Cassie Osterhoudt

Cassie is a double major in Geology and Environmental Geoscience, an RA in Campus Living, and a Student Assistant with the Office of Sustainability.

What does sustainability mean to you?

To me, sustainability means to endure.  I don’t think it necessarily means we need to reduce or lessen our quality of life in the future, it just means we need to be innovative as we move forward and try to balance the needs of humanity and the needs of the earth. 

What are you doing to help UB become more sustainable?

I work for the Office of Sustainability, where I work to implement or improve UB’s sustainability efforts.  I am also an R.A. and create programs that are related to Sustainability, and ensure that the residence halls are following UB’s environmental practices.      

How do you involve UB’s faculty or staff in your sustainability work?

I currently work with Jim Simon and Erin Moscati at the Office of Sustainability to promote sustainability throughout the many facets of campus.  I have worked on large-scale projects such as RecycleMania and educating residence hall staff about sustainable practices.  I also work to advertise sustainable practices through UB Green social media.  Additionally, I am formulating my Senior Geology Thesis project, which will hopefully be based around hydrology and how it pertains to our water resources for the future.      

How has sustainability impacted your academic pursuits?  

Sustainability is essentially the core of my academic pursuits.  I am currently double majoring in Geology and Environmental Geoscience, so sustainability is a part of every class I am taking.  Although my career path is not yet clear, I see myself attending graduate school for Hydrology or Environmental Engineering, and pursuing a career path that pertains to the hard science involved in sustainable practices.

What is the one thing you would like people to know that you do in your personal life to further sustainability?

One thing that I would like people to know is that I try to live simply.  Although I do fall victim to the many fashion trends, when I purchase materials for myself, I buy quality, not quantity.  The root of humanity’s issue is that we always want more.  To instill a mind set of simplicity is crucial to sustainability.  I also have a competition going to see how fast I can shower in the morning—I am currently at 6 minutes.   

How could UB improve its sustainability efforts?

Overall, I think that UB is a very progressive school as far as sustainable practices goes.  Our Climate Action Plan and Solar Strand are really large steps in comparison to other Universities.  I do think it is important to encourage students to want less, and see value in simplicity.  To create and foster this mindset in the student body will greatly improve UB’s sustainability efforts.  I also I would, like to see UB use the roofs of the buildings on North Campus for green space.  If urban gardens could be created the benefits could be two fold: students could use these areas as study space, and rainwater could be efficiently used in these gardens.