Holding a Ph.D. in Environmental Psychology with a minor in Renewable Natural Resources, Daniel Levi has been teaching various classes, including environmental psychology, for 30 years at Cal Poly. For those unfamiliar with his field of study, Dan likes to explain that there are two prongs to environmental psychology. The first consists of the psychology of design, and how external environments can affect human conduct. For example, how can neighborhoods be designed to encourage walking? The second consists of the psychology of environmental issues, such as how humans react to natural disasters. Dan believes that the two are connected because “the better environments are designed for humans, the more willing people are to maintain and protect them.”
Dan brings this constructive, encouraging approach to the environmental issues of the day, addressing the severity of them without taking a panicked tone. He does not believe in fear-mongering as an effective tactic in encouraging participation in environmental issues among people, and instead hopes to foster a positive interest in the environment and a belief that anyone can make a difference. His warm, hopeful outlook regarding environmental issues, combined with his position as an educator, have made him appreciate “Ecologistics’ approach to supporting environmental issues through education and participatory engagement.” As such, he has attended several Bioneers conferences sponsored by Ecologistics and the Deep Ecology Collaboratory.
Dan holds other interests beyond the scope of Ecologistics, and is also on the board of directors of two other organizations: the City of San Luis Obispo’s Promotional Coordinating Committee and the San Luis Obispo Blues Society. Despite his affinity for the blues and the usually melancholy lyrics, his message on the future of the environmental movement is characteristically hopeful: “I want to encourage people to have a positive outlook toward environmental issues and to support their belief that they can make a difference.”