About the Initiative
Developing, sharing, and applying new ways to tackle existing and emerging problems across a broad number of fields, including the environment, engineering, and sustainability, has long been a hallmark of RAND and is integral to the scholarly work at the Pardee RAND Graduate School.
A $5 million gift in May 2014 from the late engineer and philanthropist John M. Cazier is now turbocharging research in environmental and energy sustainability at Pardee RAND.
The donation established the John and Carol Cazier Environmental and Energy Sustainability Initiative, which will help generate new concepts, tools, and methods to share findings, ideas, and insights clearly and broadly, so that they can improve public policy, foster better practices in the field, and be applied in the commercial sector to benefit people throughout the world.
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To achieve the Biden administration's blueprint for solar energy and focus on climate change mitigation and adaptation, green bonds may be worth considering. But Brian Wong (cohort '20) suggests that, like any other financing instrument, they may be best considered through a cost-benefit lens.
If green bonds are a viable tool to reduce emissions and adapt infrastructure to the effects of climate change, David Catt (cohort '16) and Nihar Chhatiawala ('20) ask, how can governments encourage the issuance, sales, and growth in the share of green bonds in the total bond market?
The significance of green bonds may depend not only on having a lot of them, write Karishma Patel (cohort '17) and Prof. Michelle Miro, but also on carefully developing, investing, and tracking projects against the larger goal of climate resilience.
Los Angeles has an opportunity to reinvent itself by harnessing the collective spirit of Olympics development, climate activism, and Measure W funding. Students Noah Johnson (cohort '18), Karishma Patel ('17), and Jarrett Catlin ('18) write that no single project can address all LA's environmental needs, but many diverse projects could provide an opportunity for synergies and to create a new “city feel,” the way palm trees, traffic, and movie-touting billboards do now.
Currently a predominantly concrete channel running through the city, the Los Angeles River has great potential to revitalize Los Angeles's water resources, landscape, and identity. Students Keren Zhu (cohort '17), J. Luke Irwin ('16), and Stephanie Tanverakul ('18), along with Prof. Timothy Gulden, explain that creating a new vision for the river presents a complex challenge for policymakers, engineers, and urban planners.
California faces shortages in water supply amidst droughts, wildfires, and other natural disasters worsened by climate change. Students Joan Chang (cohort '18), Pau Alonso Garcia ('18), and Jonathan Lamb ('17) argue that taking a systems thinking approach, in particular applying a systems framework, is essential to addressing complex problems for the sustainability of water resources that affect individuals, communities, and broader populations.
“I'm truly impressed with the intellectual capacities of Pardee RAND and RAND. I want to ensure that the right bridges get built between the research powerhouses of RAND and Pardee RAND, the commercial world, and the best practitioners in the field.”
— John Cazier
“John Cazier has been an inventor and innovator in automotive engineering,” said Susan Marquis, dean at Pardee RAND, in announcing the Initiative. “We're grateful for John's financial support and his forward thinking on green practices and sustainability.”
Under the initiative—which also honors Cazier's late wife, Carol—the graduate school will bring important visiting fellows to campus and provide valuable research and dissemination tools to students and faculty members. The visiting fellows—some of the best minds and practitioners in their fields—will challenge, inspire, inform, and educate Ph.D. candidates, faculty, RAND researchers, and the RAND community—and it is hoped that being part of the RAND community will broaden the visitors' horizons, too.
The Initiative also provides support to allow faculty, with student assistance, to pursue new work and extend RAND and graduate school research, with a particular emphasis on disseminating this work and getting it into the hands of decisionmakers and practitioners. To have the most impact with the widest possible audiences, the Initiative will underwrite materials that communicate in nontechnical, direct, visual, and simple ways about advances or key policies on the environment, sustainability, engineering, and technology transfer.