Adler joined NPR in 1979 as a general assignment reporter, after spending a year as an NPR freelance reporter covering New York City, and has since worked on a great many pieces dealing with subjects as diverse as the death penalty, the right to die movement, the response to the war in Kosovo, computer gaming, the drug ecstasy, geek culture, children and technology, and Pokémon. Since 9/11, she has focused much of her work on stories exploring the human factors in New York City, from the loss of loved ones, homes and jobs, to work in the relief effort. She was the host of Justice Talking up until the show ceased production on July 3, 2008. She is a regular voice on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She is also co-producer of an award-winning radio drama, War Day.
Adler authored Drawing Down the Moon, a 1979 book about Neopaganism which was revised in 2006. The book is considered a watershed in American Neopagan circles, as it provided the first comprehensive look at modern nature-based religions in the US. For many years it was the only introductory work about the American Neopagan communities. Her second book, Heretic's Heart: A Journey Through Spirit and Revolution, was published by Beacon Press in 1997. Adler is a Wiccan priestess in the Gardnerian tradition, an elder in the Covenant of the Goddess, and she also participates in the Unitarian Universalist faith community.