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Aug. 12, 2022

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Working in Clark County: Daniel Renton, professional land surveyor

By , Columbian staff writer
5 Photos
Surveyor Dan Renton holds a "bearing tree scribe" in his Vancouver office Tuesday.
Surveyor Dan Renton holds a "bearing tree scribe" in his Vancouver office Tuesday. (Natalie Behring/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Land surveyor Daniel Renton looks forward to going out to work every day because there’s always something new — but it may also be old. “What appeals to me is that it’s kind of like being on a treasure hunt sometimes, finding a needle in a haystack. There’s history in it,” he said. “Sometimes we have to research deeds that go back 100 years or subdivision plats and boundaries with issues to trace back to the 1850s.” If you’re good at math, are detail-oriented, have good handwriting, and don’t mind working in the rain and snow, Renton says this profession might appeal to you, too.

Name: Daniel Renton.

Residence neighborhood: Lucia Falls area.

Employer/business name: Minister and Glaeser Surveying Inc. (principal owner), 2200 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver, 360-694-3313,

Age: 55.

Educational/professional background: Bachelor of Science/Mathematics, Southern Oregon University, 1985. Bachelor of Science Civil Engineering, Oregon State University, 1995. I grew up in Grants Pass, Ore., and was first interested and exposed to surveying in high school.

How and when you got started in your business: A few of my high school friends’ dads were land surveyors and that what got me started in the profession. I enjoyed the outdoors so it was a perfect fit. I also needed employment.

Personal/business philosophy: Work hard and you will see the results.

Most rewarding part of job: Helping clients with difficult survey issues. Meeting interesting clients. Completing a project on time and under budget. And working outdoors.

Most challenging part of job: The day-to-day operation of running a company. And helping the general public understand the profession of land surveying. We are not just the guys standing on the side of the road looking through some scope. We could be providing information to civil engineers before a street widening, re-paving or storm drainage work.

Something surprising about your work: The ever-changing technology of the equipment we use in our profession. The fundamental work will not change, but the tools we use now have changed how we do it. Beyond that I tell people all the infrastructure they see around them wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for surveyors. Surveying goes back to ancient Greece and was practiced by George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Daniel Boone.

Best feature of my Clark County community: The people, the climate and the rural surroundings, along with the numerous parks and sport fields.

What would make your community a better place? Trying to solve some of the traffic problems due to the growth of the community.

What is your favorite travel destination and type: Exploring the area where I live, either by hiking and riding my ATV.

Favorite restaurant/pub/coffee shop/store: Nick’s in Amboy, Dutch Bros. in Battle Ground and the Heisson Store.

Hobbies: Working, running, hiking and riding ATVs.

Most enjoyable book/play/movie/arts event in past 12 months: “Boys in the Boat” (book), “Dr. Strangelove” (movie — I usually watch it once a year).

Something you’d like to do this year/within five years: Travel to the Oregon, Idaho, Nevada Tri-State Monument.

One word to describe you: Realist. I don’t like to sugarcoat things.

Person you’d most like to meet: Ross Perot.

Columbian staff writer

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