Meet your neighbor: Charles Novak shares survey experience in new book

Editor’s Note: Charles Novak, of Scottsdale, is the author of “Home is Everywhere: The Unbelievably True Story of One Man’s Journey to Map America.” The book is set for a Feb. 26 release.

Charles Novak (Submitted photo)

Name: Charles Novak

Age: 89

Occupation: Retired in 1985 from the U.S Coast and Geodetic Survey (NOAA). I was a Chief of the Network Maintenance Branch. This position was responsible for the maintenance of the national network of geodetic control markers. Basically, markers were placed throughout the United States for the use of map making. When I started out in 1947, my job was to survey land and establish these geodetic markers in unmapped areas of over 20 states.

Why you chose to work in your field: After I graduated from high school, a survey team was working in the area so I signed on. It was a good opportunity for me to leave my hometown and have an opportunity to travel.

Where did you come from: I grew up in a small town in Haddam, Kansas.

(Submitted photo)

If I had picked a different occupation it might have been: I would have been a coach. I enjoyed working with kids, making them better players and leaders.

What is a challenging aspect of your job? The most challenging aspect of my job when I was a surveyor was the physical requirements needed. We had to brave bitter cold weather or extreme heat climbing mountains and dismantling steel survey towers.

People who inspired me (and how): I was inspired by my grandparents. The time they spent with me I will always treasure. I think their influence molded me into the person I am today.

One thing I want my clients to know about me: I think the one thing I want people to know about me is the love I have for my family and friends.

My advice to today’s youth: My advice to the youth of today is to limit time texting and playing video games. Talk and engage with the people around you.

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