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Users Group: Board of Directors Minutes

Minutes of the meeting on March 12, 1999

Directors Attending:

W. Boeglin, J. Calarco, S. Dytman, D. Geesaman (chair), C. Glashausser

Laboratory Attendees:

L. Cardman, R. Carlini, K. de Jager, H. Grunder, K. Hokansson (User Liaison), R. May, B. Mecking, L. Ware

User Attendees:

J. Templon

Laboratory Report:

Hermann Grunder and Larry Cardman discussed the general state of laboratory operation and funding. Operations seemed to be going well enough that the board did not request detailed reports from the accelerator and Hall leaders and the board expressed their appreciation of the recent high level beam delivery performance. Operations statistics now indicate there is little if any penalty for multiple hall operation. The free electron laser continues to set power records for infrared light having achieved more than 700 watts. The limitation at this time seems to be simply the infrared optics. While significant operating funding for the FEL has not been secured, several avenues continue to show promise and one major experiment is likely to run this year.

Atlanta APS Centennial Users Group Meeting: The JLAB Users meeting at Atlanta will be held at 5:00 PM, Monday March 22 in the Spanish Room of the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel. The User's Group special guest at this meeting is Dr. Martha Krebs, Director of the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. Dr. Krebs will take part in a town meeting discussion with us. Please take advantage of this opportunity share your enthusiasm about the science of Jefferson Lab. Don Geesaman will prepare an email message to the user group alerting them to this event.


Charlie Glashausser reported on his experiences as a first time PAC member and discussed the jeopardy process. In general he observed that he thought the deliberations were fair and well run. Of the six proposals in Jeopardy in Hall C, three were reapproved with the same priority, one conditionally approved experiment was deferred and two experiments chose not to resubmit their proposals. Charlie reemphasized the PAC recommendation that proposals for experiments in jeopardy should be complete proposals, discussing the state of physics and the experimental issues based on our current knowledge rather than referring to the original proposals. He recommended and the Board concurred that the scenario for the Hall A jeopardy, (expected approval percentage) should be clearly spelled out to the users in the next PAC report or call for proposals. Charlie also made several other suggestions for further improving the PAC process. Don Geesaman, the chairman of PAC XVI, will consider implementing some of these in the future. Users are certainly encouraged to forward their suggestions and comments about the PAC process to Don.

Data Mining:

At the last PAC meeting, several questions arose about how the laboratory treats requests from various groups to analyze data already taken by others or to analyze approved but as yet untaken data sets for physics topics beyond the stated intentions of the proposals. A particular issue arises when the community does not know that data which is germane to new proposals already exists. In general we all want to make the maximum physics use of the data taken at Jefferson Lab. Some clear overlaps such as the deuterium A(Q^2) measurements in Hall A and Hall C have occurred and the laboratory management, usually in consultation with the UGBOD, has negotiated an arrangement on the presentation of the results. The large acceptance CLAS data sets offer the largest potential for data mining. The CLAS collaboration is in the process of establishing procedures for the coordinating committee to approve each analysis project. The board asked the Hall B collaboration to create a list of the kinematics and configuration of all Hall B runs and a list of all the ongoing analysis projects on the web. This will allow people with new ideas to see if data exist to address them. If a non Hall B collaboration member wishes to analyze some of these data, they need a collaboration sponsor and the analysis project must be approved by the coordinating committee.

In Hall A collaboration experiments, any request to look at Hall A data should go to the Hall A collaboration coordination committee. For non-collaboration experiments, requests should be addressed to the spokesperson for the first 3 years following the run. In Hall C, requests to look at data should be directed to the spokesperson.

The board concluded that with the addition of the list of Hall B analysis projects and configurations there seemed to be reasonable mechanisms in place to identify data mining projects, to allow new proposals to be aware of what data exist, and to effectively exploit data mining opportunities. The Hall leaders are encouraged to continue to examine new proposals for potential overlaps and to bring these to the attention of the proposers and the other parties involved.

1999 Summer Workshop:

C. Glashausser reported on the plans for the 1999 summer workshop to be held at JLAB on June 24 and 25. Speakers have been identified for the plenary sessions on the 24th and 25th and representatives from DOE and NSF plan to attend. On Friday the 25th, there will be two parallel workshops, one on ROOT, C++ and Analysis techniques, and another on Radiative Corrections. Both of these promise to be of great importance to JLAB research. We encourage everyone to mark these dates on their calendars and plan to attend.

1998 Workshop Proceedings:

The proceedings of the 1998 Workshop on Physics and Instrumentation with 6-12 GeV Beams are being reprinted and expected to be available in six weeks. The papers are available now on the web. There was a short discussion about how to make the proceedings process more effective. One possibility of significantly reducing the cost of future proceedings is publication in CD-ROM format.

1999 JLAB Open House:

Linda Ware discussed the plans for the JLAB open house on June 26, 1999, just following the summer workshop. This event is an important part of the laboratory relations with the community and user participation in this event, both in exhibit preparation and manning exhibits, would be a big help. Don Geesaman agreed to coordinate recruiting user volunteers. He will find a point of contact for each hall. Anyone who would like to participate is encouraged to contact Don or the Hall Leaders.

User Office Space:

Karen Hokansson reported that as a result of the occupation of the ARC and other changes in laboratory space, the number of users desks has increased from 372 desks (277 under user liaison office control) to 435 desks ( 322 under user liaison office control). The remaining desks are assigned at the discretion of the Hall leaders and include 83 in CEBAF center and 30 in the counting house. The board complimented the lab on this significant increase. This increase is sufficient to accommodate the 50 outstanding requests for long term space but short term space remains a problem. To remedy this, the board and the lab feel that we must use the occupied space more efficiently. The board recommended several steps:

  1. High priority be given to accommodating permanent residing individuals.
  2. There needs to be a significant increase in the number of X-Terminals available in public areas and general unallocated short term office space. These can be utilized by short term visitors.
  3. The user liaison office should update requests for space each year and reallocate space more frequently. User requests should be coordinated with the Hall Leaders.
  4. User groups with several individuals who are only intermittently at the laboratory should receive space based on the average total occupancy, and not expect enough space for peak periods. Overflow in the peak periods can use the larger general space mentioned above.
  5. For the users with a need for storage space between visits, the liaison office should investigate dedicated locker space for office materials.

We understand that all users could be more efficient if they had long term office space at the laboratory but unfortunately we consider this an unreachable goal. We encourage the laboratory to continue to seek additional new office space for users, possibly in the mezzanine of the Physics storage building.

The Board members would also like to express their deep appreciation on behalf of the user community to SURA for the installation of personal computers in the Residence Facility. This improvement allows many short term guests to use their rooms effectively as offices. It certainly increases the appeal of the Residence Facility for the users.

Safety Training:

It is important that all users are well-trained to deal with the potential hazards in doing research at the laboratory. Each user must obtain the following training:

  1. EH&S Training (SAF 100) (no expiration)
  2. Radiation Worker Training (SAF 800) (Every two years)
  3. Oxygen Deficiency Hazard Training (SAF 103) (Every year)
  4. Hall specific Hazard Awareness training. (On each change of Hall configuration)

It is appropriate and important that new users plan to spend sufficient time at the laboratory prior to their work to complete their training. However, retraining imposes considerable cost and often some hardship on users unless it can be done at flexible times. Currently ODH retraining can be taken as a proficiency exam during normal office hours. We applaud the decision to increase the period of ODH retraining to every two years. Radiation proficiency examinations and practical factors training also occur every two years, but they are only scheduled for Thursday afternoons, which often poses a problem for faculty and students with fixed schedules involving Thursday classes.

Bob May discussed the importance of the practical factors training and the significant time required to assemble and disassemble the training site. In his view, it is very important to have the personal contact with the student to verify the success of the training. He also suggested the possibility of decoupling the proficiency exam and the practical factors training and creating a new temporary training rating that would allow users to work while accompanied by a fully trained individual in the Halls until the practical factors requirement could be met. He observed that contrary to the published policy, his group does schedule training at other times at the convenience of groups of users if they have enough advance notice.

In general the board believes that retraining will be more effective and appreciated if it can be made available at times more convenient to the users' schedules. In the long term we see computer based or web-based training as the most effective solution to most training issues. Computer based training and proficiency exams exist for other courses at the laboratory. This appears to be a much more efficient use of the valuable time of the Health Physics group. In our opinion an improved practical factors training could be quite important in the initial training but does not have significant benefit in retraining. We encourage the laboratory to follow the example of other DOE facilities which do not have this requirement. We understand that the current training program is the one approved for this laboratory, but that does not mean that effective changes cannot be incorporated and approved.

If practical factors training is to continue to be required for all retraining it is very important to the user community that it be made available on a much more convenient schedule. To this end we strongly encourage the laboratory to quickly find a permanent location for this training exercise so that, with advance scheduling, training could take place efficiently at any time during normal office hours. With this increased availability, we do not believe the introduction of a new "proficiency-test-passed but practical- factors-untaken" radiation training category is appropriate or needed.

1999 UGBOD election:

The nominating committee of Elizabeth Beise, Jeff Templon and Claude Marchand have almost finalized a slate of candidates for the 1999 election for the board of directors. Ballots will probably be mailed out in mid-April along with the call for proposals for PAC XVI. Three new directors will be elected in 1999 to replace J. Calarco, H. Crannell, and S. Dytman.

Review of Administration:

Don Geesaman reported on the 1999 Peer Review of the Administration Division which met Feb 23-25 1999. The Administration Division received the highest (Outstanding) rating. This panel of experts, consisting of directors of administration at several national laboratories, the chief financial officer of a local industry, representatives of the DOE Oak Ridge operations office, and a user representative (DG) praised the laboratory for running a lean and effective Administration Division. Don noted that the high rating is in no sense routine and puts the laboratory administration in a highly select group.

Graduate Student Issues:

The board had a brief discussions of several issues relating to graduate student life at JLAB and more effectively integrating student input into the laboratory. We plan to have further discussions of this topic at future meetings. Several suggestions were made to increase graduate student input. The board was enthusiastic about having elected graduate student representation on the Users Group Board and will consider how to implement this in the future. A suggestion of the Admin review committee was to have a graduate student as a member of the Library committee. We will also consider asking SURA to fund some graduate student participation in laboratory classes. A graduate student poster session was proposed for one evening of the summer workshop. We welcome all suggestions to increase the voice and experiences of graduate students at the laboratory.

The board is concerned that graduate students have appropriate medical insurance while at the laboratory. While some users groups have effective plans in place to make sure their students are covered, others may not. The laboratory makes low-cost medical insurance available but few individuals make use of this opportunity and consequently it is possible that the coverage may not be available in the future.

Next Meeting:

The next meeting of the Board is tentatively scheduled for the evening of 25 June 1999 immediately following the summer workshop.