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


Topographic/Hydrographic Surveyor

Another area often overlooked when thinking about land surveying is hydrographic surveying. The land under bodies of water also must be surveyed.


Topographic surveyors measure and map the shape, contour, and location of land features such as valleys, mountains, and man-made objects on the surface of the land and below bodies of water. Underwater topographic surveying is known as hydrography.


Hydrographic surveying requires training with different types of high-tech equipment and is used to measure erosion, guide dredging projects, explore for oil, or mark underwater hazards. The shipping industry, government researchers, oil companies, and utility networks rely heavily on these types of surveys.


The demand for surveyors who have training in hydrographic surveying is high. Land under water constantly changes due to currents and storms, so waterways are often surveyed and re-surveyed to record changes. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, only 5 percent of the Earth’s oceans have been mapped.