USLUA Executive Committee Meeting Minutes: Jan 11, 2018

Welcome all

Selection of officers

  • Newman: Chair, vice-chair: Sheldon
  • People have a few days to send on the mailing list if they wish to have an election for Chair
  • Secretary: Deals with URA and a few other responsibilities.
    • Gianluca is willing to continue. If there are others, they should say something via email.
  • Let Jared know if you want to take over any of the elected positions (chair, secretary, etc.)


  • Quality of Life: Usha is willing to continue, but we are searching for a co-chair.
  • Gov’t Relations:
    • Need a chair rather than lots of co-chairs. YangYang, who has relevant background and participated in the last two DC trips is willing to take on this task.
    • Already: need to go after our lightning round winners to get them to go on this trip
    • Jessica has this info, and that must be followed up with.
    • New version of the materials that we take with us. Cooke (DOE) has coordinated an effort to update the brochure and similar documents. Need to make sure there is input from us.
    • We need to look at the 2 pager that shows what the P5 report says and our progress on that
    • The two pager should be consistent with the P5 report which indicates LHC as the highest near-term priority, while providing balance with neutrino program and US based experiments
    • The Ask
      • A short statement summarizing the funding request we are making
      • This will be formulated in the next two or three weeks
      • We must watch this closely
  • Outreach: No current chair.
  • Web Presence: Gordon: current chair, Darien and David and Toyoko
    • We are losing Dorian, for our technical support
  • Financial and fund raising: We need a chair to help with this
    • Fund raising: hardest bit is going and asking for money – and this is what limits our activities
  • Communications: Darin Acosta
  • Annual Meeting: Newman is chair
    • We are going to need more people to help as many of the current ones have left the committee
  • Rules & Elections: Jahred is chair.

US Particle Physics Effort

  • Jahred usually represents us, and Viviana was able to take over this time (her report):
  • New layout of the us particle physics web site
  • New STEM brochure – do we have specific ideas for covers and other things – they want to know by Jan 15.
  • How do you connect particle physics to other hot topics (like quantum information, etc.)?
  • There is a second one that is more focused on connections with everyday life.
  • These will likely be part of the material that will be taken on the DC trip

DC Trip planning

  • Each year Fermi UEC, SLAC Users, sometimes DPF, and us pool together to visit congress
  • We target about 20 participants from USLUA
  • Visit as many congressional offices as possible – we get close to 350 in total.
  • Main focus is on congressional office visits but also includes visits to the Executive Offices – OSTP (Office of Science and Technology Policy), DOE Office of Science. A visit with the Secretary of Energy was requested but not granted so far.
  • Breese Quinn – has become a real resource what with connections with staffers on almost all the important committees. He usually has about 40 meetings (!!).
  • We will travel on March 6/Tuesday. Briefing (at URA) early Wednesday – get latest updates, assemble folders with materials that we have, and distribute them. Weds and Thurs to visit offices (and a few on Friday).
  • Thursday and Friday – report to NSF and DOE how the week went. DOE is on Friday this year.  A pain to get out there, also, allow about 30 minutes for security.
  • Each person (about 20) should report things from their POV

USA Science and Engineering Festival

  • Huge event, every two years. 350K visitors last time. We had a booth. Julia Thom was on the committee – it was a heroic effort to get everything down there and setup.
  • It’s too late to mount such an effort for this year’s festival but we might be able to coordinate with the John Hopkins display, just received positive response from Andrei Gritsan
  • Verena has already started reaching out to Fermi to understand how to connect to people
  • Spencer Pasero is the new Manager of Fermilab’s Office of Education and Public Outreach, replacing Marge Bardeen
  • Verena has tried to contact Spencer but no response so far, so given the time constraints perhaps most of the work might be done with John Hopkins
  • Paperwork requirements for use of hazardous substances and issues of insurance might drive us towards screens… VR tools like the ATLASrift were a huge success in the past, and remote connections to experiments, etc., can be setup easily. Julia Gonski can make some of the connections

Web Site Content

  • David Miller has been rather active, and we’ve asked him to be a continuing observer
  • Desired improvements:
    • Need to update how to contact congress
    • Issue pages (taxes, medical insurance, etc.)
    • Topical things that have come up: credit cards (good/bad/fees?)
    • The value depends on having updated and valuable information
  • From Usha:
    • Security rules are changing (stricter, of course)
    • Might be better to supply links to other sites with the up to date information.
    • Sara Charlie has been helpful (US/LHC Communications person)

Feedback from Annual Meeting (Fermilab)

  • Attendance was not great considering the location at Fermilab
  • Corinne did a survey – see email that has been circulated
    • The most valuable aspect is the opportunity to network and interact across experiment boundaries and career stages, with funding agencies, and with those from our field now in industry (career stages, experiments, funding agencies, etc.)
    • We should offer more opportunities for that, less for full talks.
    • Career panel got very positive feedback from both senior and junior people
    • Corinne will come up with a revised agenda to take a stab at this, and circulate it for discussion.
  • We should settle on a location as quick as possible. The survey showed a strong support for having the meeting at Fermilab, citing easy of travel and lower cost. However, we also need to provide balance e.g.  was really easy. Should we use it again?
  • Significant issues with remote connections, for the LR presentations. Need better videoconferencing support and testing connections ahead of the sessions

Next time:

  • Go over finances and fund raising