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SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

SSRLUO Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Meeting Notes: Wednesday, November 26, 2008

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Beth Wurzburg, Monika Sommerhalter, Wayne Lukens, Cathy Knotts, Katherine Kantardjieff. On Phone: Karen McFarlane-Holman, Dick Lee, Chris Kim, Brittany Nelson-Cheeseman

  1. New Synchrotron Neutron Users Group (SNUG) co-chair to serve with Chris Kim There has been some confusion (mainly by me) about the difference between SNUG and the National User Facilities Organization (NUFO). To clarify, NUFO consists of the users' committee chairmen from all of the DOE user facilities and exists to help solve problems common to all user facilities. It is not primarily a lobbying organization although it is interested in science advocacy. SNUG consists of representatives from the synchrotron and neutron sources and is primarily a user advocacy or lobbying organization. SNUG organizes an annual trip to Washington, D.C. to talk with representatives or their staffs. SNUG also has monthly conference calls and helps users with local visits to their representatives.

    Currently Chris Kim is one co-chair of SNUG, and Katherine was the other representative but she stepped down to serve as SSRLUOEC vice-chair, so SNUG is looking for a new co-chair. There were a number of suggestions. Beth expressed some interest, but also noted that she was not all that familiar with the activities of SNUG. Monika mentioned that both NIST and Brookhaven are much closer to D.C., and may have an interest in providing a co-chair. Joe Kline, an SSRL user who works at NIST, ran for a spot on the SSRLUOEC and may be good candidate. Finally, someone already serving on SNUG may be willing to serve as co-chair.

    Going forward, Chris was going to ask the other SNUG members if anyone else was interested in serving as co-chair, and Cathy was going to email Joe Kline and ask if he was interested. Finally, if anyone wants to volunteer, they can talk with Chris.

  2. Request from NUFO for names of people willing to talk with their representatives. Wayne participated in a conference call with NUFO where the NUFO chair asked for names of users who would be willing to visit their local congressional offices. We probably have this information through the survey. Wayne will email the people who said "yes" on this survey and ask whether we can forward their names to NUFO.

  3. SSRL/LCLS users' meeting comments

    A number of comments about the users' meeting were made over the course of the meeting. They have been collected here

    1. General dislike of the parallel sessions format with the LCLS workshops parallel to the SSRL users' meeting and vice versa. Apparently, there was poor attendance at parts of the users' meeting while the workshop was in session. I have to apologize as this was my solution to shoehorning both the LCLS and SSRL meetings into three days. It did not seem to work very well.

    2. Potential solutions to the parallel meeting problem
      1. Use 4 days (Wed-Sat or Sun-Wed), 2 days each for SSRL and LCLS
      2. Shorter meeting (only 1 day for meeting, 1 day for SSRL workshops, 1 day for SSRL workshops).

    3. Dick mentioned that the directors of the SSRL and LCLS should meet to discuss this issue.

    4. Cathy mentioned that another date may be better for the users' meeting (a question was added to the survey to poll the users).

  4. Comments on the user survey

    1. Chris mentioned that the survey should not be changed too much so that we can track trends. A number of questions that were slated to be removed have been added back to the survey.

    2. Karen and Monika asked for a clearer explanation when to use the "N/A" response.

    3. Katherine mentioned that Zoomerang may be a better survey server than Survey Monkey in the future since the Zoomerang service which she uses can provide more useful statistical tools. There may be a problem with using a public university's account if the survey is used for lobbying. Since this is not the primary goal of the user survey, this is probably not an issue.

  5. Next meeting should be in mid-February to go over the results of the survey. I would like to run the survey from early January through the end of the month.

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