Alexandra Schaffer


Croton-on-Hudson, New York

Academic Interests

Environmental Sciences and Earth & Climate Sciences

Fun Fact

I am a twin!

I’ve always been enthralled by nature and loved spending time outdoors. As I grew up and learned of climate change, pollution, and other environmental issues that threaten Earth and
all the humans, plants, and animals that call it home, I became more and more passionate about helping the environment. I am also curious about science, math, and problem-solving and am an
avid reader and writer, so when I learned that environmental scientists can use scientific research, experiments, and advocacy to help the world, I knew I had found the pathway for me. In the
future I hope to help build a world where humans and other beings can live in harmony without disturbing the Earth’s processes and ecosystems. Working towards this broad goal starts at a local
level; in high school, I volunteered at environmental organizations in my town and advocated for increased education on the carbon emissions of home heating systems in my community. Here at
Duke, I am researching carbon-capture, which is applicable to climate change mitigation, with the Feng Group. Furthermore, I am engaging in advocacy through the Duke Climate Coalition
and the Environmental Alliance, and I will soon be researching Emerald Ash Borers, an invasive species in the Duke Forest, as a member of the Duke Restore Forest Restoration Team.
Outside of environmental work, I love to stay active, engage in music, and spend time with friends and family. I played soccer and softball throughout my childhood, and at Duke I
play spikeball and pickleball with friends, run, and go to the gym. Also, I love to listen to music, play the piano, play the alto saxophone, and sing! I am currently in Duke Chorale, Duke’s
primary choral group. In my free time, you can find me reading fantasy books, hanging out with friends, and walking in nature.

What do you like about being a SPIRE Fellow?

I love Duke’s supportive, inclusive atmosphere. Everyone here is driven, passionate, and unique, but we also do not hesitate to lend a helping hand. We lift each other up rather than
compete and bring each other down – this makes Duke special. Whether through academic collaboration, mental health awareness, or simply a nice conversation and a good laugh, Duke
students have each other’s backs. I’ve only been here for a few months, but I can already see that we are all in this together. I am so excited to be in this welcoming community that goes far
beyond just four years here!

Lexi Shaffer
Alexandra Schaffer