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SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory


Committee Members | Meeting Schedule | Meeting Minutes | SSRLUO Activism

A. Overview

The purpose of the SSRL Users' Organization (SSRLUO) is to provide an organized framework for interaction between the scientists who use the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory for their research and the SSRL and SLAC management, as well as to provide a channel for communication with other national laboratories, funding agencies, and the public in general. The SSRLUO shall advise the SSRL Director and the Scientific Advisory Committee on matters of concern to users. Responsibility for the SSRL and the research programs carried out at the SSRL resides with the SSRL Director.

The SSRLUO is broadly concerned with representing the interests of the SSRL users. The SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee (SSRL-UOEC) is the formal organizational unit of the SSRLUO.

The UOEC communicates the needs and desires of users regarding operating policies, use of the SSRL, user support, and other relevant issues of concern to those engaged in research at this facility. The SSRL management will engage SSRLUO in discussions regarding current and/or future strategic plans for the facility to ensure evaluation of user interests and the most efficient and optimal utilization of the facility.

The UOEC members are elected by the SSRLUO, and they meet several times each year to carry out the business of the SSRLUO. The UOEC coordinates periodic surveys to obtain user feedback and suggestions, and they organize an annual Users' Meeting which provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of recent user developments and experimental results as well as future plans. The UOEC represents SSRL to numerous constituencies and coordinates activities with representatives from other user facilities to promote awareness and public support for user facilities and more broadly for basic sciences in the United States.

B. Organization

1. Membership

The SSRLUO membership will be comprised of all scientists who are interested in research at the SSRL, including students, staff, and all researchers who have used the SSRL facilities in the past or plan to use the facilities in the future.

2. Standing Committees

a. The SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee (SSRL-UOEC) is charged with conducting the day-to-day business of the SSRLUO. The UOEC shall consist of 15 individuals representing the broad techniques and disciplines which comprise the SSRL user community, including 3 representatives from materials/chemistry, 2 from environmental/geosciences, 2 from biospectroscopy/bio SAXS, 3 from macromolecular crystallography, 1 from ultrafast science, and 2 student representatives (in any discipline). Candidates for open UOEC positions shall be solicited from the SSRLUO each summer, and a ballot with candidate biographies will be distributed to the SSRLUO each Fall during the annual users' meeting. UOEC representatives will be elected by majority vote of the SSRL user community. UOEC members serve for a three-year term, beginning immediately after the annual users' meeting. The SSRL User Research Administration Manager will serve as Liaison to the UOEC, in a non-voting capacity. Two additional members of the SSRL-UOEC are the chairs or their representatives of SLAC and LCLS users' organizations also in ex-officio capacity for facilitating information flow among the SLAC user groups.

b. The UOEC may appoint other subcommittees comprised of UOEC or SSRLUO representatives as it deems appropriate.

3. Officers

a. The Chairperson of the SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee shall also serve as Chairperson of the SSRLUO. The Chairperson's term of office shall be for 1 year. Under normal circumstances the Vice Chairperson automatically become the Chairperson beginning immediately after the annual users' meeting. To assure continuity and to realize benefit from the experiences gained as a UOEC officer, the Chairperson shall continue to serve on the UOEC for two additional years. The Chairperson shall serve in an ex officio capacity of the SSRL Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC).

b. The Vice Chairperson of the SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee shall also serve as Vice Chairperson of the SSRLUO. The Vice Chairperson shall stand in for the Chairperson if he or she is unavailable and shall assist the Chairperson in the discharge of his or her duties. His or her term of office shall be 1 year, upon expiration of which term he or she shall assume the position of Chairperson. The Vice Chairperson, along with SSRL and LCLS scientific staff appointed by the SSRL and LCLS Directors, shall co-chair the annual users' conference. The Vice Chairperson shall be elected by the Users' Organization Executive Committee from among its members by majority vote. The nominations and elections shall take place within one month of the annual users' meeting either at a UOEC meeting, during a phone conference call, or electronically via email.

C. Meetings

1. A general meeting of the SSRLUO will be held annually in the fall. The annual users' conference will be co-chaired by the Vice Chairperson of the SSRL-UOEC along with SSRL and LCLS scientific staff appointed by the SSRL and LCLS Directors.

2. The Users' Executive Committee shall meet at the call of the Chairperson to transact all such business as shall be required between general meetings of the membership of the SSRLUO, usually 3-4 times a year. The meetings shall normally be held at SLAC in Menlo Park, California, but other sites may be selected by the UOEC including virtual meeting space and conference calls. Except under unusual circumstances, notice of meetings shall be given to the membership at least three weeks in advance. An agenda for each meeting shall be provided by the UOEC in advance of meetings. During the meeting, SSRL management and staff may be invited to discuss the current status and future developments of the SSRL, and the SSRLUO will have an opportunity to add walk-in items to the agenda at the discretion of the Chairperson. All users are invited to participate in UOEC meetings, and sessions are generally open (closed session for executive committee discussions will be announced when necessary).

D. Procedures

1. Minutes of all meetings shall be recorded by the SSRL Liaison and shall include a brief summary of the discussions and results of the meeting. After circulation and approval by the Chairperson and the committee, SSRL-UOEC meeting minutes shall be made available to the SSRLUO by posting them on the Internet.

2. In the event that a position on the UOEC should be vacated before expiration of its term, the committee shall appoint a member of the SSRLUO to fill the vacant position.

3. The UOEC shall advise the Director of the SSRL with regard to the membership of relevant committees that may be established. The SSRL Director shall keep the UOEC advised of proposed changes in the operation of the SSRL and of future plans; the committee shall bear responsibility for making appropriate recommendations to the SSRL Director regarding such matters, including future directions, major equipment, and changing user needs.

4. The UOEC will work with members of other SLAC or LCLS user committees to facilitate communications and coordination of activities in areas of mutual interest.

5. The UOEC can appoint representative(s) from the SSRLUO for the "Synchrotron and Neutron Users' Group" (SNUG), "National User Facility Organization" (NUFO), and other user advocacy groups. The appointed representatives do not need to be a current member of the UOEC and, at the discretion of the UOEC Officers, can serve for multiple years in order to maintain and enhance the experience of the SSRLUO in general educational efforts promoting the importance and impact of the research performed at the SSRL.

6. Amendment to this charter may be suggested by any member of the SSRLUO. The actual changes are to be discussed and ratified by the UOEC.

E. Awards

1. The UOEC has primary responsibility for the selection of the Farrel Lytle Award recipient.

a. The Farrel W. Lytle Award was established in 1998 by the SSRL Organization Executive Committee to promote important technical or scientific accomplishments in synchrotron radiation-based science and to foster collaboration and efficient use of beam time among users and staff at SSRL.

2. Representatives of the UOEC will participate with SSRL scientific staff in the selection committees for the William Spicer Young Investigator Award, the Melvin Klein Scientific Development Award, and the Outstanding Student Poster Awards, which are presented during the annual meeting each fall.

a. The Melvin P. Klein Scientific Development Award was established in 2006 by the SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee in memory of Melvin P. Klein (1921-2000). The Melvin P. Klein Scientific Development Award honors a pioneer at the forefront of accomplishments in NMR, EPR, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy who was dedicated to the pursuit of the structure of the Mn complex characterized by the interplay of these methods.

b. William E. Spicer Young Investigator Award was established in memory of William E. Spicer (1929-2004), who was an esteemed member of the international scientific community as a teacher and researcher in electrical engineering, applied physics and materials science. He was a professor at Stanford for 40 years where he pioneered the technique of ultraviolet photoemission spectroscopy and its subsequent expansion into the use of synchrotron radiation. In 1972, together with Sebastian Doniach, Bill Spicer founded the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Project which evolved into today's SSRL. He was a prolific author with over 700 works and the recipient of many honors and awards including the Lifetime Mentor Award by the AAAS in 2000, reflecting his tireless effort on the behalf of under-represented minorities and women. Though retired for some years, he continued to actively advise students at SSRL up until his death in 2004.

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