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Like many people from Rugao, China, Chloe Xuke loves to exercise outdoors. Leading a healthy lifestyle comes naturally in Rugao, a world famous longevity city that boasts an incredibly high number of centenarians. But in 2013, grey smoke blanketed the town, forcing its habitually active residents to stay indoors.

It was at that moment that Xuke decided to devote her academic and professional life to environmental stewardship. After studying environmental planning and management at Nanjing University, she enrolled in the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy to pursue a master’s degree in environmental science and policy. As a Bartlett Fellow, Xuke is working with Dr. Ashley Vissing, an EPIC Postdoctoral Fellow, to study oil and natural gas extraction in Texas. The team has applied machine-learning languages to nearly 300,000 private mineral rights contracts and is building a statistical model to evaluate their outcomes.

Xuke’s project with Vissing has given her foundational experience in energy and environmental policy research. In the future, she plans to use these skills to help Chinese corporations lower their energy consumption. Xuke’s ultimate goal: make sure her family’s five living generations can breathe easy back home in Rugao.

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