Raymond De Young

Associate Professor


PhD, University of Michigan

MS, Stevens Institute of Technology

BS, Stevens Institute of Technology

(734) 763-3129
2034a Dana


Raymond De Young, PhD, is a broadly trained psychologist, planner, and engineer. He serves as an Associate Professor of Environmental Psychology and Planning at SEAS, an Associate Professor in the Program in the Environment (PitE), a Faculty Associate at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum, and a Faculty Affiliate for the Graham Sustainability Institute. His research focus is on the process of re-localization, a response to emerging biophysical limits and the consequences of having deeply disrupted the Earth's ecosystems. De Young applies conservation and environmental psychology principles to the challenge of helping people to envision and adopt pragmatic behavioral responses that support an urgent transition to a life lived within local resource limits. Despite what for some people is a dismal forecast, his work is decidedly hopeful. He is described as neither an optimist nor pessimist when it comes to human behavior, but rather an idealist without illusions.

His current work includes both theoretical and empirical research on (1) helping people to pre-familiarize themselves with the behavioral apsects of the coming resource downshift, (2) motivating environmental stewardship and voluntary simplicity using intrinsic motivation and innate satisfactions and (3) using nature to restore the mental vitality needed for responding to and coping with the lean and difficult yet exciting times ahead. Two current projects include examining the psychological foundations of behavioral aesthetics and behavioral entrepreneurship, and the promotion of voluntary simplicity.


Selected student-involved research projects:

  • 2020: Measuring and leveraging citizen’s understanding of neighborhood resilience.

  • 2020: Pontiac hospital wellness farm: A partnership in community-based therapeutic design.

  • 2020: Creating a library of workshops for enhancing neighborhood resilience.

  • 2020: Developing an Ypsilanti, Michigan resilience hub.

  • 2019: Enhancing neighborhood resilience to the climate emergency and energy descent.
  • 2019: Enhancing knowledge sharing and collaboration among farms at healthcare facilities.

  • 2019: Localizing the Mackinac Island, Michigan foodshed.

  • 2018: University-community partnerships for re-skilling and resilience building.

  • 2018: Preparing for climate change with psychological resilience and well-being in Northeast US communities.

  • 2018: Psychological and organizational principles of a new model for selling locally grown food.

  • 2018: Foodloose: Stories and tours through Washtenaw County's local food system.

  • 2018: Assessing psychological well-being outcomes from involvement in planned, agriculturally-based sustainable communities.

  • 2017: Living well and living green: Participant conceptualizations of green citizenship.

  • 2017: Community-based resource sharing: Motivations and spillover effects.

  • 2017: The Farm at St. Joe’s: Growing healthy and resilient communities.

  • 2016: Sustainable food systems at the University of Michigan.

  • 2016: The Farm at St. Joe’s education program evaluation.

  • 2015: Evaluating a farm-based nutrition and health educational program.

  • 2014: Transition Times: YouTube/VideoScribe localization cases.

  • 2012: Urgent transitions: Responding to emerging biophysical limits.

Select publications: 


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