SSRL USERS’ ORGANIZATION EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
October 8, 2002
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
- 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.