Diana Moanga

Diana Moanga

Graduate Student


M.S. Marine Affairs and Policy (2015) – University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.

B.A. Marine Affairs,  Ecosystem Science and Policy Minor (2013) – University of Miami – Graduated summa cum laude.

Research Interests

Mapping spatial patterns of change, natural resource conservation, ecosystem services, environmental policy.

Research Description

“I am an ecosystem scientist that leverages my knowledge in land system science and marine science to answer multi-disciplinary questions across broad ecosystem gradients and understand global change processes through data-driven applicationsWorking at the intersection of ecology, policy, and environmental science, I am interested in studying coastal resilience, and developing the knowledge-base needed to direct resilience investments to the areas that are most vulnerable. I am passionate about utilizing GIS and remote sensing (RS) science and technology to study ecosystem dynamics and climate-induced changes on socio-environmental systems, focusing on climate equity issues. My doctoral research coupled spatial modelling with diverse data sources (e.g. remotely sensed imagery, wildfire model projections, geospatial data at different scales, agricultural permit data, and information gathered from property appraisal reports) to explore the effects of environmental policy, management approaches, and climate variables on California ecosystem changes and conservation outcomes. During my PhD, I have built counterfactual scenario simulations, spatial analyses, and statistical models to enhance our understanding of land use and land cover changes (LULCC) in California’s coastal lands, forested ecosystems, and throughout intensely cultivated areas. I also used space-time mining tools and developed a novel approach for visualizing and interpreting predicted wildfire activity in 3D, across both space and time. 
My postdoctoral training was an opportunity for me to explore and develop my skills to pursue socio-environmental research. I created resilience metrics that were used to investigate the spatiotemporal distribution and socio-environmental impacts of extreme heat and coastal flooding, which are shaping the development of coastal communities in South Florida. Further, I analyzed data collected by citizen scientists to better understand the hyperlocal environmental conditions within neighborhoods with different socioeconomic characteristics. My current research in the Department of Earth System Science at Stanford University combines my previous experiences by seeking to understand the vulnerability of coastal socio-environmental systems to natural hazards with an emphasis on underserved communities. I study coastal wetland loss and changes in wetland health, while examining the spatial and temporal distribution of coastal hazards (such as hurricanes, saltwater intrusion, sea level rise, and coastal flooding) and their impact on critical water infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Selected Publications

Dillis, C., Butsic, V., Moanga, D., Parker-Shames, P., Wartenberg, A., & Grantham, T. The threat of wildfire is unique to cannabis among agricultural sectors in California. Ecosphere. https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ecs2.4205.

Troxler, T., Clement, A. C, Arditi-Rocha, Y., Beesing, G., Bhat, M., Bolson, J., Caban-Aleman. C., Castillo. K., Collins, O., Cruz, M., Dodd, A., Evans, S.D., Fleming, A.L., Sequera, C.G., Gilbert, J., Hernandez, A., Folder, C., Ilcheva, M., Kelly, E., Leon, A., Lombard, J., Mach, K., Moanga, D., Murley, J.F., Knowles, A., Obeysekera, J., Parra, L., Posner, J., Sarwat, A., Silverstein, R., Stuart, J.A., Sukop, M, Wdowinski, S., & Wheaton, E. (2021). A System for Resilience Learning: Developing a community-driven, multi-sector research approach for greater preparedness and resilience to long-term climate stresses and extreme events in the Miami metropolitan region. Journal of Extreme Events.

Wartenberg C.A., Moanga D., & Butsic V. (2021). Identifying drivers of change and predicting future land-use impacts in established farmlands. Journal of Land Use Science. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1747423X.2021.2018061.

Wartenberg, A., Moanga, D., Potts, M.D., & Butsic V. (2021). Limited economicecological trade-offs in a shifting agricultural landscape: a case study from Kern County, California. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, section Agroecology and Ecosystem Services, 5:650727, https://doi.org/10.3389/fsufs.2021.650727.

Moanga Diana, Biging Gregory, Radke John, Butsic Van (2020) The space–time cube as an approach to quantifying future wildfires in CaliforniaInternational Journal of Wildland Fire. https://doi.org/10.1071/WF19062

Diana Moanga, Isabel Schroeter, David Ackerly & Van Butsic (2018) Avoided land use conversions and carbon loss from conservation purchases in California, Journal of Land Use Science, DOI: 10.1080/1747423X.2018.1533043.

Laćan I, Moanga D, Butsic, V, McBride JR. (2019). “Sealed in San José:” paving of front yards and its effect diminishes on urban forest resource and benefits in low-density residential neighborhoods. Journal of Urban Forestry & Urban Greening.

Butsic V, Shapero M, Moanga D, Larson S. 2017. Using InVEST to assess ecosystem services on conserved properties in Sonoma County, CA. Calif Agr 71(2):81-89.

Glynn, P.W., Alvarado, J.J., Banks, S., Cortés, J., Feingold, J.S., Jiménez, C., Maragos, J.E., Martínez, P., Maté, J.L., Moanga, D.A. and Navarrete, S., 2017. Eastern Pacific coral reef provinces, coral community structure and composition: an overview. In Coral Reefs of the Eastern Tropical Pacific (pp. 107-176). Springer, Dordrecht.

Ackerly, David, John Battles, Van Butsic, Patrick Gonzalez, Maggi Kelly, Whendee Silver, David Saah, Stefania Di Tommaso, Allegra Mayer, Diana Moanga, Isabel Schroeter, Bruce Riordan. (University of California, Berkeley). 2018. Land Acquisition and Ecosystem Carbon in Coastal California. California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment. Publication number: CCCA4-EXT-2018-003.

Radke, J.D, G.S. Biging, K. Roverts, M. Schmidt-Poolman, H. Foster, E. Roe, Y. Ju, S. Lindbergh, T. Beach, L. Maier, Y. He, M. Ashenfarb, P. Norton, M. Wray, A. Alruheil, S. Yi, R. Rau, J. Collins, D. Radke, M. Coufal, S. Marx, D. Moanga, V. Ulyashin, A. Dalal. (University of California, Berkeley). 2018. Assessing Extreme Weather Related Vulnerability and Identifying Resilience Options for California’s Interdependent Transportation Fuel Sector. California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment, California Energy Commission. Publication Number: CCCA4-CEC-2018-012.

Moanga, D (2015). Karenia brevis Hot Spots in the West Florida Shelf and their Associated Socio-economic Implications. University of Miami Scholarly Repository.