Student Spotlight: Leo Louis

Leo Louis

July 15, 2019

Leo Louis is a doctoral student in natural resources from Santa Fe, New Mexico. After attending the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, he chose to pursue further study in the human dimensions of natural resource management at Cornell.

What is your area of research and why is it important?

I am interested in people’s perceptions of and relationships with the environment. My current research seeks to understand how people’s observations of natural phenomena in their environment can help build resilience in the face of climate change.

What inspired you to choose this field of study? 

My own life experiences, as well as several formative texts including Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Wangari Maathai’s Unbowed.

What lessons did you take away from participating in the Colman Leadership program and how will they benefit you going forward?

Understanding how individuals within a group see themselves and others can not only provide useful insight for what is and is not working, but is also crucial when engaging in conflict resolution.

Why do you think it is important to develop leadership skills?

Whether it is formal or informal, we all have opportunities to act as leaders in our daily lives.

What are your hobbies or interests outside of your research or scholarship?

I enjoy backpacking, cooking, and photography.

Why did you choose Cornell to pursue your degree?

Besides being a great school, I needed a place that would allow me to pursue interdisciplinary work.