Diana is a Master of Science fellow in Coastal Science & Policy at UC Santa Cruz. She is passionate about engaging disadvantaged, frontline communities in climate change adaptation planning, and believes that climate change adaptation is a unique opportunity that can be leveraged to redress past environmental injustices, particularly in historically redlined communities. Her experiences living and working in the South Bronx as an environmental educator and community science coordinator confirmed her commitment to ensuring the self-determination of disadvantaged, front-line communities and their rights to clean air, clean water, and green space. Currently, Diana’s graduate work focuses on shifting traditional public participation strategies towards a participatory governance model, which invites all impacted peoples in deep and sustained participation in the adaptation planning and decision-making process. Through a participatory governance model, she hopes that governing bodies and historically redlined communities can begin to rebuild trust, transparency, and accountability that is essential to addressing the dynamic and complex issue of climate adaptation.
Before coming to UC Santa Cruz, Diana worked at local environmental non-profits in New York City, most notably with the Bronx River Alliance and Billion Oyster Project. At Billion Oyster Project, she coordinated their flagship education initiative that brought thousands of New York City students, teachers, and community members to the New York Harbor waterfront in order to monitor the restoration of native Eastern Oysters. Diana attended Northwestern University where she received her bachelor degrees in Environmental Science and Asian American Studies, graduating in the latter as part of the major’s inaugural class.
Diana is also a playwright, essayist, and Pushcart-nominated poet interested in the use of storytelling to build inclusive environmental movements that center minority voices. She has been the recipient of many notable scholarships and fellowships for her writing, including the 2020 Superhero Clubhouse Eco-Playwriting Fellowship, Leonard A. Slade, Jr. Poetry Fellowship for Writers of Color, and the Katharine Bakeless Nason Scholarship for her attendance at Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference.
Fellow at a Glance
UC Santa Cruz