thsoa proxy voting

The THSOA Proxy Voting will open from November 30th at 8:00am until 5pm on December 15th, 2017. Voting for THSOA Board Members is only open to members in good standing of The Hydrographic Society of America (THSOA).

Below you will find a list of Candidates along with their Bio and THSOA Ambition.    

In order to vote you will need to please login to the THSOA website (https://thsoa.org). In the upper right corner where your name is displayed please click “View Profile”. Scroll down under “Contact Information” to locate your unique THSOA ID#.

To cast your vote you will be required to enter your unique THSOA member ID. Please use your "first" then "last name" as the "voter ID" and then your 8-digit "THSOA Member number" as the "Voter Key".

Please understand that this is an important election and your participation is greatly appreciated.

THSOA Board of Directors


You must be a current member of THSOA to access the Proxy Voting Page.

2017 Candidates

PRESIDENT - Mike Nitska

Mike Nitska has been employed as a Hydrographic Surveyor in the hydrographic/land survey industry since 1981.  He received a B.S. in Hydrographic Surveying from Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology, Toronto Canada in 1981. Mike has worked around the world performing Hydrographic Surveys in Australia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Angola, Mauritania, the North Sea, Malta, Brazil, Guyana, Mexico, Venezuela, Canada and the United States.  Mike is currently employed by Hydroterra Technologies, LLC in Scott LA as their survey cost estimator for Hydrographic and Land survey projects. He is also the current chairmen of THSOA-SE Chapter and has held this position for six of the past seven years.

THSOA Ambition Statement

If I am fortunate to be elected the next president of THSOA, I will bring the dedication and enthusiasm that is present at the Southeast Chapter. As a founding member and the chapter chairmen for 6 of the past 7 years, we were the most active of all chapters attending many career fairs, conferences and conventions, educating and promoting not only the society but hydrography as a career.

There are many challenges facing our coastline and waterways from hurricanes to coastal restoration, sea level rise, subsidence, infrastructure development and climate change.

I feel that the Society needs to have an greater input on these issues in the form of higher education (what does the industry and government agencies require/want from new people entering our industry), promoting new equipment and procedures to the industry and government agencies and finally promoting our industry and it’s importance to the public.

If elected president I would like to initiate the follow plan

  • Identify industry and government agencies and reach out to them by introducing ourselves and what we do and have a questionair for them to fill out on various topics involving our waterways.
  • Better communications and support between National and all the Chapters.
  • Without individual and corporate member we have no Society. I will initiate a membership drive for new individuals and corporate members and lapsed members. In my present job I see a lot of opportunities for corporate members to join i.e Levee Boards, Industries Along our major rivers and ports i.e Grain Exporters, Cruise Lines, Pipeline Companies, and LNG Plants to just name a few.
  • Build on our scholarship program in conjunction with Lou Nash’s Education database.
  • Last but by no means, the Hydrographic Conference will be held in 2019 and along with the efforts of all the volunteers will try to make it the best conference ever.

TREASURER -  Harold Orlinsky – Treasurer 2016/2017

TRUSTEE AT LARGE - Starla Robinson

Starla Robinson is a sailor scientist who calls NOAA home.  She came to Office of Coast Survey in 2015, after three and half years on NOAA Ship Rainier. Overall, she has been working in GIS for eighteen years, and is a certified GIS Professional.  When not sneaking onto ships, she coordinates projects for Hydrographic Survey Division.

THSOA Ambition Statement​

I am passionate about collaboration and recruitment.  I see gifted professionals (both seasoned and students), who are looking for meaningful work; and I see organizations with a lack of consistent personnel.  I would like to identify and develop tools that increase the matches between the hydrographers-of-our-future and those many opportunities for development.  THSOA is the natural host for this since it attracts membership from the entire community including government, private industry, and academia.

  • THSOA is a major gateway directing people to resources.  Could we add an “ask a hydrographer” page targeting students who are interested in hydrography and are looking for advice and inspiration on entering the field.  Could we add a job’s posting page, showing people what kinds of jobs are available in hydrography?
  • Let’s take the job board idea a step further and expand the scholarship listings section and add volunteer opportunities.  GISP certification and other programs have a community service component.  Again, we would be providing the tools to match budding professionals with opportunities.
  • How else can we generate excitement and collaboration?  Let’s create a Story Map that people can link to, to showcase what projects they are working on.
  • If we build the infrastructure for communication, and reach out to people to use that infrastructure, we will increase both collaboration and recruitment.  This will create a stronger community.

TRUSTEE AT LARGE - Christy Fandel

Christy Fandel joined NOAA in 2013 and works as a physical scientist in the Office of Coast Survey’s Hydrographic Surveys Division. Prior to working with NOAA, she earned a M.S. in Earth Sciences and Ocean Mapping from the University of New Hampshire Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center and a B.S. in Geology and Environmental Science from the College of Charleston.


THSOA Ambition Statement

As an elected member to the Hydrographic Society of America’s Board of Trustees, I will promote education and training in hydrographic sciences among the younger generation through outreach with academic programs, encourage international collaboration on hydrographic research through joint publications at annual hydrographic conferences, and engage the public in hydrographic and related sciences. If elected, I would approach my board member role with enthusiasm and work diligently to accomplish these initiatives and promote the mission of THSOA.

TRUSTEE AT LARGE -Vanessa Self Miller

Vanessa Self Miller is a physical scientist and international affairs specialist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of Coast Survey.  She has over 15 years of experience in the field of hydrographic sciences.  Mrs. Miller has been actively involved in the society for many years, having worked with the student outreach program and served as co-technical director of U.S. Hydro in 2015 and 2017.


Mrs. Miller stated her career in the Hydrographic Department of the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVO) where she deployed around the world as part of the scientific survey crew on several of NAVO’s T-AGS class oceanographic survey ships.  She later moved to NAVO’s sister command, The Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Professional Development Center, where she served as an instructor and curriculum developer for the Navy METOC community and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) Cat-B certified International Hydrographic Management and Engineering Program (IHMEP). Mrs. Miller current works at NOAA on a professional detail from the Atlantic Hydrographic Branch to the Office of Coast Survey International Program.  She was also part to the U.S. Delegation at the IHO’s first General Assembly. Mrs. Miller has earned a B.S. in Physics from Southern University and M.S. in Hydrographic Science from the University of Southern Mississippi.  She is mom and a Navy wife who enjoys the outdoors and is always up for a challenge.  

THSOA Ambition Statement 

If elected, Mrs. Miller wants to focus on three key elements: Increase student outreach, recruit non-traditional members, and revamp current member engagement. THSOA has made great strides in reaching out to students in the hydrographic community however; I would like to focus on student outreach initiatives that coincide with the academic year.  Secondly, I wish to concentrate on recruit non-traditional members into the society such as members of Pilots Associations, multi-discipline academia, and members of the broader scientific community.  Finally, I would like to explore contemporary methods to revitalize the current membership through active engagement.  


Jon L. Dasler received a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering with honors from the University of Portland.   He is a registered Professional Engineer (PE) and Professional Land Surveyor (PLS).  Mr. Dasler is certified by the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) and The Hydrographic Society of America (THSOA) as a Certified Hydrographer (CH). He has been an active board member of the NSPS/THSOA Hydrographer Certification Board since 2001 where he has served as Chair and Secretary. He is a founding member of The Hydrographic Society of America after branching off from The Hydrographic Society. Over the years he has served THSOA as a Trustee, THSOA Education Committee, and Hydrographer Hall of Fame Selection Committee. Mr. Dasler is an active member and past Chair of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) /U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Liaison Committee, expanding outreach between the USACE and the private sector.


His professional experience spans over 30 years of contract project management on hydrographic and land surveying projects for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), port authorities, and private sector firms. Mr. Dasler was involved in the earliest applications of shallow water multibeam for the monitoring of coastal structures and the first application of Ellipsoid Reference Surveys for NOAA. Based on his expertise in hydrography, Mr. Dasler was handpicked by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to serve on a Federal Advisory Committee where he served seven years as a special government employee on NOAA’s Hydrographic Services Review Panel which advised the NOAA Administrator on matters related to the nation’s hydrographic services and navigation safety information needs.  He is currently the Senior Vice President and Director of Marine Services at David Evans and Associates, Inc. in Vancouver, Washington were he has managed hydrographic projects since 1989.  


Significant projects include hydrographic surveys for NOAA Office of Coast Survey to update the Nations nautical charts; prove out and validation of Ellipsoid Referenced Surveys and implementation of VDatum to advance NOAA nautical charting program; high resolution mapping of submerged structures for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; full coverage hydrographic surveys for updating nautical charts and support of  Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping efforts of the Oregon Coast and Columbia and Willamette Rivers for NOAA; Alaska Water Level and Current Modernization for NOAA Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) under a GSA contract; and hurricane debris mapping in the Gulf of Mexico after hurricanes Harvey and Katrina and the New Jersey Coast after Hurricane Sandy with multibeam, side scan sonar and airborne bathymetric LiDAR for NOAA, the USCG and FEMA. 


His efforts to raise the professional level of hydrography in the U.S. have included serving on a special THSOA panel to address professional hydrographer status in the U.S., which produced a THSOA position paper on State Regulation. As an NSPS/THSOA Hydrographer Certification Board member, Mr. Dasler is working jointly with Captain Rick Brennan from NOAA on pursuit of State Licensing Boards professional licensure for geospatial mapping to include: hydrography; topography; and geodetic control, with a recent presentation to the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).


THSOA Ambition Statement

If elected as a Trustee, Mr. Dasler would continue his pursuit of advancing the profession of hydrography through the THSOA broad based goals to: improve and increase the knowledge level and skills of American hydrographers; encourage the development of formal education, training, and continuing education for working professionals; and increase awareness of hydrography as a profession relevant to engineering, environmental science and commerce. As a Trustee of THSOA he would work with the President and other Trustees on the continued pursuit of a National recognized licensure for geospatial sciences, approved by State licensure boards, that is on par with State professional licensure for engineering and land surveying.