Abbie Tingstad

Abbie Tingstad
Adjunct Senior Physical Scientist; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Off Site Office


Ph.D. in geography, University of California, Los Angeles; M.Sc. in environmental geomorphology, University of Oxford; B.S. in mathematics, MIT

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Abbie Tingstad is an adjunct senior physical scientist at RAND and a professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her research focuses on issues related to strategy and planning in defense and homeland security, and for the environment. Research examples include: examining different pathways for Arctic development, documenting the Arctic capabilities of the U.S. Armed Forces, enhancing resilience of water and energy utilities, analyzing needs for digital modernization, understanding priorities for technology research & development, and developing methods for foresight activities including analytic gaming.

Tingstad received her Ph.D. in geography from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to that, she was awarded an M.Sc. in environmental geomorphology from the University of Oxford, and a B.S. in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Selected Publications

Tingstad, Abbie, Michael T. Wilson, Katherine Anania, Jordan R. Fischbach, Susan A. Resetar, Scott Savitz, Kristin Van Abel, R. J. Briggs, Aaron C. Davenport, Stephanie Pezard, Kristin Sereyko, Jonathan Theel, Marc Thibault, and Edward Ulin, Developing New Future Scenarios for the U.S. Coast Guard's Evergreen Strategic Foresight Program, RAND Corporation (RR-3147-DHS), 2020

Tingstad, Abbie, Dahlia Anne Goldfeld, Lance Menthe, Robert A. Guffey, Zachary Haldeman, Krista Langeland, Amado Cordova, Elizabeth M. Waina, and Balys Gintautas, Assessing the Value of Intelligence Collected by U.S. Air Force Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Platforms, RAND Corporation (RR-2742-AF), 2021

Tingstad, Abbie, Susan A. Resetar, Jordan R. Fischbach, and Jessie Riposo, Climate Change and Implications for Disasters in the United States: Examples from the Arctic, Caribbean, Northeast, and Gulf States, RAND Corporation (PT-A2094-1), 2022

Sacks, Benjamin J., Scott R. Stephenson, Stephanie Pezard, Abbie Tingstad, and Camilla T. N. Sørensen, Exploring Gaps in Arctic Governance: Identifying Potential Sources of Conflict and Mitigating Measures, RAND Corporation (RR-A1007-1), 2021

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Defense One


  • Arctic Region

    What Is Next for the Arctic Council in the Wake of Russian Rule?

    Norway recently took over chairmanship of the Arctic Council from Russia under conditions never before experienced by the organization in its 27-year history. Despite the current uncertainties, there could be ways to move past the stalemate between Russia and the other council members.

    May 15, 2023

    The Hill

  • Arctic Region

    Great Power Competition Is on the Arctic Agenda

    Despite its military problems in Ukraine, Russia remains a formidable potential adversary in the Arctic. And there is a growing realization that China is not going away in the Arctic, bringing both of the United States' strategic competitors into Alaska's backyard. Can great power politics be checked at the door of the Far North?

    Feb 16, 2023

    The Hill

  • Security Cooperation

    Putin's Actions in Ukraine Are Spilling North

    The decision of seven Arctic countries to suspend collaborative work with Russia in the Arctic is by far the most severe and consequential break in cooperation the region has ever seen. This breakdown of Arctic diplomacy could have several important impacts on the region and could potentially threaten the United States as well as its allies.

    Mar 30, 2022

    The Hill

  • Arctic Region

    U.S. Military May Need to Invest More in Arctic Capabilities

    Operating in the Arctic is inherently expensive. Despite this, it could be critical that the United States make the necessary investments to ensure a robust ability to operate in the Arctic to withstand Russian challenges there.

    Feb 10, 2022

    United Press International

  • United States Coast Guard

    Analytical Gaming Could Help the U.S. Coast Guard Address Key Challenges

    By gradually expanding its gaming efforts, the U.S. Coast Guard might improve both the quality of its decisions and the strength of its relationships, making the service ever more capable as it navigates the challenges of the 21st century.

    Nov 8, 2021


  • Arctic Region

    Blinken's Arctic Opportunities

    Continued positive U.S. engagement in the Arctic Council could be important for balancing the influence of Russia and China, and in moving toward the Biden administration's climate change goals. Washington's new priority on climate change could be an issue that will now bind, rather than divide, Arctic states.

    May 19, 2021

    Defense One

  • Health Information Privacy

    Should Communities Be Concerned About Digital Technologies to Fight COVID-19?

    Personal smart devices offer an unprecedented opportunity to identify, track, map, and communicate about COVID-19. But apps could pose privacy and security concerns.

    May 13, 2020

    Inside Sources

  • Security Cooperation

    Today's Arctic Diplomacy Can't Handle Tomorrow's Problems

    The international structures that have helped address many Arctic problems through negotiation and cooperation are insufficient for the military and security challenges brought on by climate change. A new forum is needed to address military and security issues in the region.

    Jan 29, 2020

    Defense One

  • Arctic Region

    Policy Challenges in the Arctic: Q&A with Abbie Tingstad

    Abbie Tingstad discusses how the opening of the Arctic by climate change could strain relationships among Arctic nations, how these changes will affect indigenous communities, and what to make of Russia's military buildup in the region.

    Oct 6, 2017

  • Arctic Region

    What Does 'America First' Look Like in the Arctic?

    The shift in U.S. climate policy away from greenhouse gas reduction is significant for the Arctic, which is experiencing global warming at an accelerated rate. And a recent executive order will pave the way for expanded oil and gas drilling. How will these changes shape the Arctic in years to come?

    May 25, 2017

    United Press International

  • Arctic Region

    Will the Breakdown in U.S.-Russia Cooperation Reach the Arctic?

    Over the last few decades, the U.S. and Russia have often found common ground on Arctic affairs, at least in such areas as search and rescue and environmental integrity. The Arctic has the potential to remain resistant to tensions building elsewhere.

    Oct 12, 2016

    Inside Sources

  • Arctic Region

    Being Safer in the Arctic

    The Arctic is more accessible than it once was, but it's still a formidable place to travel. An emergency involving a cruise ship or a downed plane could stress the search-and-rescue system. But modest investments and planning measures can make a big difference.

    Oct 3, 2016

    The National Interest

  • Arctic Region

    Will the Arctic Remain a Warm Spot in Chilly U.S.-Russia Relations?

    The United States should continue with its policy of engagement with Russia within Arctic institutions. This is the only way to keep building on a track record of successful agreements that make the Arctic safer for all.

    Apr 28, 2016

    U.S. News & World Report