Alexander Pfaff

Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy
Professor in the Environmental Sciences and Policy Division
Professor in the Division of Environmental Sciences and Policy
Professor in the Department of Economics
Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society
Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative
Director of Graduate Studies of the University Program in Environmental Policy (UPEP)
Faculty Research Scholar of DuPRI's Population Research Center
Director of Grad Studies for the Univ Prog in Environmental Policy
Alex Pfaff is a Professor of Public Policy, Economics and Environment at Duke University. He studies how economic development affects and is affected by natural resources and the environment. His focus is on the impacts of conservation policies (such as protected areas, ecoservices payments, and certifications) and development policies (such as roads and rights). Those impacts are functions of choices by individuals and communities that affect land use, water quantity and quality, human exposures (to arsenic, mercury, mining, and particulates), and both the provision and use of information.

Research accessible at


  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1995)
  • B.A., Yale University (1988)

Mailing Address

Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability
Box 90467
Durham, NC 27708

Street / Delivery Address

Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability
140 Science Drive
Gross Hall, Suite 101
Durham, NC 27708