Northern Arizona University (NAU) is a founding member of the Sun Corridor Network (SCN) along with Arizona State University (ASU) and the University of Arizona (UA). SCN delivers research and education networking to Arizona's research universities through high-speed connections and Internet2. Research and specialized network connectivity at Arizona community colleges are limited and generally unavailable to academic or to specialized technical programs. This project connects one of the nation's largest community college systems and the northern NAU collaborator to SCN. Network expansion to Arizona's community colleges enables research and education connectivity and support to the students and faculty of Maricopa Community College County District's Estrella Mountain Community College (Goodyear, AZ), Chandler-Gilbert Community College (Chandler, AZ), Phoenix College (Phoenix, AZ) and Coconino Community College, (Flagstaff, AZ). The network expansion advances the use of science-oriented workflows, high performance computing in undergraduate research, instrument sharing, STEM education, and homework gap connectivity and introduces wide area and campus networking capacities that align with cybersecurity academic requirements.
NAU and SCN will improve campus network performance, increasing external connectivity to each campus by connecting them to SCN as a regional aggregator. This leverages a strong existing regional relationship with NAU, a leader in rural and online programs and services. The proposal emphasizes outreach to determine needs and requirements, followed by design, workshops, and science network implementation. By building new collaborations and by expanding connectivity, NAU and SCN improve undergraduate science and technical instruction for over 200,000 students in the Phoenix metropolitan area and northern Arizona.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.