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 CSS 1248, CSS 1255 (the library), PSC 1136, and PSC 1148. The former two have schedule signups by their door. 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: CSS 1248 (projection screen only), CSS 1255 (large monitor w/ cable TV and computer connectors), PSC 1136 (projector & screen and large monitor), PSC 1148 (large monitor). The conference rooms in CSS are also available as study spaces when not otherwise in use. A separate conference room is maintained by the LMA in CSS 0205A (contact Lee Mundy).
  • Undergrad Interaction Room: The undergrad interaction room is a multi-use space for astronomy majors and the AstroTerps club. A TV display monitor is available for computer presentations. Contact MaryAnn Phillips for keycard access.
  • Computer Labs: The department has a Windows computer lab in CSS 1220 and a Linux computer lab in CSS 0246. Note that courses have priority for use of the CSS 1220 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 CSS 1255 with monographs, journals, and conference series. Books are still being added to the collection. Contact Eric with book recommendations or other suggestions. The library is also available for study space, meetings, and small classes. Please note that first priority of room use is given to department meetings which are listed on the calendar posted in the hallway.
  • Visitors' Office: Two binders in the front office (PSC 1208) are used to reserve visitor space in PSC and CSS; both include information on the current location and availability of the visitors' offices. PSC 1127 is the primary visitors' office for the department, and CSS 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 students 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 coordinator of our campus observatory, including its open houses and other day-to-day operations. Dennis Wellnitz assists with maintenance and repairs of the telescopes.
Return to top
Go to index

Department Resources

  • Office Machines: We have copiers in CSS 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, Mark Wolfire, or Eric McKenzie can provide assistance. Additional fax machines are maintained by the planetary group and the space physics group.
  • Office Supplies: These are primarily located in CSS 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 CSS 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 MaryAnn or Eric.
  • Educational Supplies: Teaching demonstrations, videos, etc. may be found in CSS 1250 (the TA office); you must use the signout sheet there. Other educational supplies are located in CSS 1109A, the storage room for ASTR101; contact Eric if you would like to use any of these.
  • Carts/Dollies: The department has flat carts, bookcarts, and a dolly for moving furniture; contact MaryAnn or Eric 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 either CSS 1106 or 1255.
  • Kitchen: The department maintains a kitchen with a refrigerator, sink, and microwave in CSS 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, but on colloquium Wednesdays, it takes place in the CSS lobby. Espresso pods and cups may be purchased from Barbara. Free tea, hot chocolate, and cookies (1 per person, please) are often available. When 'off-duty', the espresso machines are available for use in CSS 1112 and PSC 1128 (the kitchen).
Return to top
Go to index

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. Alternatively, you may report the problem to MaryAnn, who will forward it to Facilities Management. For classroom AV problems (e.g. in CSS 0201, 2400, 2428), contact OIT at x52600 or MaryAnn. 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: Here is a reference card for our phones. OIT's Networking and Telecommunications Services (NTS) can assist with questions/problems regarding your phone or your data jacks. MaryAnn is the main department contact for these issues, and Eric is a backup if she is unavailable.
  • Keys: Contact MaryAnn 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. Eric 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 MaryAnn Phillips. Contact Mark Wolfire for computer moves. Mark also arranges Terrapin Trader pickups of all items that the department no longer needs, including furniture, computer hardware, etc. (MaryAnn and Eric 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 Eric McKenzie, and he will notify you if your requested item becomes available. (Also let him know if you have an unwanted piece of furniture to donate to the cause.)
Return to top
Go to index

Administrative Services (Business Office)

  • Business Office: The department's business office consists of Dorinda Kimbrell, Adrienne Newman, Luisa Cortes Mora, Natalie Tucker, Yovita (Mona) Susanto, and Susan Lehr. They handle issues such as payroll, benefits (Adrienne), proposals, travel, timesheets (Adrienne), grant management, effort reporting, purchase orders, etc.
  • Purchasing (w/ Research Funds): For research-funded purchases, please contact your business manager (Luisa, Natalie, Mona) 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 Adrienne if you need to request a reimbursement.
  • Travel and Business Meals: See the Travel Approval and Expense Request Procedures for detailed info. Susan or Adrienne provide travel support and can respond to any travel-related questions. If combining personal leave with business travel, contact Susan or Adrienne for documentation requirements. 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 (Luisa, Natalie, Mona) or Dorinda. Provide the program to which you are applying and the deadline. They will help create the budget and budget justification, prepare the UMD-required paperwork (e.g. routing form), and facilitate the UMD approval process.
  • Payroll Changes and Questions: For all payroll changes, including new appointments, terminations and funding changes, contact your business manager (Luisa, Natalie, Mona). For general payroll questions, contact Adrienne or Dorinda.
  • Fellowships: Contact Eric McKenzie or Dorinda regarding fellowships.
Return to top
Go to index

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 mailroom, the front office, and the library; Mark may also have a student who assists with computer matters. The students are often available for short-term projects if needed; check with Barbara or Mark as appropriate.
  • 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: Adrienne Newman handles most purchasing needs; send her the webpage or other specifics for the items that you need ordered. Mark Wolfire 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 a postdoc, first review your plans with your business manager. Eric McKenzie can assist with placing advertisements, e.g. in the AAS job register. When you are ready to make an offer, contact Eric and cc him on the offer letter. (Note that foreign researchers must pass through export control before being offered a position.) Eric's office will write a contract and (if needed) initiate visa proceedings. Adrienne Newman can assist with hiring undergrad employees or grad student RAs. Out-of-department grad students frequently leave resumes in PSC 1208; contact MaryAnn Phillips to view these. Barbara Hansborough hires hourly students to work in the mailroom, front office, library, and to assist Mark Wolfire.
  • 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 (Eric). 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 MaryAnn Phillips. (Eric McKenzie is a backup if she is unavailable.) The university-level office is the Office of International Services.
Return to top
Go to index

Student Services

  • Undergraduate Advisor: The undergraduate advisor is Dr. Melissa Hayes-Gehrke.
  • Course Registration: Graduate students should contact MaryAnn Phillips to gain access to online course registration. (Eric is a backup if she is unavailable.)
  • Tuition Remission: Contact Adrienne Newman for tuition remission questions for grad student TAs.
Return to top
Go to index

Computer-Related Issues (+ Website)

  • 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 Mark Wolfire or Bill Sebok. 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": Accounts for students - Accounts for employees.
  • 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: Faculty and staff may arrange guest wireless accounts for up to 4 people for 30 days. For larger numbers of accounts, contact MaryAnn Phillips or Eric McKenzie.
  • Computer Hardware Issues: Contact Mark Wolfire 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 Bill Sebok for Linux/Sun system and software issues. If Bill is unavailable and the situation is time-critical, other department members with root access include Mark Wolfire, Peter Teuben, and Marc Pound. MS Windows is supported only on staff and lab machines; contact Mark Wolfire.
  • 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 mailroom students, or from MaryAnn Phillips if the mailroom students are unavailable. (Note that Projector #2 also has a presentation remote stored with it.) There are laser pointers and USB drives available for borrowing in MaryAnn's office, and batteries are available in Barbara Hansborough's office.
  • Graduate Computers: The department has a Policy on Public Comptuer 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 textfile of the phone list is located at /local/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 /local/mail and /local/mail/autogenerated .
Return to top
Go to index

General Information

Return to top
Go to index


Return to top of page