The Alaska Research Infrastructure Improvement Inter-Campus and Intra-Campus Cyber Connectivity project will enhance cyber connectivity, data storage, and visualization capabilities at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and Anchorage (UAA) campuses. At UAF, the core network will be upgraded from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps Ethernet and a new, centralized data portal and managed infrastructure will be developed at the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center (ARSC). At UAA, the campus network will be upgraded from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps and the real-time visualization capabilities will be upgraded at the Planetarium and Visualization Theater (PVT). The project also includes Development of cyber educational content for rural schools and communities through UAF's Office of Information Technology.

Intellectual Merit The cyber upgrades are aimed at strengthening connectivity and providing support for data-intensive high bandwidth computing at UAF and UAA. The ARSC data portal will greatly facilitate access to data, improve research efficiency, and initiate collaborations that transcend disciplines, campuses, and organizations across and beyond Alaska. Increased visualization capabilities at UAA's PVT will support generation of agent-based maps and related policy decisions that portray different possibilities of current and future scenarios of climatic and socio-economic changes. Visualization capabilities and multi-scenario simulations that are currently limited by connectivity problems will be addressed by this project. The cyber-enabled research will focus on studies that enable better understanding of the dynamics of changes in the arctic ecosystem and climate caused by interactions between human and natural systems.

Broader Impacts The proposed cyber upgrades will improve reliability and provide redundancy for communication and data sharing among researchers and students at UAF and UAA and with their external collaborators. The ARSC data portal will be accessible not only to a large number of researchers but also to the general public with instructional elements for all skill levels. The cyberinfrastructure upgrades to the PVT at UAA will facilitate informed policy decisions by public resource managers through visualization of different scenarios as well as public outreach presentations. Remote rural Alaska campuses and communities will also benefit through distance education programs.

Project Report

("C2") award funded key cyber upgrades at the two largest University of Alaska (UA) campuses, coupled with data storage and visualization improvements and with outreach efforts. The award had four chief accomplishments: First, C2 funding was used to increase network bandwidth serving the research-oriented West Ridge of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) from 1 to 10 gigabytes per second (GBPS,) and also to establish redundant connections to all West Ridge buildings. This upgrade increased the ability of West Ridge scientists to collaborate, to make available very large and complex data sets, and to leverage high-performance computers, and also made connectivity to the West Ridge more consistent in the event of outages. Second, C2 funded an upgrade from 1 to 10 Gbps of the connection to the Integrated Sciences Building at the University of Alaska Anchorage. It also funded hardware improvements to the UAA Planetarium and Visualization Theatre (PVT), located in the ISB, which – combined with the faster connectivity – improve the quality of all PVT visuals and make the PVT capable of presenting high-quality interactive visualizations in real time. Third, C2 funded the development of ScholarWorks, a data depository for scholarly documents and materials produced across the University of Alaska system, and Alaska Data Central, a website designed to provide convenient access to scientific data from across Alaska. Fourth, a C2-funded UA employee compiled educational content for distribution to rural Alaskan educators and students, as part of a federal award designed to increase broadband access and knowledge in rural Alaska.

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University of Alaska Fairbanks Campus
United States
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