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Industrial Ecology Society Elects Marian Chertow President

February 5, 2013

Marian Chertow (PhD 2000, FES; MPPM 1981), associate professor of Industrial Environmental Management at Yale, has been elected president of the International Society for Industrial Ecology. The society’s more than 500 members hail from 41 countries. They include natural and social scientists, engineers, policymakers, and practitioners who promote the practice of industrial ecology in research, education, policy, and community development in order to support a sustainable economy. An emerging field, industrial ecology concerns the flow of material, water, and energy through systems at different scales and considers the impacts of these flows on the environment, the economy, and society more broadly.

Chertow has been director of the Industrial Environmental Management Program at Forestry & Environmental Science (F&ES) since 1991. Her research and teaching focus on industrial ecology, business and environment, waste management, environmental technology innovation, and urban industrial studies. Chertow examines physical resource exchanges among companies in “industrial ecosystems” to illuminate what drives resource sharing such that one organization’s waste becomes useful to another. She also studies these flows as part of exploring sustainable urban systems and is a principal investigator on a new NSF Partnership for International Research and Education grant of $4.5 million studying sustainable cities in India, China, and the U.S.

After earning her master’s degree and before enrolling at the Graduate School, Chertow worked in environmental business as well as state and local government, including service as president of a waste infrastructure bonding authority charged with developing a billion dollar statewide system for Connecticut.

Chertow’s dissertation, advised by John Gordon, examined the proposition that improving the flow of environmentally beneficial technology from concept to market is an important step in achieving sustainable development that is often disrupted by gaps between government research and development and private investment in production.

Chertow teaches at F&ES and the Yale School of Management, where she earned a master’s degree in public and private management in 1981. She is a member of the founding faculty of the Masters of Science in Environmental Management Program at the National University of Singapore.

Her paper, “Industrial Symbiosis Literature and Taxonomy,” published in the Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, is cited globally and has helped establish the study of resource sharing across firms. She is co-editor of Thinking Ecologically: The Next Generation of Environmental Policy (with Daniel C. Esty, Yale University Press, 1997) and of Long Term Socio-Ecological Research: Studies in Society-Nature Interactions Across Spatial and Temporal Scales (with S. Singh, H. Haberl, M.Mirtl, and M. Schmid, Springer, 2013). Chertow serves on the External Advisory Board of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability at Ingersoll Rand and on the Governor’s Task Force for Modernizing Recycling in Connecticut.