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Biography, Affiliations, Awards

Dave Doyle joined the National Geodetic Survey in 1972, and held the position of Chief Geodetic Surveyor at his retirement in January, 2013.  He was responsible for the development, technical design and management of plans and programs that enhance the United States National Spatial Reference System.  He has provided technical assistance in geodesy to international, federal, state and local surveying, mapping and GIS agencies. 


Mr. Doyle began his career as a Topographic Surveyor (82D20) with the U.S. Army in 1967, and served on numerous survey campaigns while stationed with the 656th Engineer Battalion (Topo) in Schwetzingen, Germany until completion of his military service in 1970.  From 1970 until 1972, he worked for Long and Rinker, a private surveying company in Fairfax, Virginia, where he was responsible for completing boundary, topographic and engineering surveys while he pursued undergraduate studies in geodesy, cartography and mathematics at the George Washington University in Washington D.C. 


During his time at NGS his experiences included all phases of geodetic triangulation, astronomic positioning, leveling, GPS data collection, data analysis, datum transformations, network adjustments, and data publication.  Mr. Doyle’s activities have included extensive efforts on the development and implementation of the North American Datum of 1983, the North American Vertical Datum of 1988, the Puerto Rico Vertical Datum of 2002 and the Virgin Islands Vertical Datum of 2009.  He has also provided technical support to various countries for the modernization of national and regional geodetic reference systems in the Caribbean and Central America, Africa, and the Pacific.  Mr. Doyle has published more than 30 articles on geodesy and geodetic surveying in national and local surveying publications, and he has conducted more than 530 workshops and seminars detailing the various aspects of geodesy and the National Spatial Reference System.  Mr. Doyle continues to support education in geodesy for surveyors and others interested in high accuracy geospatial data through seminars at surveying and GIS conferences, as a faculty member of GeoLearn, and as the geodesy editor for xyHt Magazine.


Mr. Doyle is an active member of the American Association for Geodetic Surveying, and the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia professional surveyors associations.


Dave lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife, Renee Shields-Doyle, former Height Modernization Manager at NGS, also now retired.  He and has 2 grown sons who also live Maryland. Dave is an avid fan of Baltimore Orioles MLB, and all kinds of music, especially that of the Grateful Dead. He enjoys cooking, particularly when he can enhance a dish with chili peppers from Hatch, New Mexico.  He loves driving his 1967 Austin-Healey 3000. In retirement, Dave and Renee have more time to enjoy all of these, as well as expand their travel in and out of the US, and becoming grandparents.


Click here for a downloadable bio in brief.  Click here for a downloadable copy of Dave's resume.

Professional Association Affiliation



2022 - Distinguished Service Award - Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors

2021 - Russell E. Lowman Memorial Award for Education

2018 – AAGS Joseph Dracup Lifetime Achievement Award

2013 – Florida Surveying and Mapping Society – Scientific Research of the Year Award

2013 – Maryland Board for Professional Land Surveyors – Lifetime Service Award

2013 – National Society of Professional Surveyors Lifetime Achievement Award

2011 – Towson University Maryland, GIS Conference - Outstanding GIS Service Award

2010 – National Society of Professional Surveyors Board of Governors Meritorious Service Award

2009 – New Jersey Society of Professional Land Surveyors - Lifetime Service Award

2008 – Maryland Society of Surveyors - Surveyor of the Year Award

2008 – Virginia Association of Surveyors - Lifetime Service Award

2006 – Professional Surveyor Magazine – One of the 25 Most Influential People in Surveying in the

           United States

2002 – Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for Superior Service – Redefinition of the geodetic

           reference frame for American Samoa

1996 – Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for Superior Service – Caribbean GPS International

           Airport Survey Program

1996 - American Society of Military Engineers, KARO Award - NGS Caribbean Airports Global Positioning

           System Survey Party, NOAA

1995 – American Society of Military Engineers, KARO Award – Modernization of the geodetic reference

           frame for Romania

1995 - American Congress on Surveying and Mapping - Fellow Member

Seminars and Workshops

Since 1983 Dave has conducted more than 530 seminars/workshops at international, national, state and regional surveying, mapping and GIS conferences detailing the fundamentals of the science of geodesy including: geodetic field measurements; horizontal and vertical datum definitions, history, and implementation; coordinate systems; GPS-derived heights; state plane coordinates; relationships of vertical and tidal datums; datum transformations; project planning; and network adjustments.



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