SSRL USERS’ ORGANIZATION
Chris Kim, SSRLUOEC Chair, welcomed the meeting participants and began the meeting. Notes and action items (in bold) follow.
SSRL User Administration Update: Cathy Knotts presented several slides including safety, communications, access by foreign users, user operations, and an update on active proposals. Copies of an SSRL brochure prepared for the AAAS meeting in San Francisco were also distributed. Cathy encouraged users to inform SSRL whenever research is about to be published so that SSRL can work with users and their home institution to more broadly disseminate user research.
SSRL Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) Meeting: Chris Kim, Robert Szilagyi and Stephane Richard summarized their discussion with the SAC which had a concurrent meeting in the Redwood Rooms. An SSRL user survey was conducted via the web during the month of January. Results of the user survey were shared with the SAC and SSRLUOEC. Chris mentioned that the results could be further processed, and that a similar survey could be done in the future (perhaps annually) to poll users for feedback and also to solicit their ideas for new developments for SSRL. There was a suggestion to tie the survey into the proposal process to increase the response rate and to correlate the questions to the users' scientific field or technique.
A number of users expressed interest in detector development; the SSRLUOEC recommended that users be included and/or informed of developments in this area.
A problem with dry dewars being shipped back to user institutions as "hazardous" shipments was discussed. When this happens, users are charged a much higher rate for shipments, and consequently, users request the ability to ship dry dewars as non-hazardous in order to save on shipping costs.
A few other suggestions were discussed: 1) add more high back chairs to the beam lines to allow users to rest more comfortably when collecting data; 2) problem.
User Advocacy: In the survey, users were specifically asked about their willingness to participate in advocacy activities. As might be expected a significant number of users expressed interest in sending emails, and fewer expressed a willingness to participate in meetings with Congressional representatives (in DC or locally). Joy Andrews gave an update on joint advocacy activities of the Synchrotron and Neutron Users Group (SNUG) who visited Washington in October and January (another visit was scheduled for March 2007). Chris Kim gave an update on the National Users Facility Organization (NUFO); the next NUFO meeting will be hosted by ALS at LBNL in June 2007.
SSRL34 Users' Meeting: Robert Szilagyi (SSRLUOEC Vice Chair; Montana State University) will co-chair the next annual users' meeting along with Hiro Ogasawara (SSRL); they shared preliminary plans for the meeting and workshops to be held in conjunction with the annual meeting (October 1-3, 2007). Questions related to areas of interest and potential topics were included in the user survey; Robert and Hiro were working to incorporate these suggestions into the program. A suggestion was made to invite a speaker to give a keynote address, perhaps during the banquet. As much as possible, presentation of awards will be incorporated into the user meeting program to coincide with presentations from the individuals being recognized (e.g., Spicer Young Investigator Award, Klein Scientific Development Award).
Undergraduate Research Initiatives: Several SSRLUOEC members represent undergraduate universities, and they are very interested in exploring mechanisms to stimulate and facilitate undergraduate research. Potential funding for undergraduate outreach was discussed, possibly including NSF or industrial sponsorship of summer internships? Several potential options to promote undergraduate research were discussed including:
Next meeting:: Chris' suggested scheduling the next SSRLUOEC meeting when he would be in town for beam time, Friday 4/20-Thursday 4/26; afternoon seems to work well for many people (~1-5 pm). The committee adjourned to Vino Locale at 431 Kipling St in Palo Alto for refreshments.