Land Surveying Capstone Project assisted Big Bone Baptist Church by locating historical surveying info
Students who completed the Cincinnati State Land Surveying bachelor’s degree in 2022 recently gained media attention for their community service Capstone Project– a boundary retracement and topographic survey for Big Bone Baptist Church in rural Boone County, Kentucky.
Using information and photos provided by the students, the Northern Kentucky Tribune published a story about the project in March 2023. Additional coverage of the project by a trade magazine is anticipated.
Video of the students’ 1-hour final presentation for the Capstone can be viewed on YouTube.
Nine students were involved in the semester-long project that established the boundary of the church property, located marked and unmarked grave sites in older sections of the graveyard, and created a preliminary cemetery database for historical purposes. The student work was guided by Land Surveying Program Chair Dr. Carol Morman and Professor Jim Decker.
Capstone Project students included Darrick Davidson, Joseph Ernest, Levi Exline, Bryant Favors, Macalister Keeley, Jeff Kraus, Jessica Lyttle, Gunnar Seig, and Shane Strotman.
Preliminary work on the project included research on previous site surveys and property deeds for the church, which raised numerous challenges since the church was established in 1843. After locating and interpreting the historical records, students could start technical work at the site with modern surveying equipment, including a drone flyover, to collect needed data.
A team from ESP Associates, Inc. from North Carolina assisted the students by using ground-penetrating radar to locate burial sites where headstones had crumbled or had been moved from the original locations.
Project deliverables for the church included drafting the materials that meet Kentucky legal requirements for a single deed for the entire church property, rather than multiple deeds for various portions of the property. The students also provided materials that will help the church establish a formal database for the cemetery.
Students said the Capstone was a unique experience that expanded their understanding of land surveying and gave opportunities to build their skills in client communications as well as honing their technical skills as surveyors.
The 2023 Capstone class for Land Surveying is continuing the work for the church, focusing on newer sections of the cemetery.
(Reporting and photos provided by Dr. Carol Morman)