Luna’s interest in pursuing a career in environmental science began with a research project on aquaculture in California, where she was introduced to a major problem: a lack of effective communication between science and policy. Her interest in how people make decisions, with an emphasis on increasing pro-environmental behavior, led her to complete a Bachelor's degree in both Environmental Science and Psychological Brain Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara. As an undergraduate, she spent two years as a research assistant in a cognitive neuroscience lab. Here, she analyzed respiration data as it related to the effect of the menstrual-cycle on the underlying cognitive architecture of the brain. She explored her passion for water her senior year in Scott Jasechko’s groundwater research lab, where she is currently aiding in the development of a global aquifer map. This work sparked a deep appreciation for data visualization and geospatial analysis, and its potential for increasing science communication.
As a master's student at the Bren school, Luna is excited to expand her toolkit to answer her questions about the world. She believes that data science is critical to bridging the gap between science and policy, and hopes to create effective models that inform decision making in water management and increasing access to equitable housing.