CHDS Master’s Theses: December 2015 Graduation

The Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School graduates students with a Masters degree in Security Studies every March, September and December (with occasional June graduates).  Find all 750+ theses searchable at the Homeland Security Digital Library or browse the December 2015 (cohort 1403/1404) theses below.


  • Improving Access to Military Aircraft During Civilian Wildfires
    From the thesis abstract: “Wildfires are a growing problem in the United States, and military aircraft are increasingly mobilized in support of civilian wildfire suppression efforts. The photogenic qualities of aircraft distri… more
    Dubay, Steve E.
  • Applying Systems Thinking to Law Enforcement Safety: Recommendation for a Comprehensive Safety Management Framework
    From the thesis abstract: “Each year, approximately 100,000 police officers experience work-related occupational injuries, and more than 100 are killed on the job, in training accidents, routine operations, and emergency respo… more
    DeBoard, Maggie A.
  • Pivots — A Bottom-Up Approach to Enhance Resilience
    From the thesis abstract: “Homeland security is evolving. Past and current linear approaches to preparedness do not focus on improving the ‘resilience’ of an area post-recovery. Most preparation efforts do not address or consi… more
    Ibarra, Vladimir A.
  • Implementation of Policies to Bridge the Gap Between Police Officer Line of Duty Deaths and Agency Resiliency
    From the thesis abstract: “Law enforcement agencies in the United States experience line of duty deaths on a regular basis, but unfortunately too many agencies do not have a line of duty death policy. This thesis focuses on lo… more
    Hubbard, Patrice Nicole
  • What’s In a Name: A Comparative Analysis of the United States’ REAL ID Act and The United Kingdom’s National Identity Scheme
    From the thesis abstract: “Since September 11, 2001, many governments have considered developing national identity management systems. Beyond identification, politicians and proponents of these systems have touted such system … more
    Jefferson, Karrie Ann
  • Case Studies of Predictive Analysis Applications in Law Enforcement
    From the thesis abstract: “Law enforcement executives and policy makers continuously seek out effective strategies to reduce crime. Reducing crime reduces social harm, improves community resilience, and therefore improves home… more
    Hayes, William J.
  • Comparative Analysis of Fusion Center Outreach to Fire and EMS Agencies
    From the thesis abstract: “Fire and EMS responders have had little involvement with fusion center operations, and this directly impacts the country’s safety. Only a handful of fusion centers have integrated the fire and emerge… more
    Goldstein, Scott E.
  • Autonomous and Connected Vehicles: A Law Enforcement Primer
    From the thesis abstract: “The introduction of autonomous and connected vehicle technologies will have a significant impact on ground transportation systems in the United States. Law enforcement agencies, legislative bodies, j… more
    Davis, Jerry L.
  • Beating the Red Gold Rush: Copper Theft and Homeland Security
    From the thesis abstract: “This thesis is a comparative case study comparing and contrasting the efforts of three countries (United Kingdom, France, Italy) in their fight to reduce copper wire theft incidents within their nati… more
    Cook, James A.
  • Leveraging Poison Centers’ Capabilities for Homeland Security
    From the thesis abstract: “Despite a nationwide presence, the daily provision of toxicologic emergency care and collaboration within the public health and emergency management arena, the nation’s poison centers are underutiliz… more
    Caliva, T. Michele
  • Use of Autonomous Systems in Emergency Medical Services: Bridging Human Intelligence and Technology
    From the thesis abstract: “The rapid development of autonomous systems (AS), which are technological systems or processes that either support or replace human decision making, will have a significant impact on emergency medica… more
    Davies, Josh A.
  • Intelligence-Driven Border Security: A Promethean View of U.S. Border Patrol Intelligence Operations
    From the thesis abstract: “Transnational criminal networks will continue to evolve. The United States Border Patrol’s (USBP) intelligence-driven planning, resourcing, and operations need to be responsive to the constant evolut… more
    Chavez, Gloria I.
  • Increasing Effectiveness and Efficiency Through Risk-based Deployments
    From the thesis abstract: “Over the past several years, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has begun shifting away from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to security and toward one predicated upon risk-based securit… more
    Cotten, Thomas Randolph, IV
  • What Can History Teach Us? A Comparative Historical Analysis on the Reserve Officer Training Corps and the Department of Homeland Security
    From the thesis abstract: “This thesis examines an institution that has been educating, providing leadership training and commissioning the vast majority of U.S. military officers for nearly 100 years, the Reserve Officer Trai… more
    Banker, Thomas A.
  • Department of Homeland Security’s Pursuit of Data-Driven Decision Making
    From the thesis abstract: “Lack of management integration is hindering the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to conduct oversight and perform accurate assessments of its mission support functions. The DHS Under Secreta… more
    King, Robert C., III
  • Advance of the Black Flags: Symbolism, Social Identity, and Psychological Operations in Violent Conflict
    From the thesis abstract: “The United States is in an ideological war with violent extremists in the realm of mass communication, but the nature of this conflict is not well understood. This thesis reviewed literature concerni… more
    Milburn, Christopher D.
  • Ideal Police Oversight and Review: The Next Piece of the Community Policing Puzzle
    From the thesis abstract: “There has been independent oversight of law enforcement complaints for over a hundred years in the United States, but recent cases of perceived excessive use of force by law enforcement officers have… more
    Sajor, Antonio, Jr.
  • Correcting Blindness in the Nerve Center: How to Improve Situational Awareness
    From the thesis abstract: “Even though success or failure depends on it, situational awareness in emergency operations centers is often poorly prioritized. These centers depend on situational awareness to manage information, c… more
    Russas, Michael E., Sr.
  • Quantifying a Negative: How Homeland Security Adds Value
    From the thesis abstract: “Currently, fire department performance is measured in terms of tangible loss reduction, meaning lower dollar losses of tangible structures and contents equate with greater performance. This metric is… more
    Saylors, Eric
  • What Are We Missing? A Call for Red Teaming Within the Domestic Maritime Domain for Anti-terrorism Programs
    From the thesis abstract: “As a component of the Department of Homeland Security and the department’s lead for maritime security, the Coast Guard is charged with executing the United States domestic maritime anti-terrorism pro… more
    List, Timothy J.
  • Building Automation System Cyber Networks: An Unmitigated Risk to Federal Facilities
    From the thesis abstract: “The General Services Administration accesses building-automation system technology that runs federal facility processes such as HVAC [Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning], lighting, elevators,… more
    Tupper, Shawn P.
  • Combining Facial Recognition, Automatic License Plate Readers and Closed-Circuit Television to Create an Interstate Identification System for Wanted Subjects
    From the thesis abstract: “Advancing technology in the field of facial recognition systems (FRS), closed-circuit television (CCTV) and automatic license plate readers (ALPRs) could make it possible to create a system capable o… more
    Thomas, Michael J.
  • ‘The Buck Stops Where?’ Aligning Authority to Strategy in Homeland Security
    From the thesis abstract: “This thesis examines how having authority to make decisions in different levels of an organization affects performance. The homeland security implications of this study are that the agencies responsi… more
    Swearingen, Brent D.
  • Team Communication: The Social Identity Approach to Collaboration
    From the thesis abstract: “This research applies the social identity approach to organizations and the public sector leaders who are instrumental in building the collaborative capacity of their respective groups. Collaboration… more
    Sedam, Michael W.
  • Crime-Terrorism Nexus, and the Threat to U.S. Homeland Security
    From the thesis abstract: “Since 2001, violent sub-national groups with disparate ideologies and motivations have been working together to further their objectives. They are collaborating, sharing each other’s tactics, and lea… more
    Schofield, Robert Michael
  • ‘Sensing Disaster’: The Use of Wearable Sensor Technology to Decrease Firefighter Line-of-Duty-Deaths
    From the thesis abstract: “After more than 30 years of the American fire service averaging over 100 line-of-duty deaths annually, the technology now exists that can reduce the number of firefighter line-of-duty deaths of cardi… more
    Payne, John A.
  • Assessing the Performance Management of National Preparedness-A Conceptual Model
    From the thesis abstract: “Since its creation in 2003, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has allocated more than $40 billion in preparedness and homeland security grant funds to state, local, tribal, and territori… more
    Myers, Gregory A.
  • Would the U.S. Benefit From a Unified National Strategy to Combat Violent Salafi Jihadism?
    From the thesis abstract: “Violent Salafi jihadism, or VSJ, motivated the September 11 hijackers, but it is poorly understood by homeland security practitioners and not addressed in U.S. national strategies. This thesis argues… more
    Palmieri, Lisa M.
  • Texas Should Adopt Homeland Security Standards for High-Speed Rail
    From the thesis abstract: “A private corporation is proposing a high-speed intercity passenger train system to operate between Dallas and Houston using Japanese technology and methods. This project brings with it an array of u… more
    Polunsky, Steven M.
  • Putting the Critical Back in Critical Infrastructure
    From the thesis abstract: “In the context of national critical infrastructure security and resilience doctrine and deference to our federalist system and the sovereignty it demands, each of the sovereign states and their subdi… more
    Mason, Bradford C.
  • Assessing Grant Allocation Methods for Federal Homeland Security Urban Area Assistance Funding
    From the thesis abstract: “Federal grant assistance from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is critical for building and sustaining preparedness in urban areas. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, Throughout the go… more
    Mohar, Craig
  • Approaching Career Criminals with an Intelligence Cycle
    From the thesis abstract: “Career criminals have been responsible for a high number of crimes out of proportion to their small numbers. Efforts to reduce the recidivism rate through intervention programs have not been effectiv… more
    O’Leary, Denis Francis
  • Considerations for Domestic Law Enforcement Implementation of a UAS Program in the Proposed FAA Regulatory Environment of Integration into the National Airspace System
    From the thesis abstract: “This thesis identifies the potential future mission profile of an unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) program within a domestic law enforcement agency after implementation of UAS regulations, a task curr… more
    McMinn, Keith Andrew

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