Activities in 2002 of the SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee (SSRLUOEC)

C. Booth, Chair SSRLUOEC

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


The SSRL Users' Organization (SSRLUO) is the collection of all registered, outside users of the facility. Each year, members are elected to the Executive Committee (EC), which meets 3-4 times a year. This committee has several functions. It advises SSRL staff about how users will be affected by certain events, such as the SPEAR3 upgrade. It can also lobby SSRL for desired changes, such as better user amenities near the experimental floor. In addition, it listens to grievances and represents them to SSRL staff. Other types of activities will be discussed. More recently, the SSRLUOEC has lobbied Congress and others in support of the facility, the DOE Office of Science, and the scientific enterprise in general. This activity is especially important because the SSRLUOEC is not hindered by DOE regulations that explicitly prohibit their facilities and employees from lobbying any government branch for increases or changes in DOE funding.

The SSRLUOEC has been very focused on two areas this last year: SPEAR3 and lobbying efforts. We strongly encouraged SSRL to help users identify alternative facilities to help mitigate the loss of at least two run cycles. The EC started a subcommittee to advise SSRL more directly. SSRL appointed Britt Hedman and Piero Pianetta to research this topic, and they have created a web site (http://www-ssrl.slac.stanford.edu/spear3-update.html) with this information. SSRL also kept the EC informed about possible issues with regard to the upgrade schedule, and the EC helped SSRL get this information out to the users via various emails and surveys (for example, issues regarding BL 2, 4 and 8). We also wrote a letter to DOE detailing the impact of some SPEAR3 issues on the users.

Lobbying efforts have continued to evolve. There were three trips to Washington, D.C. this year. Visits were made to many members of Congress, various committees and Offices, as well as a visit to the DOE. Each of these trips is coordinated with the UO's of the other DOE light sources. Feedback is overwhelmingly positive, and I believe grassroots efforts like this one (which are on the rise) are a big reason for the success of the NSF doubling initiative and the future success (we hope) of the DOE Office of Science doubling initiative. I will discuss our efforts, but in particular, we have assigned an EC member to help users learn how to make a Congressional visit (Jane DeWitt, dewitt@sfsu.edu), and started a web site (http://moseley.ucsc.edu/ssrluo ) with some generic-information links as well as links to the handouts we use on such visits.

Some other activities from the year will be presented.



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