About LEARN: Activities & Accomplishments

Sharing Expertise & Knowledge a Half a World Away

Texas A&M University (TAMU) is an international leader is oceanographic and marine research with a particular focus on the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf). TAMU has deployed observatories in the Gulf that monitor, in real time, a range of marine parameters that are impacted by the climate, the time of year, excess nitrogen that enters the Gulf from our rivers, oil spills and the ocean's changing currents. TAMU and the University of Haifa (Haifa) have announced an international partnership to leverage the expertise of both universities by establishing similar observatories in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Although the two bodies of water are half a world apart, researchers believe the Gulf and the Mediterranean are similar in many ways, which provides a unique opportunity for comparative analysis on how different environmental and other factors impact the water and its marine life. Drawing on the expertise and experience of TAMU, this multidisciplinary project will be led by TAMU's College of Geosciences and that will include staff from a number of different fields and disciplines.

The TABS buoy system provides real-time ocean observations at various locations in the Gulf of Mexico.

Haifa officials acquired the permissions necessary to establish the observatory and the related moorings from a number of entities that share governance responsibilities in the Levant Basin of the Mediterranean. The project involves over 20 faculty members from the two universities, but that number is expected to grow as the data is utilized in multidisciplinary research. Hoping to draw comparisons between Gulf data and modeling, the universities will use LEARN and other advanced networks to share their data, analysis, modeling and research. Both universities will also use their infrastructure and expertise to enable advanced weather and sea forecasting, improve ecosystem science and management, and enhance their understanding of these bodies of water and their coastal environments. This international partnership is strategically important, because of the impact the Gulf has on the 50 million people who live in Texas and other Gulf states and the 100 million people who live in the Levant area of the Mediterranean.

Faculty and student exchanges are also an important part of this project. Faculty from both institutions will regularly participate in joint symposiums and data modeling both in person and remotely using advanced networks. Advanced networks will also play an important role in enabling graduate and undergraduate students to participate in courses from both universities, accessing real time data for research projects and to help educate the public as a part of the outreach and service mission of both Texas A&M University and the University of Haifa.