Year: 2020

Neural Networks for Object Recognition and Disaster Planning

Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are neural networks that can process images and identify objects within them. Although these methods of machine learning have been around for a long time, it was only within the past 10 years that the error

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Flooding from all directions: How compound flooding threatens urban areas in Oceania

What is Compound Flooding? When it comes to flooding in Oceania, the conversation is often dominated by the danger of sea level rise, as this has become one of the defining characteristics of climate change in the region. However, flooding

Great Power Relations with Oceania Nations

Under the assumption that the current trajectory toward irreversible climate change will continue, this post examines the most likely populations that will move and the pre-existing connections they have to other, larger nations. *An important note: this post does not

Making sense out of billions of dollars: the FY21 Budget

The Fiscal Year 2021 budget recently released by the White House has captured the attention of Pacific watchers. The Trump administration’s goal to “frustrate Chinese efforts to shape the Indo-Pacific in its image” as part of their larger desire to

Pandemics & Informal Work in Developing Countries

With the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a pandemic, proactive social distancing is finally kicking in. Public gatherings are being discouraged and immediate travel bans from countries with higher rates of infections are containing further spread. Meanwhile, increased hoarding of

Defining populations at risk and where they may migrate

Migration from and within the Oceania region is likely to occur as a result of climate change and related extreme weather events. Thus, it is necessary to ascertain which populations are most at risk of forced displacement due to inhospitable

Perspectives on Chinese and American HADR in the Indo-Pacific Region

With nearly sixty percent of total disaster-related deaths — more than two million since 1970 — the Indo-Pacific is the most disaster-prone region in the world. This number should not come as a surprise considering the region’s massive population, the

Room to Step-Up: Australia’s Bid to Maintain Influence in Oceania (2/2)

Australia’s preeminent role in the Pacific may be subject to change. While many think the looming threat to Australian leadership is increased Chinese interest in the region, the greater threat may very well be Australia’s response, or lack thereof, to

Does the ‘Kiwi Dream’ still exist for Pasifika Peoples?

Much like in the United States, the concept of the “Kiwi Dream” was born out of the idea that a growing economy and strong work ethic could provide a platform for social and economic mobility, regardless of one’s background. For

How Prepared is the Kingdom of Tonga? 

The Kingdom of Tonga, situated along the South Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire,” is exceptionally vulnerable to natural disasters including earthquakes, cyclones, floods, and volcanic eruptions.   So much so that the 2018 WorldRiskIndex ranked Tonga as the second most disaster-prone