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SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

SSRLUO Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Meeting Notes: December 19, 2006 9 am Conference Call

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Conference Call Participants Joy Andrews, Chris Kim, Cathy Knotts, Richard Lee, Karen McFarlane Holman, Art Nelson, Hirohito Ogasawara, Monica Sommerhalter, Jo Stöhr, Robert Szilagyi, Glenn Waychunas.

Chris Kim, SSRLUOEC Chair, welcomed the meeting participants and began the meeting. Notes and action items (in bold) follow.

Jo Stöhr attended the first part of the meeting to acknowledge the very positive feedback from user advocacy activities, such as the recent SNUG meetings in DC.

NUFO Update: Chris Kim (Chapman University) gave an update on activities of the National User Facility Organization (NUFO). The most pressing issue raised was the continuing resolution, which if continued through 2007 would be problematic for all user facilities because the budget would be much less than that anticipated (significant increases were expected in line with the President's budget). The APS sent an email alerting users about the devastating impact a prolonged continuing resolution would have on that facility as well as other facilities and science in general. ACTION: Chris Kim draft a letter encouraging user advocacy to support science overall (and specifically the DOE Office of Science budget) through letters and visits to congressional representatives during January and February; will also try to coordinate visits to local congressional offices.

SNUG Update: Joy Andrews (Cal State East Bay) discussed activities related to joint Synchrotron and Neutron Users Group (SNUG) user advocacy. SNUG representatives visited Washington in October. It was suggested that SNUG representatives follow up in early January with contacts made at those meetings. Joy also mentioned that there would be a conference call on January 9th to ensure that advocacy messages being communicated are consistent and coordinated with the DOE. Potential plans to coordinate something in conjunction with the February MRS meeting in San Francisco in March are being discussed.

SSRL 2007 User Survey: Chris Kim drafted and circulated a survey to encourage feedback from users to be used as part of SSRL visioning and strategic planning activities. The survey was modified with input from the SSRLUOEC with plans to develop in to a web based survey tool in early January so that user input can be collected and shared with the SSRL Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) when they meet at SSRL in February. ACTION: Chris Kim to update draft survey and to coordinate user comments.

SSRL34: Robert Szilagyi and Hiro Ogasawara will co-chair the next annual meeting of the SSRL Users' Organization to be held on October 1-3, 2007. ACTION: Users are asked to contact the co-chairs with suggestions for session topics, speakers and workshops. Robert and Hiro will begin to draft a program for SSRL34 in the next few months.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities: Chris Kim and Karen McFarland Holman (Willamette University) discussed activities to encourage and support new users, especially undergraduate students. The NSLS Faculty Student Research Program was discussed as one potential model to provide assistance to new users (this would likely require funds for travel grants, per diem reimbursement). Robert Szilagyi suggested the possibility of coordinating an extra day of beam time specifically for undergraduate training. To determine who would be interested in this option, a question about the use of beam time to support new user training or undergraduate research could be added to the proposal and to the beam time request. Another suggestion was to piggyback undergraduate students to work with experienced scientists, the benefit to new users would be valuable experience and to incorporating new researchers may make the beam time experiments more interesting to principal investigators who might not otherwise have much interaction with students. ACTION: This will be discussed again at future meetings.

Next SSRLUOEC Meeting on February 15th: Several SSRLUOEC members will be at SSRL for the SAC meeting on February 15th (am), so we plan to arrange a meeting of the SSRLUOEC in the afternoon (tentatively scheduled 1:30-4 pm). ACTION: Please share agenda items with Chris Kim or Cathy Knotts. Details on time and location to be circulated shortly.

Cathy Knotts
SSRL Liaison to SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee

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