April Garon / The Natchez Democrat — Carter Smith holds a piece of surveying equipment he uses during his internship at Hayden, Kaisser & Sessions engineering firm. The Trinity Episcopal Day School graduate plans to attend the University of Mississippi in the fall to study engineering.
April Garon / The Natchez Democrat — Carter Smith holds a piece of surveying equipment he uses during his internship at Hayden, Kaisser & Sessions engineering firm. The Trinity Episcopal Day School graduate plans to attend the University of Mississippi in the fall to study engineering.

Intern surveying the field with engineering firm

Published 12:10am Thursday, June 27, 2013

By April Garon

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — Carter Smith is getting a taste of the field he plans to study in college before he even packs his bags for freshman year.

Smith, a recent Trinity Episcopal Day School graduate, is working at Jordan, Kaiser & Sessions engineering firm this summer on the survey crew. Surveying is the process of examining and recording data from an area to construct a map or plan.

“We are giving him a little taste of all, giving him a shot to see if he likes it,” crew chief Eric Dryg said.

One of Smith’s recent tasks was staking, or mapping points, at the Holiday Inn site under construction on Canal Street.

To meet the standards of the engineering designs, the land has to be contoured in the right direction and drained the right way, Dryg said.

Smith uses a prism pole to find reference points in the designs at construction sites.

“The prism pole shoots a beam of light and calculates the exact distance and coordinates to tell you if it’s in the right position,” Dryg said.

Smith will attend the University of Mississippi this fall and plans to major in civil engineering.

“I’m excited to go to Oxford. My whole family has gone to Ole Miss,” Smith said.

Smith said he decided to study engineering because careers in the field interest him.

“You get to go out, it’s not boring,” Smith said. “I won’t be stuck in an office.”

He said he thought he was suited for the field because math was his strongest subject in high school.

“This experience gives him more on-the-ground understanding of what he will be doing,” Dryg said. “It’s not just on a computer screen. He can correlate what he sees on the screen with what’s on the ground.”

While he has four years to plan his future, Smith sees himself on this career path, and Dryg thinks Smith can take on the challenge.

“He’s trying it out, and he’s doing good,” Dryg said. “If the heat doesn’t get him, he’s got potential.”