Department Support

This page contains general information about the department's resources and support staff. It is primarily intended as an orientation guide for new department members, but department veterans may well find useful information here. We encourage you to contact the webmaster if you have suggestions for new entries.

Start with the index or one of the categories below:

Department Places

  • Mailroom: The main mailroom is located in PSC 1113; contact Barbara to arrange for a mailbox. Student workers are sometimes here and can shred papers for you. If you receive paper checks, these are available in the mailroom every other Friday; ask the student worker or Barbara to obtain your check.
  • Conference Rooms: The department conference rooms include ATL 1250, PSC 1136, and PSC 1148. The first of these has a schedule signup in ATL 1207. To reserve either PSC 1136 or 1148, check availability and sign up on the online calendar. The rooms are equipped for computer presentations as follows: ATL 1250 (2 projection screens and cable TV), PSC 1136 (projector & screen and large monitor), PSC 1148 (large monitor). The conference rooms in ATL are also available as study spaces when not otherwise in use. A separate conference room is maintained by the LMA in ATL 0205A (contact Lee Mundy).
  • Undergrad Interaction Room: The undergrad interaction room in ATL 1220 is a multi-use space for astronomy majors and the AstroTerps club. A TV display monitor and a projection screen are available for computer presentations. Contact Barbara for keycard access.
  • Computer Labs: The department has a Windows computer lab in ATL 0224 and a Linux computer lab in ATL 0261. Note that courses have priority for use of the ATL 0224 lab; schedules are posted on the door. Some individual groups (e.g. LMA, Theory) have their own computer labs or specialized group computers.
  • Library: There is a small departmental library in ATL 0246 and 0235 with monographs, journals, and conference series. Books are still being added to the collection. Contact Olivia Dent with book recommendations or other suggestions.
  • Visitors' Office: Two binders in the front office (PSC 1208) are used to reserve visitor space in PSC and ATL; both include information on the current location and availability of the visitors' offices. PSC 1127 is the primary visitors' office for the department, and ATL visitors' offices will be mainly used for back-up/overflow. PSC 1101 and 1118 are reserved for JSI Fellows and medium-to-long-term visitors. The student workers (x53177 - student office, x53001 - mailroom) can assist with questions and provide a key for the office; contact Barbara Hansborough if they are unavailable.
  • Observatory: Elizabeth Warner is the director of our campus observatory, including its open houses and other day-to-day operations. Dennis Wellnitz assists with maintenance and repairs of the telescopes.
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Department Resources

  • Office Machines: We have copiers in ATL 1202 and in PSC 1113 (the mailroom). The mailroom copier can be used as a fax machine. The mailroom also contains a shredder. Problems with any of these should be referred to our student workers or Barbara Hansborough. Both copiers are also able to send scans via email; instructions are posted by the copiers, and our student workers, Lauren Miles, or Olivia Dent can provide assistance.
  • Office Supplies: These are primarily located in ATL 1202 and PSC 1113. (If you take the last of an item or have a new request, you should add the item to the list kept in ATL 1202 of PSC 1113 next to the catalog and the department will place an order for it. Orders typically go out every other week on non-payweek Thursdays. Contact Barbara with questions.) To borrow tools such as tape measures, screwdrivers, and hammers, contact Barbara, Lauren or Olivia Dent.
  • Educational Supplies: Teaching demonstrations, videos, etc. may be found in ATL 0252; you must use the signout sheet there. Other educational supplies are located in ATL 0202.
  • Carts/Dollies: The department has flat carts, bookcarts, and a dolly for moving furniture; contact Barbara or Olivia Dent if you have need of them. The flat carts and dolly are usually located in PSC 1126. The book carts are usually located in the library.
  • Projection screen: The department has a portable free-standing projection screen in ATL 1206 (or PSC 1208's closet?).
  • Kitchen: The department maintains kitchens with a refrigerator, sink, and microwave in ATL 0254 and PSC 1128.
  • Espresso: There is a daily espresso get-together at 1:45-2:15pm (including ice cream on colloquium Wednesdays). It normally takes place in the PSC 1st floor ellipse area. Espresso pods and cups may be purchased from Barbara. Free tea or hot chocolate are sometimes available. When 'off-duty', the espresso machines are available for use in ATL 1112 and PSC 1128 (the kitchen).
  • Shower: There is a shower in ATL 3120 for general use. To reach it, start in the main ATL lobby, go (north) past ATL 1113, and go up the back stairs to the third floor.
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Administrative Services (Building)

  • Building Problems: Building maintenance problems (e.g. A/C, air vents, ceiling leaks, missing bathroom supplies) can be reported to Facilities Management anytime at x52222. For classroom AV problems (e.g. in ATL 0201, 2400, 2428), contact DIT at x52600. For keycard access problems, call Building Security at x53286 (call the UMD police for after-hours access). For the UMD Police, call x53555 (or 911 for emergencies).
  • Phones and Data Jacks: DIT has a comprehensive Phone and Voicemail Overview and the DIT Service Desk instructions for phone and voicemail. Kevin Rauch is the main department contact for these issues, and Olivia Dent is a backup if he is unavailable.
  • Keys: Contact Barbara for room keys. She can also assist you with after-hours building access, which is handled through Building Security (x53286). See Visitors' Office for information about keys for visitors.
  • Parking: Barbara is the department's parking coordinator; she arranges employee parking permits as well as parking validation codes for visitors. The Department of Transportation Services parking website can answer most questions. Information about the pay stations is available here, and instructions for using a validation code are available here.
  • Hallway Announcements and Department Decor: Barbara oversees the posting of announcements (conferences, etc.) on the department bulletin boards. Olivia Dent oversees lobby/hall decorations and the lobby TV displays (and appreciates receiving new ideas).
  • Movers and Terrapin Traders: To get furniture or large items moved from one place to another, contact Barbara. Contact Kevin Rauch for computer moves. Kevin also arranges Terrapin Trader pickups of all items that the department no longer needs, including furniture, computer hardware, etc. (Barbara and Olivia Dent are backups if he is unavailable.)
  • Used Furniture: Used furniture occasionally becomes available in the department, e.g. due to office moves or other rearrangements. Examples include bookshelves, file cabinets, tables, desks, chairs, etc. If you could use a specific piece of furniture, contact Olivia Dent, and she will notify you if your requested item becomes available. (Also let her know if you have an unwanted piece of furniture to donate to the cause.)
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Administrative Services (Business Office)

  • Business Office: The department's business office consists of Dorinda Kimbrell, Natalie Rowe, Yovita (Mona) Susanto, Susan Lehr, John Cullinan, and Emily Callahan. They handle issues such as payroll, benefits, proposals, travel, timesheets, grant management, effort reporting, purchase orders, etc.
  • Purchasing (w/ Research Funds): For research-funded purchases, please contact your business manager (Natalie, Mona, Emily) or Dorinda. See here for non-research-funded purchases.
  • Reimbursements: The University strongly discourages the use of personal funds for business purposes. The use of departmental purchasing cards for ALL business related purchases is preferred (see Purchasing). Utilizing personal funds should only be considered as the last resort or in an emergency situation. Contact Dorinda or Susan if you need to request a reimbursement.
  • Travel and Business Meals: Going on a trip? Be sure to read up on the UMD travel policy. The Department of Astronomy has recently switched to the University's new Travel System named Concur. A department user guide for Concur will soon be available. Susan or John provide travel support and can respond to any travel-related questions. Failure to adhere to University policies and procedures can result in the disallowance of expenses.
  • Research Proposals: If you plan to or are considering submitting a research proposal, contact your business manager (Natalie, Mona, Emily) or Dorinda. You must provide the program to which you are applying and the deadline. They will help create the budget and budget justification, and prepare the UMD-required paperwork and facilitate the UMD approval process. You must complete the astronomy department proposal routing form, and complete the certification process through Kuali Research in order for your proposal to be submitted.
  • Payroll Changes and Questions: For all payroll changes, including new appointments, terminations and funding changes, contact your business manager (Natalie, Mona, Emily). For general payroll questions, contact Susan or Dorinda.
  • Fellowships: Contact Olivia Dent or Dorinda regarding fellowships.
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Administrative Services (Misc.)

  • ID cards: University ID cards for faculty, staff, and students can be obtained on the first floor of the Mitchell Building (M-F 8:30-4:30, 301-314-8240) once you are in the university's electronic records system. Barbara Hansborough can assist with any questions.
  • Hourly Student Workers: Barbara hires and oversees most of our hourly student workers, who are usually based in the front office or the mailroom. The students are often available for short-term projects if needed; check with Barbara.
  • Grad Student Jobs: The graduate students have a number of positions such as the Colloquium Media Assistant or the Astromaid (who cleans out the fridge). See the Grad Twiki for the full list of assignments.
  • Colloquia: Barbara handles the department's colloquia, including website updates. She also handles arrangements for colloquium visitors, including travel approval/reimbursement forms and hotel/lunch reservations. See our hosting visitors page for more details.
  • Department Visitors: Barbara handles hotels, parking, and other arrangements for department visitors such as colloquium speakers, prospective students, etc. See our hosting visitors page for more details. See also Visitors' Office.
  • Purchasing: Susan Lehr handles most purchasing needs; send her the webpage or other specifics for the items that you need ordered. John Cullinan is responsible for computer hardware orders. Barbara is responsible for furniture purchasing orders, which normally must be purchased from Maryland Correctional Enterprises. See here for obtaining office supplies. See here for purchases w/ research funds.
  • FedEx Pickups: To arrange for FedEx pickups of packages, contact the mailroom student or Barbara if no student is available.
  • Lost and Found: We maintain a Lost and Found service in the department mailroom (PSC 1113). (Valuable items which are not claimed in a reasonable timeframe are turned over to the UMD Police; call x53555.)
  • Hiring: To hire anyone, first review your plans with your business manager. Olivia Dent can assist with placing advertisements, e.g. in the AAS job register. The official offer must come from the department, so please review your proposed offer with Olivia and Dorinda. (Note also that foreign researchers must pass through export control before being offered a position.) Olivia's office will write a contract and (if needed) initiate visa proceedings. Susan Lehr can assist with hiring undergrad employees or grad student RAs. Barbara Hansborough hires hourly students to work in the mailroom, front office, and to assist faculty with general clerical tasks.
  • Foreign Visitors and Export Control: Please contact us well in advance if you will be hosting a foreign visitor or employee, defined as someone who is neither a U.S. citizen nor permanent resident. ORAA now has an export control clearance procedure which requires various information. Instructions are available for hosting visitors (Barbara) and for hosting employees (Olivia). The clearance process can take up to a week, though it is often done within a day.
  • Visas: The primary department contact person for visa issues is John Cullinan. (Olivia Dent is a backup if he is unavailable.) The university-level office is the Office of International Student and Scholar Services.
  • Legal Affairs/Advice: The University's Office of General Counsel maintains a Faculty Resource Guide. You can also contact them directly at x54945.
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Student Services

  • Undergraduate Director and Advisor: The undergraduate director and advisor is Dr. Melissa Hayes-Gehrke.
  • Course Registration: Graduate students should contact Olivia Dent to gain access to online course registration.
  • Tuition Remission: Contact Susan Lehr for tuition remission questions for grad student TAs and RAs.
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Computer-Related Issues (+ Website)

  • Computer help line: help [at] astro [dot] umd [dot] edu
  • Computer Accounts: One of the first things that new grad students, postdocs, etc. will want to do is to obtain a department computer account (e.g. for email). This can currently be done by contacting Kevin Rauch or Peter Teuben. They can similarly assist with registering your laptop on the network. You will also need to set up a university account for your "Directory ID".
  • Wireless Accounts: To use wireless (either as a university member or a guest), make sure your computer can see a UMD or Eduroam network. Connect to one of these, then start a web browser, which should bring you to a login screen. University members use their UMD Directory ID and password (see previous section); guests use their guest account ID and password (see next section).
  • Guest Wireless Accounts: Guests may arrange 24-hour wireless accounts on the umd-guest network by following DivIT's instructions. Faculty and staff may also arrange guest wireless accounts for up to 4 people for 30 days.
  • Computer Hardware Issues: Contact Kevin Rauch for problems with computers, printers, and other hardware, as well as Linux installations. Questions about network support and tape backups may also be directed to Mark. Please note that notebooks are not supported by the department except for DHCP service.
  • Computer Software/Sysadmin Issues: Contact Kevin Rauch for Linux/Sun system and software issues. If the situation is time-critical, other department members with root access include Peter Teuben and Marc Pound. MS Windows is supported only on staff and lab machines; contact Kevin Rauch.
  • Computer Peripherals: The computing wiki contains a current list of printers and their locations. The department has laptops and projectors which can be checked out by faculty and students from the front office. (Note that Projector #2 also has a presentation remote stored with it.) There are laser pointers and USB drives available for borrowing in Barbara's office, and batteries are available in Barbara Hansborough's storage closet.
  • Graduate Computers: The department has a Policy on Public Computer Workstations for graduate students (and their advisors).
  • Computer Security: The department has a Computer Security Policy which we encourage everyone to be familiar with.
  • Website Updates: Contact the webmaster with any updates or errors that you notice. Simple fixes are usually made within two days.
  • Directory and Exploder Updates: Barbara Hansborough maintains the department phone directory and directory webpage, as well as the primary email exploders; contact her with any additions or updates. A text file of the phone list is located at /n/www/pub/phone , and you can use the Linux command "phone [name]" to search for someone. To see the full set of email exploders and view their members, check the directories /n/list and /n/list/autogenerated.
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General Information

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