DIANA MASTRACCI

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I founded Space 4 Innovation to enable communities to apply space assets for social change initiatives.  Over the years I  developed a  new methodology of collective intelligence to foster innovation for complex societal challenges and have received awards and grants from the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists, International Arctic Science Committee, UNFPA and the University of Oxford.

I have worked for the Group on Earth Observations (2019), the European Space Agency (2017-2018), the University of Oxford (2010-2012), The Citizen CyberLab  and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2013-2016).

In 2017 I was an "Ideas to Impact |2|" Fellow at Oxford University’s Said Business School, and in 2018 my research was included as one of the pioneer projects of the United Nations SDG Action Network.

My work has taken me to explore one of the most extreme climates on the planet, where temperatures can drop down to -50C and vegetation only grows for few days a year: the Arctic. I have had the privilege to conduct extensive fieldwork among the Inupiaq subsistence hunters in the Alaskan Arctic and the Nenets Reindeer herders in the Russian Arctic. Living amongst communities that have been so resilient to changing circumstances has humbled me in many ways and is what drives my research forward. During Nalukataq, the spring whaling festival of the Inupiat Eskimo, I was given the Inupiat name "Nauriaq" by Mr. Arnold Jr. Brower Inupiat whaling captain and Executive Director of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission. 

By training I am an anthropologist (MA with joint honors in Russian and Social Anthropology, St Andrews University) with a Masters in  Biodiversity Conservation and Management  (specializing in Remote Sensing and GIS)  from the University of Oxford. I also hold a Diploma in Documentary Film-making from the EICTV in Cuba and wrote a thesis in Russian Linguistics whilst studying abroad at the University of St Petersburg. 

Besides space, technology and Indigenous knowledge I am also passionate for ocean exploration and conservation and have snorkeled with whale sharks and sea lions in Mexico,with great white sharks in South Africa and in between the North American and the Eurasian tectonic plates in Iceland’s Silfra fissure. In my spare time I enjoy reading about theoretical physics & behavioral economics, making art and training Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

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