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William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory Background Reviews Actions U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Office of Biological & Environmental Research Environmental Remediation Sciences Division Environmental Remediation Sciences Division (~$90M)

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William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory




U.S. Department of Energy

Office of Science

Office of Biological & Environmental Research

Environmental Remediation Sciences Division

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Environmental Remediation Sciences Division (~$90M)

Fundamental research for DOE environmental problems. Supports a research program and a national scientific user facility:

Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)


Environmental Remediation Sciences Program


The William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), a U.S. Department of Energy national scientific user facility located at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington provides integrated experimental and computational resources for discovery and technological innovation in the environmental molecular sciences to support the needs of DOE and the nation.

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Expertise & Capabilities

  • EMSL Facilities

    • High Performance Mass Spectrometry

    • Interfacial & Nanoscale Science

    • Molecular Science Computing Chemistry & Physics of Complex Systems

    • Environmental Spectroscopy & Biogeochemistry

    • High Field Magnetic Resonance

    • Support

    • Computer and Network Services

    • Instrument Development Laboratory

    • User Administration and Outreach

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PNSO holds thePNNL contractand provides an on-site management & oversight presence at PNNL:

Contract management, program implementation, Federal stewardship

Project, construction, contractual, and information management;

Administrative and financial assistance and support;

Environment, safety, health, and physical security oversight;

Scientific, technical, and credentialed professional resources.

BER/ERSD provides to EMSL:

Federal Directionand PerformanceOversight

Distribution of appropriated funds for user facility operations and capital equipment

Review of facility operations, management and science

ERSD provides $33.5M operatingand $5.5M capital equipmentfunds for EMSL in FY06

DOE Management of EMSL

  • BER & Pacific Northwest Site Office (PNSO) have integrated science & operations in the oversight & management of the EMSL national scientific user facility (200,000 ft2, 388 people) to meet the Office of Science management goals.

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May 2005 Review Findings

  • May 17-19, 2005: BERAC & SC’s Office of Project Assessment (OPA) reviews evaluated EMSL mission, science, operations, future plans, and provided findings & recommendations for improvement.

  • BERAC review of EMSL science found:

    • “The science conducted in the EMSL is of very high quality, and a significant amount is, indeed, cutting edge. It is appropriate for BER to support this Laboratory that is a national resource.”

    • Need for reinvigorated User & Scientific advisory committees

  • BERAC and OPA found:

    • Lack of a shared vision for EMSL

    • Need for prioritization/decision making plan

    • Need for standardized user access protocol

  • OPA found:

    • Need for enhanced managerial resources

    • Need for improved communications among all parties

    • Need for improved financial reporting systems

    • Need to understand the impact of non-BER funding within EMSL

    • Need for extensive benchmarking

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Addressing Review Findings

  • BER, PNSO, PNNL/EMSL worked closely to address findings & recommendations from the reviews through an Action Plan:

    • Shared EMSL Mission Statement

    • Science Themes & Priorities

    • User Definition

    • Utilization Plan

    • UAC & SAC charter

    • User Proposal Review Criteria

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You are here

Addressing Review Findings

Science Themes & Science Priorities Completed

Action Plan Implementation Phase Started

Action Plan Implementation Phase Completed

OPA & BERAC Reviews of EMSL:

May 17-19, 2005

May 2005

Nov 2005

Dec 2005

Jan 2006

May 2006

Sept 2006

EMSL Action Plan Developed in Response to Reviews

EMSL Action Plan Completed: tools, strategies, policies in place

EMSL Follow-on Review

Continue BER-PNSO Management Plan for EMSL

EMSL Action Plan Status Review by BER/PNSO Management Team

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DOE’s Lessons Learned

  • Needed a structured management approach for EMSL

    • Strengthened relationship between HQ & Site Office

    • Weekly conference calls

    • Quarterly face-to-face briefings

      • Review of EMSL “Dashboard” report

    • PNSO briefings (weekly informals, monthly formals)

      • Programmatic rep – science and user service

      • Facilities rep. – infrastructure, EHS & operations

  • Needed closer involvement with EMSL

    • “Deep dives” during June-November ’05 monthly visits

    • PNSO emphasis on EMSL oversight

    • Management team on-site update in November 2005

      • Value Mapping exercise

  • Proactive management vs. “manage by review”

  • Value of “Project Management”

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May 2006 Follow-on ReviewCommittee Charge

  • Does the EMSL Action Plan adequately address findings & recommendations of the May 2005 reviews?

  • Is EMSL implementation of the Action Plan on track for completion by the end of FY2006 (September)?

  • Will implementation of the Action Plan resolve findings & recommendations?