Geoscience Synchrotron Users Group

Management and Operation of Synchrotron-Hosted Analytical Facilities for Earth Sciences


Synchrotron X-ray facilities provide tools of major and growing importance for material property research in the Earth sciences.  The tunability, brilliance, and collimation of synchrotron X-rays provide unique capabilities for probing the structural, chemical, and physical properties of many types of geological materials.  Synchrotron facilities in the U.S operated by the Department of Energy facilitate the research of hundreds of geoscientists each year, including many undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs.

The National Science Foundation Division of Earth Sciences has for many years supported a portfolio of synchrotron beamlines and related support facilities and organizations.   These include the Consortium for Materials Properties Research in the Geosciences (COMPRES) and GeoSoilEnviroCARS (GSECARS).

NSF has recently announced that it is seeking the creation of a new single lead organization that will oversee the suite of analytical instrumental capabilities at synchrotron light sources, providing on-site technical support; developing new instrumentation and techniques; and fostering research training and outreach to promote scientific progress and advance understanding of Earth materials and processes.

Who We Are

In response to NSF guidance and with input from the geoscience synchrotron user community, we have established a steering committee to assist in organizing the Earth Science Community to develop a new model for the management and operation of synchrotron-based facilities for Earth Science research. The steering committee includes a broad range of scientists representing a cross-section of disciplines that access synchrotron facilities. Thomas Duffy (Princeton University) serves as the Chair of the Steering Committee.  A complete listing of the Steering Committee members can be found here.

Community Activities and Input

Outreach activities include town halls, workshops, and community-wide messages.   Future activities and opportunities for community input will be announced in the coming weeks.


Information about past and future workshops can be found here.

Education and Outreach Committee

An education and outreach subcommittee is headed by Carl Agee (  More information will be forthcoming.


Messages to the steering committee can be directed to Tom Duffy (