How can information communication technology (ICT) assist Inupiaq hunters to respond/adapt to rapid climate change? Barrow, Alaska a case study



Diana is DPhil candidate at the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford. Her research focus is on co-developing innovative space applications to advance our ability to understand and anticipate changes in coastal Arctic communities. She has worked both at the European Space Agency (2017-2018) and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (2013-2016) researching future trends of EO data dissemination and discovery in the Arctic. Diana was also a researcher for the EU project Citizen Cyberlab: Technology Enhanced Creative Learning in the field of Cyberscience and for the IPY project Dynamics of Circumpolar Land Use and Ethnicity (CLUE): Social Impacts of Policy and Climate Change. She has conducted extensive fieldwork among the Inupiaq community in the Alaskan Arctic and the Nenets reindeer herders in the Russian Arctic.

She holds an MA with Joint Honors in Russian and Social Anthropology from the University of St Andrews and an MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from the University of Oxford. Her MSc thesis presented a novel remote sensing approach to land change analysis, identifying how existing space observation techniques could be used to move towards a bio-cultural study of land cover change using Sakhalin Island as a case study.

Diana also holds a diploma in documentary filmmaking from the EICTV in Cuba, was a visiting student at St Petersburg State University, Russia and a visiting scholar at the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Center at Carleton University, Canada. She is also a science advisor for the Sedna Epic Expedition, an all-female team of explorers, scientists and divers that will mount a snorkel relay of the NorthWest Passage in 2020 as a climate change/citizen science call of action.

Awards and Funding


  • "Ideas to Impact |2| Fellow", Saïd Business School, University of Oxford (2017)
  • APECS-International Arctic Science Committee, Poster Award for Cross-Cutting the International Arctic Committee working groups (2017)
  • University of Oxford, Green Templeton College, Competitive Conference & Fieldwork Funding (2017)
  • Association of Polar Early Career Scientists, Young Researcher Travel Grant (2012)
  • Engineering Young Entrepreneurship Scheme Competition Award- Best Team Work (2012)

Current Research

Diana's research is exploring how innovations, adaptation and platforms for collaboration guided by variables determined by local users, could be used to co-develop Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools in response to the needs of Inupiaq subsistence hunters in the North Slope of Alaska. Serving as a bridge between scientific and community needs this case study will co-develop ICT tools that promote new means for synergizing Local Traditional Knowledge (LTK)-Science coproduction across cultural and generational lines. The objectives are to find out: (i) how can Earth Observation (EO) data be used to promote practical solutions to climate change adaptation strategies; (ii) how can the collective intelligence of the crowd be harnessed to co-design LTK based solutions for climate change resilience; and (iii) which methodologies and approaches may support a shift from a "contributory" to a "co-created" model of participatory science.

Doctoral Training

  • "Ideas 2 Impact (|2|) Initiative", Enterprise Executive MBA course on Strategy and innovation, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford (2017)
  • "Enterprise and the Environment" Doctoral Training Course, Smith School for Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford (2017)

Current Teaching

Recent Publications

Journal Articles

  • Jennett, C., Cox, A., Mastracci, D. and Regalado, C. (2014) From London to the Arctic. Exploring Engagement and Learning. A Global Village, 12.

Book Chapters

  • Thornton, T.F., Hamada, S. and Mastracci, D. (forthcoming) Urgent Anthropology and Marine Ecosystems: Lessons from Pacific Herring Marinescapes. In, Urgent Anthropology. Royal Anthropological Institute.

Conference Papers

  • T. Schiena & D. Mastracci "About Artemis." in "Conference on Eradicating Forced Labor. Ending Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking." United Nations, Washington D.C., US September 2017.
  • D. Mastracci, G. Brower and A. Brower "Integrating Traditional and Scientific Knowledge." in "The Arctic Circle Assembly", Reykjavik, Iceland October 2015.
  • D. Mastracci, B. Fuchs "How can ICT be used to translate local perspectives and values to regional and global contexts? Barrow, a case study." in "The 2nd International Conference Local and Global Arctic" Rovaniemi, Finland November 2015.
  • D. Mastracci "How can Information Communication Technology (ICT) assist Inupiaq and Yupik Arctic hunters to adapt/respond to climate change?" in "New Frontiers in Postgraduate Geography" Royal Geographic Society, London, England August 2013.

Poster publications

  • D. Mastracci, T. Thornton, C. Thompson, J. Vazquez (2017). "'Hacking' Traditional Knowledge based solutions to climate change. The NASA "Sea-Ice" app challenge." Presented at: Arctic Science Summit Week 2017, Prague, Czech Republic.
  • D. Mastracci (2017). "Lessons learned in managing crowdsourced data in the Alaskan Arctic." Poster presented at: European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2017, Vienna, Austria.
  • D. Mastracci (2015). "Socio-ecological resilience in the Arctic. Adaptation of modern technologies to aid traditional ways of life." Poster presented at: "JPL Poster Day", NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States.
  • D. Mastracci (2013). "How can ICT assist socio-ecological resilience in the Arctic" Poster presented at: The Annual Biodiversity Institute Symposium, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
  • D. Mastracci, et al. (2013). "Environmental Monitoring in the Arctic." Poster presented at: Sixth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development 2013 (ICTD2013), Cape Town, South Africa.
  • T.F. Thornton & D. Mastracci (2012). "Land Use, Property and Resource Rights Among Indigenous Peoples of the North Pacific Coastal Forests of Alaska and Siberia" Poster presented at: International Polar Year 2012, Montreal, Canada.
  • D. Mastracci (2011). "How do Maps of Land Cover Change define Landscapes". Poster presented at: Advances in Biogeography Conference, The International Biogeography Society, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Invited Talks

  • D. Mastracci (2018). The GEOSS Hackathon. 3rd GEOS Data Providers Workshop, European Space Agency, Frascati, Italy. 5 May.
  • D. Mastracci (2017). Hacking Traditional Knowledge Based Innovations for Climate Change Resilience in the Arctic. The Arctic Circle Scotland. Edinburgh, UK. 20 November.
  • D. Mastracci (2015). Practical Actions for Climate Resilience in the Arctic. Barrow, Alaska a case study. Invited Talk at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA. 2 December.
  • D. Mastracci (2014). ICT for Climate Change Adaptation in Barrow, Alaska. Invited Talk to the Sea Ice Group, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK. 11 August.

Invited Talks

  • D. Mastracci (2013). Environmental Monitoring in the Arctic. Demo presented at: ICTD 2013, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Invited Talks

  • D. Mastracci (2014). "National Parks in Southeastern Alaska. Community-oriented Protected Areas". Map in Thornton, T.F. (2014) A Tale of Three Parks. In, Stevens. S. (ed.) Indigenous Peoples, National Parks and Protected Areas: A New Paradigm Linking Conservation, Culture and Rights. (108-129).