8. Get help if you need it.
Last revision December 5, 2014
The School maintains the infrastructure of the computer network and servers and provides some free assistance to users. For problems beyond the scope of the categories and policies listed here, particularly those related to research computers, you may be asked to supply a University financial account to be charged.
Also see the page on School information technology staff.
If you have general questions about University-wide computing systems (not specific services in Earth Sciences), particularly the central email and web servers or administrative applications, first look for information on common services at the University IT services website, and answers to common problems at the Stanford Answers website. If you can't find the answer on one of those websites, use the HelpSU help system to ask a question. Either call in your problem to 5-HELP (650-725-4357), or submit a request via the web at
Help with Windows or Mac OS X workstations and peripherals
The School has contracted with the campus-wide Computer Resource Consulting group to provide in-depth hardware and software support services for Windows and Mac OS X computers and peripherals (such as printers). Hardware-only support is available for Linux and other operating systems.
Primary CRC coverage goes to the main systems of faculty and staff and the School's computer labs. Secondary coverage extends to other Stanford owned computers in labs and student offices. "Safety-net" help related to network connectivity, security issues, and major system malfunction is available for personally owned computers. See the complete Computer Workstation Support Policy for service details. Additional help beyond the parameters of the support policy can be hired from CRC on a time-and-materials basis.
Request workstation support help via the HelpSU system. Call 5-HELP (650-725-4357) or fill out the request form on the web at
Click on the "Have a SUNet ID" link and login so your department and contact information is auto-filled, or select your department form the drop-down menu by scrolling down to the "School of Earth Sciences" section. Properly identifying yourself as a member of the School will route your request to our dedicated consultant team.
Make the consultants' lives easier by fully describing your problem, including the type of computer and operating system you are using. The consultants are paged when new requests are entered into the system, but they only see the first line or two of the problem description on the pager. So if the problem is urgent, be sure to mention that in the first sentence.
Help with the computer network and network security incidents
Carlos Ceja is our 50% time Network Administrator and generally works in the afternoons. Phil Farrell provides backup. You should report network communication problems and security incidents (suspected computer virus or worm infections or hacker compromises) via email to the network manager alias, which will be automatically routed to the one who is available. Carlos Ceja is also available at 650-724-9769 and Phil Farrell at 650-723-9575. Web pages describe how to register your computer or other device on the network or request activation of another network jack in your office or lab.
Help with School servers, such as sesfs and pangea
Kai Lanz provides primary support, with Phil Farrell as backup. Send requests via email to the system manager alias, which will be automatically routed to the one who is available. Phil Farrell is also available at 650-723-9575, and Kai Lanz at 650-723-3400. There is substantial on-line documentation that will answer many of your questions about School services.
Help with the School computer lab in Mitchell A65
The computer teaching lab in Mitchell A65 is managed by Phil Farrell. Report problems with the hardware or software by email to the lab manager alias, which will be picked up by another IT staff member if Phil is not available. Phil Farrell is also available at 650-723-9575. Check the A65 Room Schedule to see when the lab is reserved for courses. Use the A65 Room Reservation Form to reserve the lab for your Earth Sciences course.
Help with the GRID Lab in Mitchell A59
The Geo-Research, Imaging, and Design lab in Mitchell A59 is managed by Phil Farrell. To report problems or suggestions with the hardware or software, send email to the GRID lab alias, which will be picked up by another IT staff member if Phil is not available. Phil Farrell is also available at 650-723-9575.
Help with department or research group web pages
Aaron Cole is the School's full-time Director of Web Services. He maintains the design, navigation, services, and general content of the School's web site and assists faculty, departments and research groups with their web pages. Aaron is always interested in your ideas about how to improve the School and department web sites and services. You can contact him by email to the webmaster email alias. He is also available at 650-721-6494.
Help with Unix or Linux computers
System Managers of Unix or Linux servers or workstations in the research groups can get consulting help from Kai Lanz via email to the UNIX/Linux support email alias. Kai is also available at 650-723-3400. Kai provides free basic help to install new Unix or Linux systems or operating system upgrades, debug problems, and modify configurations. Research groups can also hire Kai for custom scientific programming or electronic instrument design, construction, and integration.
High Productivity Technical Computing in CEES
The School of Earth Sciences Center for Computational Earth and Environmental Science maintains a High Productivity Technical Computing facility with both shared-memory multi-processor computers and distributed memory clusters to support research in Earth Sciences. Questions about access and use of the facility can be directed to the CEES System Manager, Dennis Michael. Dennis is also available at 650-723-2014.