Homeland Security and Preparedness Focus Areas

Preventing Terrorism

  • Bioterrorism and health security threats
  • Radicalization
  • Terrorism and political violence
  • Social-behavioral threats
  • Precursors, signatures, and methods of deterring radicalization
  • Suspicious behavior detection at multiple levels of law enforcement

Example Projects

  • Modeling and Simulation Tools Development for Violent Activity Analysis. We are developing tools that use modeling and simulation to interpret the motivations and behaviors of violent groups and identify factors indicating that a group may engage in ideologically motivated violent activity. These tools will focus on extremist groups.
  • Building on Clues: Improving Methods for Law Enforcement Detection and Analysis of Terrorist Activity. We are developing analytic processes to pinpoint information contained in the "serious activity reports" generated by police units across the country. We will identify the most appropriate methods for processing, analyzing, prioritizing, and linking suspicious activity data.

Safeguarding and Securing Cyberspace

  • Economic analysis and modeling of cyberspace trends and policies
  • Potential impact of new cybersecurity policies
  • Data storage, access, and anonymization to protect privacy and security concerns
  • Data capture, data mining, and predictive analytics of cyberspace data
  • Geospatial modeling to research cybersecurity scenarios
  • Criminology and law enforcement research and consultation

Example Projects

  • Protected Repository for the Defense of Infrastructure Against Cyber Threats (PREDICT) Coordinating Center. We manage a community of producers of security-relevant network operations data and researchers in networking and information security. Through a centralized repository, we provide developers and evaluators with regularly updated data on network operations relevant to the development of cyber defense technology.
  • Economic Analysis of Cyber Security and Private Sector. RTI is reviewing existing studies to assess the economics of cyberspace security and make recommendations to enhance previously used methodologies. This effort includes evaluating past evaluations of cybersecurity threats/vulnerabilities and associated economic cost impacts.

Ensuring Community Resilience to Disasters and Pandemics

  • Multiagency coordination and response
  • Community preparedness, response, and recovery
  • Human technology integration for first responders
  • Human-system research and engineering
  • Technology acceptance and integration for disaster relief and response
  • Radiation disaster and protection

Example Projects

  • Faith-Based Initiatives. We are helping assess and model the role of faith-based and community organizations in emergency preparedness and response.
  • Maintenance of Data in the World Trade Center Registry on Environmental Exposures Related to 9/11. Working with businesses near the World Trade Center, we compiled a central, unified database of persons exposed to the smoke, dust, and debris resulting from collapse of the buildings.

Securing and Managing the Nation's Border

  • Economic modeling and assessment of impact of immigration and labor trends
  • Estimating potential impact of new immigration policies and reviewing current ones
  • Methodologies for conducting surveys about sensitive subjects and surveying hard-to-reach populations
  • Identifying barriers to coordination among immigration enforcement agencies

Example Projects

  • Estimating the Impact of Immigration on the U.S. Criminal Justice System. We are assessing data on immigration status being collected by local law enforcement officials. This study aims to generate county- and state-level data on the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. criminal justice system.
  • Assessing Multi-Agency Coordination Needs. We are studying coordination among immigration enforcement agencies that operate on U.S. borders. The project will identify barriers that impact how federal, state, and local agencies work together. It will also identify promising approaches for improving coordination among agencies tasked with border security and immigration enforcement.

Administering the Nation's Immigration Laws

  • Communication strategies for improving the flow of information about immigration and border security laws and policies
  • Effects of human trafficking and illegal border crossings on labor projections
  • File and records abstraction, analysis and consultation
  • Program and policy analysis and needs assessments
  • Conducting interviews and focus groups to study national or subpopulation opinions

Example Projects

  • Estimating Immigrant Assimilation. We are analyzing information on who migrates to the United States from Mexico and how long they stay. This study aims to help identify illegal immigrants and assess the economic impacts of illegal immigration.
  • Asylum Processing Study. We are analyzing existing data on asylum processing and collecting new data to estimate the efficiency of the asylum adjudication process and optimize staff allocation procedures for asylum officers.