NOTE: These are draft by-laws, and we invite comments on these by-laws from the community.

We also invite nominations for people to stand for election to the Executive Committee of the SEES User Group.

Proposed By-Laws of the SEES User Organization

1. Overview

The SEES User Group is an organization composed of scientists and students who conduct experiments or collaborate on experiments at SEES (Synchrotron Earth and Environmental Science) facilities and/or have an interest in Earth and Environmental Science research using synchrotron light source or related user facilities.

This page describes the by-laws that define the membership, responsibilities, and structure of the SEES User Group and its Executive Committee.

2. Membership in SEES User Group (SUG)

2.1 Eligibility for Membership

Membership in the SEES User Group is open to any scientist or student in the Earth and Environmental Sciences who conducts or collaborates on experiments at SEES facilities or has an interest in Earth and Environmental Science research using light sources or related user facilities.

2.2 Joining the SEES User Group

Individuals can enroll in SUG by registering on the SEES website, attending a SEES meeting, or by using SEES facilities. The chair of the SUG-EC has the discretion to seek further information regarding whether an applicant meets the qualifications for membership.

3. SEES User Group Executive Committee (SUG-EC)

The SEES User Group Executive Committee (SUG-EC) serves as the official voice of the SEES user community. It is an independent body charged with providing advice and recommendations to the SEES management concerning all issues affecting the user community. The SUG-EC will organize the scientific program of designated SEES user meetings. It also will identify the interests and needs of the users, advocate for those needs with facility management, and contribute to articulating scientific directions for the organization.

 3.1 Committee Structure and Selection Process

3.1.1 Size of Committee and Officers

The SUG-EC will be composed of 8 members, including a Chair, and a Vice-Chair. The Vice-Chair becomes the chair in the year following serving as Vice-Chair (or if the Chair becomes vacant). The Vice Chair will act as Secretary and keep minutes of each meeting. One junior researcher will be included in the SUG-EC (i.e., a post-doctoral fellow).

3.1.2 Qualifications

SUG-EC members must be current members of the SEES User Group. Candidates for office should meet the criteria listed in section 3.1.4.

3.1.3 Terms of Service

Each regular member will have a three-year term of service, staggered to provide continuity (the junior researcher representative will have a 1-year term of service). In each year, approximately one-third of the membership should roll off. SUG-EC committee members are not eligible to serve two consecutive terms.

In the event that a position on the SUG-EC should be vacated before expiration of its term, the SUG-EC shall appoint a member of the SUG to fill the vacant position.

3.1.4 Nominating Committee

The Vice Chair serves as Chair of the annual Nominating Committee and will recruit two additional nominating committee members who are not members of the SEES User Group Executive Committee.

The nominations committee should solicit nominations from the general membership, allowing at least two weeks for responses. The Nominating Committee should consider, but is not required to select, those nominated from SUG membership as candidates for election.

A minimum of two willing candidates should be identified for each open position on the SUG-EC committee. This rule can be relaxed when the number of vacancies on the SUG-EC is 5 or larger.

The Nominating Committee should consider the following criteria when seeking candidates:

  • Candidate research interests/activity in Earth and Environmental Science
  • Candidate interest/activity in synchrotron-related techniques
  • Preference to candidates whose synchrotron-based research is supported by the NSF EAR program
  • Candidates should be selected to achieve diverse representation covering the broad range of techniques, disciplines, and scientific interests which comprise the SEES community.
  • There may be no more than one member of the SUG-EC member from any institution unless the SUG Executive Committee specifically makes an exception.

3.1.5 SUG-EC Election Procedure

The Nominating Committee should request written statements from the candidates (e.g., biography, use of synchrotron techniques, funding sources, reasons for standing for office). These statements should be made available to the voters before they cast their ballots.

SEES management will designate a staff member to administer the election including distributing candidate statements and ballots, tallying the votes, and reporting the results.

The voting will be conducted electronically with all SUG members eligible to vote. The election period shall last no less than two weeks and or a time designated by the SEES-EC.   An electronic communication will be sent to the membership of the SUG announcing the new members of the committee.

New Executive Committee members and officers will assume their duties at the annual meeting following their election or at a time designated by the SEES-EC. The SUG-EC will develop and implement a plan to orient incoming SUG-EC members.

3.2 Committee Meetings

3.2.1 Frequency of Meetings

The SUG-EC will meet at least annually (i.e., at the annual SUG meeting) and as deemed necessary by the Chair.

3.2.2 Quorum

A minimum of five SUG-EC members are required to establish a quorum.

3.2.3 Committee Agenda

The agenda for SUG-EC meetings will be defined by the Chair.

3.3 SUG Executive Committee Duties and Functions

3.3.1 Meeting with Management and Annual Report

The SUG-EC interacts with and makes recommendations to management on matters affecting the user community. The SUG-EC provides advice and input on an ad hoc basis as requested by the Director. The SUG-EC will meet at least yearly with the Director and the SEES EC (SEC) to make recommendations, raise user concerns, and respond to management requests. The SUG-EC will submit an annual written report to the Director components of which may be included in the annual report to the NSF. It is be noted that the operation and management of SEES are vested in the director and management team.

3.3.2 Disciplinary Subcommittees

The SUG-EC may establish and appoint subcommittees comprised of SUG-EC or SUG representatives, as it deems appropriate. The subcommittees may be tasked with assisting the SUG-EC in developing science plans, evaluating SEES research directions and facilities, or any other activities to support the mission of the SUG-EC.  The up-to-date membership of the Executive Committee and any subcommittees should be listed on the SUG web page. The SUG-EC may terminate any subcommittee when it is no longer active or required.

3.3.3 Education, Outreach, and Diversity Working Group

The SUG-EC will also be responsible for establishing an Education, Outreach, and Diversity Working Group. This Group will be tasked with advising and assisting the Central Office in carrying out the EO&D mission and activities of the organization. The SUG-EC should establish a fixed, limited term of service for service on this Working Group, and the up-to-date membership should be listed on the SUG web page.

3.3.4 Science Plan

The SUG-EC will assist in the development of the SEES Science Plan produced every 5 years as described in the Terms and Conditions of the SEES Cooperative Agreement.

3.3.5 Annual Meeting

The SUG-EC is responsible for the scientific program of the annual SEES meeting which may be either in person or virtual.

The user meeting should include a SEES business meeting in which the Director and others report to the user community an overview of the state of the organization, activities over the past year, future initiatives, and responses to any user community input and recommendations. There should also be an open forum for community-wide discussion of SEES activities.

The Director shall appoint a staff member to provide administrative assistance to the SUG-EC in meeting planning.

3.3.6 Membership List

The membership list of the SUG will be maintained by the SEES Central Office.

3.3.7 Communications

The SUG-EC will seek to inform the user community about issues of interest and importance to the SUG. A section of the SEES webpage will be designated for use by the SUG-EC. The SUG-EC will maintain this webpage with up-to-date information and use it as a primary tool for communicating with the SUG. The Annual report of the SUG-EC will be posted on this section of the SEES Webpage. The SUG by-laws should be posted and maintained up-to-date on the SUG-EC section of the SEES webpage. The SUG-EC may institute other means for communication with the user community as needed.

3.3.6 Other Duties

The SUG-EC will conduct other activities as needed to fulfill its mission. This may include:

  • Regularly solicit input on all facets of SEES from the user community; this may include:
    • Providing forums for organized discussions and interactions among the user community.
    • Conducting and evaluating the results of surveys of SUG members and facility users.
  • Serve as an advocacy group for SEES and its user community.

3.4 Amendments to the Bylaws

The SUG Executive Committee may propose amendments to these by-laws. Such amendments will be subject to approval by the SUG in an election conducted in conjunction with or in a similar manner to the annual election. Approval by a majority of the ballots cast is sufficient to approve any amendment.


These bylaws are provisional at which time the by-laws would go into effect.


Comments on these Proposed By-Laws

You are invited to comment on these by-laws.  You can either download SEES_UserOrg_ByLaws.docx and send suggested revisions (using “Track Changes”, please!) to [email protected]

Or, you can enter comments using the form below:

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