Climate Change Communications Specialist



Diana Lopera

Marine 30×30 Program Planning Associate

Office: Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources

Email: [email protected]

  • BIO

Diana Lopera served as part of the inaugural Climate Ready Hawaiʻi AmeriCorps VISTA cohort that is helping Hawaiʻi adapt to climate change impacts. After her service as the Climate Change Communications Specialist, she went on to work as the Marine 30x30 Program Planning Associate for the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources' Holomua Marine 30x30 Initiative. During her service, she worked with the Hawaiʻi Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission staff based at the Department of Land and Natural Resources. She managed the Climate Commission’s website operations and social media presence and assisted in the creation of a communications framework to address climate change equity issues with a special focus on anti-poverty objectives.

Diana’s diverse scientific background includes internships with the Hawaiʻi Sea Grant and the Honolulu Board of Water Supply. She has presented her work at multiple research conferences, most notably the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) conference in San Antonio, TX (2018) and in Honolulu, HI (2019). She also received the prestigious NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship to conduct research on the impact of restoration efforts on Loko iʻa o Heʻeia, a Native Hawaiian fishpond and presented her research in 2019 at the NOAA headquarters in Washington, D.C. She is particularly interested in science communication and outreach to help bridge the gap between scientific research and the communities it benefits.

Diana graduated magna cum laude from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with a B.S. in Global Environmental Science and received the SOEST Undergraduate Award for Service and Leadership. She is originally from Saipan and is a first-generation college graduate.

  • Climate Change Portal Operations: Diana actively manages and reconfigures the Hawai’i Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission (aka State Climate Commission) and Koloa Iki websites for transparency, content, and accessibility. She regularly updates the websites' information and highlights any new work produced by the Commission and its partners. Koloa Iki is a community- and partner-based effort to bring awareness to sea level rise impacts in Hawaiʻi.
  • Community Outreach – Social Media: Diana actively manages the State Climate Commission’s Instagram and Facebook accounts. She posts relevant content to highlight and amplify the work being done by the Commission and its partners. For example, for #TransportationTuesday, Diana broke down complex transportation issues into more usable content.
  • Community Resources: Diana creates and provides social media packages and slide decks on HI FACTS for community members, schools and organizations to use.
  • Equity in climate change communication: Diana, with her focus on communications, worked to produce an internal paper outlining equity issues in climate change communication. This work is connected to the findings of the Commission's Permitted Interaction Group on Equity.