TIDES Header

TIDES (Transformative Innovation for Development and Emergency Support)

TIDE - Four StrategiesThe Cebrowski Institute leads the TIDES projects at NPS in collaboration with TIDES and Dr. Linton Wells II at George Mason University.  TIDES is established for the purpose of providing open-source knowledge in order to encourage community and individual resilience to natural and man-made disasters, and promote human security; which is freedom from want, and freedom from fear.  By providing a reach-back of knowledge, it integrates multidisciplinary approaches to achieve unity of action in an environment where there is no unity of control.

How does it work?  Projects identified as natural or man-made disasters, or human security, needs to be supported through high-level support and coordination so that links are established between both national, public-private, and international knowledge and best practices.  Our coordination team builds up knowledge sharing and collaboration activities.

Tides - Items


Cebrowski Institute for Innovation has served as a hub for NPS research interest in humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) since the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean.  Information Science faculty who were in Thailand testing a wireless satellite communications system during the earthquake responded to the need for mobile communications in the initial stages of relief operations.  This serendipitous effort propelled a research area of importance to the Navy and the DoD, both of which sponsored more than $2 million in NPS research projects across several years. 

In 2005, following hurricane Katrina, and in 2010, following Haiti’s earthquake, the US Navy formally requested NPS assistance to set up mobile satellite communications hot spots for relief workers. NPS faculty and students supported these efforts, as well as exercises involving Military Sealift Command ships USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort.  For several years HADR was listed as a fifth mission area of the Navy, acknowledging the important role it played in soft power projection.   

The term Hastily Formed Networks (HFN) was coined by Cebrowski Institute Director, Peter Denning. His 2006 article in the computer science journal “Communications of the ACM” defines HFN as the ability to form multi-organizational networks rapidly, and describes how they are crucial to humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and large urgent projects.  

NPS interdisciplinary research in HFN-related areas of sustainable energy, information communications technology, and logistics overlap with TIDES areas of focus.

Making the Connections from Response to Recovery Through Research.  In FY17, the Navy's node for the TIDES Community of Practice (COP) moved to Naval Postgraduate School's Cebrowski Institute for Innovation from its founding location at NDU.

How TIDES Promotes Community Resilience

How TIDES Promotes Community Resilience

A global knowledge sharing network of people who share experience and intelligence .  Participants come from universities, U.S. military and the Red Cross, totaling as many as 5,000.  They come together to add their experience, feedback and evaluate for the purpose of sharing, and being better prepared for the next event.

In order to resolve, rehabilitate, and rebuild for long term sustainability, it requires the stakeholders, including the government, local communities, and the department of defense, and as well as the private and non-profit organizations to come together.  Through networking, we equip those who are instrumental in responding to the highest level of needs.

What has TIDES done?  The case study list provides an comprehensive archive of research that shows how TIDES creates partnerships and builds trusted relationships.

  • Village Infrastructure Kit-Alpha - The USSTRATCOM Global Innovation and Strategy Center discuss logistics, supply chain, and developing strategies for implementation of VIKA while considering the existing economical and political conditions that will influence success for a village infrastructure Kit-Alpha.
A resource for military decision makers whose mission requires interaction of local societies to collaborate.

For buildings and infrastructure that faces disaster risks, establishing resilience enables ability to maintain vital functions during crises, which leads to a quicker recovery, and ultimately, a quicker return to a normal lift

  • Preventive Care
  • Restorative Care


People die from lack of shelter, heating or cooling, from hunger and thirst, illness and injury.  Addressing the needs for shelter, supply chain, public safety, security and public health can improve this. 

The goal is to promote integrated solutions across ten different infrastructures.  These solutions need to be sustainable in their worlds. 

Adapted from Vinay Gupta's Hexayurt Project, see "6 Ways People Die" Infographic

  1. Power:  Renewable power will enable people.  It supports light, security, heating, cooling, and is a intrigal part of development and reconstruction.

  2. Shelter:  A basic human need.  Some resources are Architecture for Humanity, Shelter Centre, and The Sphere Project

  3. Water:  Better processes for pasteurized water.  Clean water is essential to human survival.

  4. Integrated Cooking:  Combining of different methods, such as solar ovens, or high-efficiency stoves, can reduce fuel, be instrumental in sterilizing water, and reduce health risks associated with open fire cooking.

  5. Heating & Cooling:  Needed in responce to harsh wather conditions. Finding safe solutions to stay warm, dry, or even cool is a major concern.

  6. Sanitation:  Reduce water use and avoid contamination, and avoid the spreading of disease.

  7. Lighting:  High Efficiency lighting is needed for both safety and security. 

  8. Information & Communications Technology (ICT): Necessary for Situational Awareness

  9. Medicine & Public Health

  10. Logistics

TIDES - About

TIDES is a knowledge-sharing DoD research project that:

  • Promotes individual and community resilience, and

  • Supports four DoD mission areas:

    • Building Partner Capacity

    • Defense Support of Civil Authorities

    • Humanitarian Assistance/Foreign Disaster Response

    • Stability and Peacekeeping Operations

  • Our focus is on theater engagement, Phase 0 shaping, improving effectiveness in Phases 4-5, and messaging

TIDES - Dr. Wells



Sue Higgins

Faculty Associate for Research, Information Science

Deputy Director of the Cebrowski Institute



Dr. Linton Wells II  is the founder of the TIDES project.  He is the Executive Advisor to George Mason University's Center for C4I and Cyber.




TIDES is supported by global knowledge-sharing network called STAR-TIDES, built around www.star-tides.net.  Several thousand members: Public-private, whole-of-government, and transnational.
Wave Footer


Wave Footer