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SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

SSRLUO Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Meeting Notes: October 8, 2002 12:30 p.m.

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Agenda - Open Session (All Interested SSRL Users Invited)

  • Introduce Newly Elected Members
  • Elect Vice Chair for 2003
  • SPEAR3 Update - Impact on Users

Attendees:   Uwe Bergmann, Corwin Booth, Ben Bostick, Cathy Knotts, Erik Nelson, Nick Pingitore, Deanne Jackson Rudd, Vittal Yachandra

  • Corwin Booth, SSRLUO-EC Chair, called the meeting to order around 12:30 p.m.
  • Corwin updated the committee on activities in Washington related to SR funding. He had visited DC, OMB, OSTP, and DOE recently, and wrote letters to Pedro Montano and OSTP. In September, Corwin sent an email to users and encouraged each to write a letter to Congress, with a copy to Cathy Knotts, the liaison between users and SSRL management so that the committee could track how many letters were sent (We were informed that letters were sent by Nancy Hess, Nick Pingitore, Deanne Jackson Rudd, and Glen Waychunas). Corwin suggested that users visit the APS website which includes a section that allows users to enter their zipcode and get contact information for their local representative. In addition to letters urging users to support the latest bill 5270, it was suggested that letters could be sent to thank representatives who had already signed and expressed their support.
  • Corwin noted that his tenure as Chair of the SSRLUO-EC had been a learning experience and that having two EC members participate in meetings in DC had been useful from several perspectives: having broader representation of user interests and experiences, having two backups in case one person was not available, establishing consistency and providing training for new representatives (Chair shares experience with Vice Chair, who becomes Chair the following year .). Since Congressional representatives usually have very tight schedules, the importance of delivering an enthusiastic but concise message was noted. The importance of being flexible was also stressed since schedules can change at the last minute, and getting time with Congressional staff can be as valuable as with the representatives themselves.
  • Corwin noted that encouraging enthusiasm among users was going to be important in the coming year and he encouraged the EC members to help generate interest among other users who have not been active in user organization activities in the past. In addition to responses to lobbying support, there is a need to increase user response to the annual call for candidates for the EC and nominations for the Lytle Award.
  • Election results were announced at the October 7 Oktoberfest dinner. Corwin asked the newly elected members of the committee present to introduce themselves, and turned the meeting over to Uwe Bergmann, Vice Chair of the SSRLUO-EC who will take over as Chair for the coming year.
  • In response to a call for nominations for the Vice Chair position, Ben Bostick, Erik Nelson, and Jane DeWitt were nominated. Ben Bostick was subsequently elected by the EC to serve as Vice Chair for the coming year, and co-chair the 2003 users' meeting.
  • Regarding quality of life issues for SSRL users, it was suggested that SSRL look into mechanisms to incorporate SPEAR3 monitors in the new Guest House and that more food options be investigated for vending machines. There was a consensus at this meeting that expanding cafeteria hours would probably not be practical, since users don't usually think about eating during the short window of time that might be available, and many look forward to getting offsite for a real meal at least once a day while they are utilizing beam time.
  • Someone asked if other mechanisms for the SR keys might be available so that options may be sent to SSRL for consideration.
  • Regarding SPEAR3, several members expressed concern about detectors and suggested that SSRL be encouraged to develop a detector group to work on developing detector technology, particularly for EXAFS.
  • In response to the long shutdown planned for SPEAR3, the EC anticipates that there will be more pressure to collect data more rapidly. A suggestion was made that the EC and SSRL work together to develop methods and educate users about ways to increase scan speed and run samples more quickly, e.g., Quick EXAFS?
  • It was suggested that the EC give some thought to James Penner-Hahn's presentation during the users meeting related to optimizing samples and how that could be incorporated at SSRL.
  • With many beam lines not 500mA capable when SPEAR3 operations resume in January 2004, the EC expressed a desire to learn what plans are in place for how beam lines will be brought up, when and at what current, 100mA, 200mA, 500mA? The EC anticipates that users will want more beam time on more beam lines than currently planned, particularly bending magnet beam lines. They felt that users may be willing to take less current for lower concentration samples. It was suggested that the EC might want to solicit broader user input once a clearly articulated message of options is developed. A follow-up meeting will be scheduled in December with the SPEAR3 Task Force to discuss these issues.
  • The meeting adjourned around 2:00 pm and many attendees joined the workshops which were already in progress.

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