Cathy Resler Manager, Environmental Stewardship
In the past nine months, Cathy Resler has helped develop and monitor recycling education on the Morningside, Medical Center and Lamont-Doherty campuses. With the campuses' Facilities Departments she has collaborated with CUMC EcoReps, the Columbia Business School's Green Business Club and SIPA's Student Association in their recycling bin audits.
Resler has also been coordinating data she collects from other University departments, and generating reports and presentations, all part of Columbia's commitment to New York City's PlaNYC University Challenge program that involves a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2017.
Resler was hired a year ago as Recycling and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs Manager - part of Columbia's Office of Environmental Stewardship.
She had established ties with the University in 2002 as a participant in the Biosphere 2 project. At that time, Biosphere 2, north of Tucson, was a Columbia undertaking, then described by the University as "the world's largest controlled facility for plant growth and integrated study of earth systems science." It has since been taken over by the University of Arizona.
Resler says the experience was "one of the best of her life," with its "phenomenal faculty, its 40 to 70 students and faculty living in adobes with the closest gas station about 35 minutes away." All of this, Resler says, made it easy to see the impacts of her research, focused heavily on rainforests and global climate change.
Following her work with Biosphere 2, Resler was an intern at the Container Recycling Institute, an environmental scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Manager of Sustainable Development at Time Inc.
In her 28 months at Time Inc., Resler was responsible for following through on the company's commitment to sustainability as the country's largest magazine publisher and North America's largest paper buyer. Resler explains her former work as involved with "the life cycle of magazines:" their environmentally sound printing and transporting as well as their paper sources from certified, sustainable forestry.
Resler also worked with Time Inc.'s sustainable development report card for forests, factories and production areas. "We were constantly monitoring and effecting change," she says - change that because of Time Inc.'s size spilled over to influence the rest of the publishing industry. "It was neat to have an impact and make a difference. That's what I care about."