Environmental and Natural Resource Management


The use and conservation of natural resources such as water, land, soil, plants, and animals affects a multitude of industries, from agriculture and mining to tourism, fishing, and forestry. RAND researchers concerned about ecosystems and sustainability pursue studies in flooding, nuclear energy, drought, coastal restoration, and more in their quest to mitigate the potential adverse effects of mismanagement.

Explore Environmental and Natural Resource Management

  • An aerial view of Central Texas homes under water at Graveyard Point neighborhood community in the flood plain of Lake Travis, photo by RoschetzkyIstockPhoto / Getty Images


    Climate Research at RAND

    RAND researchers have a long history of shedding light on the social and economic implications of a changing climate, its impacts on the natural environment, and the challenges it poses to communities, regions, and our national security.

    May 17, 2019

  • Periodical


    RAND Review: May-June 2017

    This issue highlights recent RAND research on suicide prevention; on the scope of the humanitarian and security crisis in the Mediterranean region; and on what RAND is doing to improve the security and well-being of people throughout the Middle East.

    May 2, 2017

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast


    California's Drought and Water Policy

    California has implemented numerous policy changes to cope with a record-breaking, four-year drought. In this Events @ RAND podcast, a panel of experts discuss what government agencies can do to better manage water resources, what methods are most effective at encouraging citizens to use water wisely, and how leaders can better plan for future climate crises.

    Sep 30, 2015

  • Downtown Pittsburgh, PA at sunset from the Westend overlook

    News Release

    Project Aims to Improve Resilience Planning in Allegheny County and Pittsburgh

    The Pittsburgh region faces major challenges to stormwater management. These challenges could grow with climate change, complicating the investment decisions that need to be made for new or replacement infrastructure. The pilot study aims to take a first step toward improved stormwater and climate resilience planning at the county and city levels.

    Apr 9, 2015

  • City global warming concept art


    Climate Resilience Center

    The RAND Climate Resilience Center conducts policy research and develops innovative tools to support decisionmakers at all levels of government as they confront challenges presented by climate change.

    Dec 18, 2014

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast


    Water Management and Climate Resilience in Pittsburgh: Building a Research Agenda

    At this June 2014 event, part of our Conversations at RAND series, a panel of experts discusses ways to strengthen Pittsburgh's water management system, create sustainable solutions to environmental challenges, and better manage long-term uncertainty.

    Jun 24, 2014

  • The Colorado River flows through Black Canyon, south of Hoover Dam


    RAND Review Examines Water Management, Military Caregivers, Joint Aircraft, Income Inequality

    Stories in RAND's flagship magazine discuss the implications of climate change for the Colorado River Basin and the Sierra Nevada, the burdens borne by military caregivers, the drawbacks of joint aircraft programs, and growing inequalities across the European Union.

    Apr 1, 2014

  • Project

    Evaluating Robust Water Management Strategies for the Colorado River Basin

    RAND worked with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Colorado River Basin states to apply innovative robust decision methods to evaluate thousands of plausible futures on the Colorado River and develop and compare strategies to address future vulnerabilities.

    Nov 5, 2013

  • Houses are partially submerged in flood waters after a Hurricane Isaac levee breach in Braithwaite, Louisiana August 31, 2012


    Bringing Sustainability to the Louisiana Coast

    Policy Researcher David Groves describes RAND's role in helping to develop a plan to guide Louisiana's coastal investments, help its coastal citizens plan for the future, and create a sustainable coast.

    Jun 4, 2012

  • Report


    Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO) Options for the Future

    This briefing offers a menu of potential future activities for the nonaviation lands at Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO) to enhance the quality of life in Santa Monica through community-linked programs.

    Feb 23, 2012

  • Announcement

    RAND Supports Development of Louisiana's 2012 Coastal Master Plan

    RAND helped Louisiana develop its 2012 Coastal Master Plan to guide the state's coastal investments and help its coastal citizens plan for the future. The plan strikes a balance between providing immediate relief to hard hit areas and laying groundwork for large-scale efforts.

    Jan 13, 2012

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast


    California's Water Challenges

    David Groves discusses an innovative approach to dealing with the many challenges that may contribute to sustainable and affordable solutions of long term water supplies in California.

    Oct 25, 2011

  • The Saddle dam and I/O tower at Diamond Valley Lake, California


    Advising the Metropolitan Water District's Blue Ribbon Commission

    The Southern California Metropolitan Water District sought advice determining which trends are most useful to monitor to implement its adaptive management strategy. RAND supported Metropolitan's Blue Ribbon Commission to develop recommendations for a new business model to help the agency meet its goals over the next fifty years.

    Jun 27, 2011

  • Project

    Adaptive Management of the L.A. Metropolitan Water District's Integrated Resources Plan

    The 2010 Integrated Resource Plan Update developed by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Water District (MWD) includes a preferred resource mix as well as an adaptive management approach to monitor key trends and modify the resource mix as necessary. RAND helped the MWD determine which trends are most useful to monitor.

    Jun 9, 2011

  • News Release

    News Release

    Western Riverside County Habitat Conservation Plan Progressing, but Needs Fine-Tuning

    Western Riverside County's Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan -- a sweeping effort to protect endangered and threatened species while accelerating the approval of transportation improvements -- has made significant progress, but needs modifying to reach its goals in Southern California's changing economy.

    Nov 3, 2008

  • News Release

    News Release

    Alternative Fossil Fuels Have Economic Potential but Uncertain Environmental Consequences

    Alternative sources of fossil fuels such as oil sands and coal-to-liquids have significant economic promise, but the environmental consequences must also be considered.

    Oct 8, 2008

  • News Release

    News Release

    Army Can Boost Mission Success by Better Managing Environmental Considerations

    By better managing environmental issues during deployments, U.S. Army units can gain tactical and strategic advantages that will help in combat and post-conflict operations, and boost overall mission success.

    Sep 23, 2008

  • Periodical


    RAND Review, Spring 2008: Baby Steps

    The Spring 2008 issue of RAND Review compares neonatal services across the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, and Sweden, discusses water resources management, U.S. policies in Asia, and political polarization.

    Apr 19, 2008

  • News Release

    News Release

    Addressing Sprawl Issues and Protecting Biodiversity Can Benefit Military Bases, RAND Study Finds

    Addressing Sprawl Issues and Protecting Biodiversity Can Benefit Military Bases, RAND Study Finds.

    Jun 28, 2007

  • News Release

    News Release

    RAND Says Further Study Warranted on Save the World Air Technology

    May 3, 2007 news release: RAND Says Further Study Warranted on Save the World Air Technology.

    May 3, 2007