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LEARN: Lonestar Education and Research Network

In 2004, LEARN was created when Texas research institutions and health science centers reached a consensus on a shared vision that it was strategically important to create an organization dedicated to high performance networking in Texas. 

LEARN was enabled by the Texas Legislature via SB1771 in Legislative Session 78, House Bill 7, and supported by the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House, to help build a high speed, advanced fiber optic network for research, education, healthcare, and their non-profit partners to serve the State of Texas.

In the years since, LEARN has become a vital and trusted partner empowering its members to execute their missions through technology and collaboration.

LEARN's Vision: LEARN will be the most efficient and effective enabler of research, education, healthcare, and public service communities in Texas using technology and shared services.

Network Infrastructure

  •  LEARN's optical fiber network spans over 3,200 miles across the state                  
  • Connects over 300 direct & affiliate members
  • Scalable state-of-the art optical fiber technology
  • East to west from Beaumont to El Paso and north to south from Lubbock to Brownsville
  • LEARN owned high-performance routers at its 26 strategically located POPs

LEARN Flashback

In 2014...

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative's Data Housed in Corpus Christi

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is a 10-year cooperative research project that was established in 2010 through a $500 million commitment from BP following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. GoMRI includes 250 institutions and over 2,750 researchers who are studying the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) ecosystem and the impact that oil spills have on the Gulf. Understanding the need to share the large data sets that would be generated among the researchers and the public, GoMRI agreed to house the data at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi (TAMUCC).

The management and accessibility of the data that is being generated is governed by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information and Data Cooperative (GRIIDC) that includes a team of researchers, data specialists and computer system developers who are supporting the development of a data management system to store scientific data generated by Gulf researchers. To date, more than 18 terabytes of research data has been generated and it is housed at TAMUCC. Gulf researchers are sharing and accessing the data and their expertise using LEARN and other advanced networks. This central data repository is a catalyst for other new research, and it will be extremely valuable in shortening the discovery process when oil spills happen in the future, because the database will contain critical baseline data on the area of impact. The work is supported by a technical team that includes software engineers, data analysts, web developers, and subject matter experts from TAMUCC and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.

The GRIIDC data management system assists researchers with multiple phases of data management and provides researchers with a variety of tools to manage data throughout the lifecycle of a project. For example, the GRIIDC Dataset Information Form (DIF) is a resource designed to assist researchers with data management planning. Researchers from diverse fields of study including biology, chemistry, physical oceanography, sociology, political science and public health are able to store their data using LEARN and other networks in the GRIIDC system. Through the GRIIDC Data Discovery portal researchers, policy makers, and the general public are able to search for and download this data. This shared data is used to address innovative scientific research questions, assess policies and programs, and in supporting educational initiatives. By providing a forum for both storing and sharing data, the GRIIDC system increases the impact of scientific research in the Gulf of Mexico and beyond for the benefit of society.