Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Integrated Science and Technology


Timothy Walton


The emphasis on understanding the human domain (HD) over the last decade of war, counterterrorism, and counterinsurgency operations has provided opportunities to test multiple new tools, data sources and analytical approaches to age-old intelligence problems. While these tools were utilized in Iraq and Afghanistan with varying degrees of success, a comprehensive analytical method was not developed to assess the benefits of the proposed solutions and their impact on understanding the human domain. Given the paradigm shift away from an academic or scholarly way of viewing the Human Domain towards a nomenclature and understanding denoted in “physical” geography-type terms, what tool could be used to assess the impact of these proposed solution on understanding the Human Domain?

Based on a review of the publicly available literature, this paper will recommend modifications to the Leopold Matrix, common in environmental impact assessments, to provide a framework for assessing a proposed solution’s impact on our understanding of the human domain. This paper will review and submit two proposed solutions, activity based intelligence and open source Information, to the Leopold matrix framework and assess their impact on understanding the human domain. Additionally, this paper will offer unique insights into the impacts and relationships detected for these two solutions while completing this matrix and provide an understanding of Leopold framework. This methodology could be further refined by defense and intelligence experts, diplomats, peace keepers or aid workers as they assess their needs in an area of interest and the Human Domain that may be encountered.