Blog Posts by Pardee RAND Students

  • Building a Pipeline of Wargaming Talent: A Two-Track Solution

    Nov 15, 2018

    Elizabeth M. Bartels

    On issues ranging from potential conflicts with Russia to the future of transportation and logistics, writes student Ellie Bartels (cohort '15) writes, senior Department of Defense leaders have increasingly turned to wargames to imagine the future of war and make long-term investments to confront the challenges ahead.

  • Mitigating India's Climate-Change Misery

    Oct 11, 2018

    Gulrez Shah Azhar

    Despite years of dire forecasts, the international community has been unable to halt the steady climb in global temperatures and, as student Gulrez Shah Azhar (cohort '14) writes, it is the world's poorest who are paying the heaviest toll. As heat-related risks intensify, those living on the margins—in India and elsewhere—will need help to cope effectively.

  • A Better Way to Think About Scooters

    Unleashed in Santa Monica last September, Bird and its competitors are now in more than 30 American cities—and are being met with new regulations and increased law enforcement. Student Tim McDonald (cohort '16) and Prof. Rob Lempert write that, if officials rely only on 20th-century tools to integrate these 21st-century scooters into their cities, they will miss a big opportunity.

  • Downloadable Guns and Other 3-D Printing Security Threats

    Americans may soon be able to legally access blueprints for 3D-printed guns. But the growing opposition to them shows that potential security threats do not have to be inevitable, write student Luke Irwin (cohort '16) and professors Troy Smith and Trevor Johnston. The security challenges inherent in 3D printing could be addressed, while the development of industry norms can still be shaped.

  • Staying Cool—as the Globe Warms

    Apr 23, 2018

    Gulrez Shah Azhar

    Studies suggest that the heat of the future will exceed human coping capacity. Student Gulrez Shah Azhar (cohort '14) says that taking advantage of smart technology, inexpensive traditional methods that require little energy use, and innovative energy-efficient technologies could provide a sustainable path forward in heat-challenged regions.

  • Europe's Great Challenge: Integrating Syrian Refugees

    Since March, 2011, close to 1 million Syrian refugees have requested asylum in European countries, with Germany being the primary destination. Students Mahlet Woldetsadik (cohort '13) and Gabriela Armenta ('15) say social and economic policies to deal with the refugee crisis will require collaborative planning, monitoring, and assessment efforts to be successful.

  • Bridging the Growing College Divide Among Young Americans

    Apr 13, 2018

    Diana Gehlhaus Carew

    Over the last decade, more Americans age 25 to 34 earned four-year college and graduate degrees, but the number of those without college degrees also increased. Student Diana Gehlhaus Carew (cohort '15) says new ways of communicating educational options and outcomes to young people are needed.

  • Tackling Gender-Based Violence Among Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

    Student Mahlet Woldetsadik (cohort '13) writes that increased poverty and major shifts in traditional gender roles for Syrian refugees have worsened interpersonal tensions, increased the risk of domestic violence, and caused challenges for aid workers.

  • Can Dirty-Air Discontent in New Delhi Push India Toward Greener Days?

    Mar 22, 2018

    Gulrez Shah Azhar

    The dirty downside to India's dramatic economic growth is New Delhi's horrific off-the-charts air pollution, writes student Gulrez Shah Azhar (cohort '14). Public health officials comparing the harms of breathing in India's capital to smoking dozens of cigarettes a day. How bad must things get before Indians demand change and make it stick?

  • One Belt, One Road, One Ruler: China Term Limits Ban Imperils Progress

    Mar 6, 2018

    Bill Gelfeld

    The abolition of presidential term limits in China represents a sea change in Communist Party politics and signals the consolidation of personalist rule by President Xi Jinping. Student Bill Gelfeld (cohort '14) explains that deviations from term limits are deleterious for good governance, political rights, and accountability.

  • What Next for China-Pakistan Relations?

    The recent downgrade in U.S.-Pakistan relations will present both opportunities and challenges for China, writes student Keren Zhu (cohort '17). Beijing can use the recent strain to promote a new model of international development, but must be wary of becoming the sole external power responsible for maintaining stability in the region.

  • How Federal Policy Could Help Water and Wastewater Utilities

    Jan 16, 2018

    Debra Knopman, David Catt

    The federal government could address the root causes of infrastructure problems more effectively than just spending money with the hope that it might do some good, write student David Catt (cohort '16) and Prof. Debra Knopman. A better approach might be to devote scarce resources to fixing what actually isn't working well in the nation's approach to managing, funding and financing infrastructure.

  • Moving Countries, Seeking Refuge from Climate Change

    Dec 19, 2017

    Gulrez Shah Azhar

    By the middle of this century, experts estimate that climate change is likely to displace between 150 and 300 million people. Gulrez Shah Azhar (cohort '14) says it is daunting to envision such large flows of people, but that is why the global community should start doing so now.

  • Is Iron Dome a Poisoned Chalice? Strategic Risks from Tactical Success

    Nov 29, 2017

    Elizabeth M. Bartels

    While Iron Dome's past success in defending Israel makes it a tempting solution to future challenges, it does have shortcomings. Student Elizabeth Bartels (cohort '15) says this becomes even more serious when considering using the system in Korea, where the threat posed is substantially greater, and the targeted terrain substantially harder to defend.

  • How Hot Is Too Hot? Rising Temperatures and the Workplace

    Nov 16, 2017

    Gulrez Shah Azhar

    Climate change is here. Future extreme heat waves are a given and will likely grow in intensity, geographic reach, and duration. Student Gulrez Shah Azhar (cohort 14) says plans need to be made now to ensure survival of the poorest, to protect outdoor workers and to adapt economic planning to what is increasingly becoming a hotter planet.

  • Adding Shots on Target: Wargaming Beyond the Game

    Oct 9, 2017

    Elizabeth M. Bartels

    Figuring out what the future may look like—and what concepts and technology we should invest in now to prepare—is hard. Student Ellie Bartels (cohort '15) considers how the wargaming community can build a cycle of research to help understand what these paths might be.

  • Doing More with Less: Lessons from Cuba's Health Care System

    High U.S. health care costs do not yield corresponding health outcomes for its citizens. But students Claire O'Hanlon (cohort '13) and Melody Harvey ('12) note that Cuba, for less than a tenth of U.S. costs, has attained comparable outcomes on many indicators, such as life expectancy and infant mortality. Cuba prioritizes primary care and prevention and addresses social determinants of health.

  • Joint Military Exercises Distract from Complex Russia-Belarus Relationship

    Analysts and military leaders have concerns that Russia will use the Zapad 2017 exercise in Belarus as a smokescreen to put personnel and equipment in place, and keep it there. But student Bilyana Lilly (cohort '16) argues that the deep ties and history of cooperation between the two states make the chances of that happening unlikely.

  • Another Casualty of Climate Change: Peace

    Aug 15, 2017

    Gulrez Shah Azhar

    Student Gulrez Shah Azhar (cohort ' 14) says the connection between human conflict and climate change is no mere coincidence. Drought, temperature and tensions rise in tandem, with the implicit threat of violent conflict not far behind.

  • Getting (Solar) Electricity Pricing Right

    For many U.S. homeowners, an investment in rooftop solar is becoming a cost-competitive alternative to purchasing grid electricity. But student Benjamin Smith (cohort '15) and professors Nick Burger and Aimee Curtright note that, as demand soars, states are struggling to adapt a 20th-century electrical grid to 21st-century supply and demand, leading to confusion and cost uncertainty.

  • A Colombian Survivor's Crusade to Strengthen Punishment for Acid Attacks

    Acid attacks—one of the most extreme forms of violence against women and girls—have devastating, lifelong consequences for survivors. Student Mahlet Woldetsadik (cohort '13) writes that governments can, like Colombia, impose tougher punishments on attackers and support programs to build survivors' self-confidence.

  • Where Are India's Heat Hotspots?

    Poverty, poor sanitation, a precarious water and electricity supply, and limited access to health care make India vulnerable to heat waves. Rural and urban districts could improve their preparedness by developing and targeting local adaptation strategies, writes student Gulrez Azhar (cohort '14).

  • What Street Food Vendors in Uganda Need to Succeed

    Street vendors in Kampala, Uganda, would benefit from infrastructure development, food safety standards, rules of hygiene, and greater focus on healthy products, write student Michele Abbott (cohort '14) and professor Deborah Cohen. The city's growing population also would benefit from increased access to nutritious and affordable foods.

  • Mining the Moon for Rocket Fuel to Get Us to Mars

    May 16, 2017

    Gary Li, Danielle DeLatte, et al.

    Students from around the world—including our own Therese Jones (cohort '13)—participated in the 2017 Caltech Space Challenge. They proposed designs of what a lunar launch and supply station for deep space missions might look like, and how it would work.

  • A New Ugandan Cuisine: Showcasing Superfood Qualities of Millet and Sorghum

    The results of a series of cooking contests in Uganda to promote the use of drought-tolerant, nutritious traditional grains—millet and sorghum—signal that a new food trend may be on the horizon. Student Michele Abbott (cohort '14) and professor Deborah Cohen describe their Pardee Initiative "Superfoods" project in this first of three blog posts.