In this work we introduce a manifold learning-based method for uncertainty quantification (UQ) in systems describing complex spatiotemporal processes. Our first objective is to identify the embedding of a set of high-dimensional data representing quantities of interest of the computational or analytical model. For this purpose, we employ Grassmannian diffusion maps, a two-step nonlinear dimension reduction technique which allows us to reduce the dimensionality of the data and identify meaningful geometric descriptions in a parsimonious and inexpensive manner. Polynomial chaos expansion is then used to construct a mapping between the stochastic input parameters and the diffusion coordinates of the reduced space. An adaptive clustering technique is proposed to identify an optimal number of clusters of points in the latent space. The similarity of points allows us to construct a number of geometric harmonic emulators which are finally utilized as a set of inexpensive pre-trained models to perform an inverse map of realizations of latent features to the ambient space and thus perform accurate out-of-sample predictions. Thus, the proposed method acts as an encoder-decoder system which is able to automatically handle very high-dimensional data while simultaneously operating successfully in the small-data regime. The method is demonstrated on two benchmark problems and on a system of advection-diffusion-reaction equations which model a first-order chemical reaction between two species. In all test cases, the proposed method is able to achieve highly accurate approximations which ultimately lead to the significant acceleration of UQ tasks.