioner, performing in one office
both professional surveying and the title abstracting business; and she
was a true pioneer as one of the very first women professionals in
surveying in the US. We will miss her very much here in the US and in FIG,
Gabriele Dasse, Chair FIG Working Group
on Under-represented Groups in Surveying:
“I met Mary Feindt the first time in 1998 during the FIG Congress in
Brighton. From the beginning she supported the activities of the Task
Force on Under-represented Groups and was a very important adviser during
the 5 Task Force years. I had a very high esteem for her personality. For
my person the was a shining example for women in the surveying profession.
I regret the absence of Mary Feindt.”
active member of the German association DVW was elected in February 2003
as Chair of the DVW Working Group 1 “Profession”. She is the first woman
in this position since the foundation of DVW in 1871. Starting this year
with a new period the DVW Working Group 1 now covers the fields of work
of FIG Commissions 1 and 2. The fields are: practise, professional
education, continuing professional development, women in DVW,
organisation and legal aspects. During the last period Gabriele was
member of the old Working Group 1 and has been chair of the DVW Working
Group “Women in Surveying” since 1995.
As Working Group chair in DVW Gabriele is as well delegate
to FIG Commission 1 . This gives her the possibility to continue as chair
of the Joint Commission Working Group on Under-represented Groups in
Surveying (Working Group 1.5 of Commission 1), a assignment Gabriele took
over during the last period 1998 - 2002 as chair of the Task Force with
the same name. Another member of the German Working Group “Profession”
will take over the delegation to Commission 2 in FIG.
After 17 years working as a surveying professional she
left this arena last year and works now as the assistant for the head of
the Department for Civil Engineering and Transport in Hamburg, one of the
Federal States in Germany.
Editor: Chair of the Joint Commission Working Group
on Under-represented Groups in Surveying
Ms. Gabriele Dasse,
Kleinfeld 22 a, D-21149
2/03, month of issue:
© Copyright 2003 Gabriele Dasse.
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