Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City

Academic Advisor


Donna Pergrem
Academic Advisor
(405) 945-3215


STEM Scholarship Application



Ryan K. Hightower, PLS
Department Head, Surveying Technologies
(405) 945-8615


Boundary Surveyor

Boundary, or cadastral, surveyors measure, mark, and map the boundary lines of land ownership. Cadastre is a Latin word that means a public record or map for tax purposes. Anyone who owns property will work with a boundary surveyor.


These surveyors trace deeds and other public records to verify the measurements of a piece of property for which the original survey could date back hundreds of years. Nearly every piece of property has been surveyed in the United States, except in some parts of Alaska.


Boundary surveyors have to verify the previous survey while collecting data to draw a current map for the piece of property. Each land parcel has several markers on it—often called monuments’ by surveyors—to show the property corners, or the delineation from a neighboring piece of property. Many markers have detailed information to assist future surveyors. Other property markers may be carved in tree trunks, be noted by a specific pile of rock, or consist of metal spikes buried in the ground. For this reason, as a surveyor retraces a previous surveyor’s work, he or she essentially is walking in a previous surveyor’s footsteps and will wear several hats. For each project, a surveyor may need to be an historian, detective, and mathematician. He may also need knowledge of geology, forestry, hydrology, or botany. Every project is different.


Boundary surveyors can also serve as expert witnesses for court cases involving boundary disputes.