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Excellence and leadership in conservation, water and watersheds, and healthy ecosystems by bridging environmental science and public policy

ESP is a growing academic and professional force spanning the twin domains of the natural and social sciences. We are focused on understanding and implementing science and public policy to address and solve complex environmental issues that challenge the integrity and sustainability of global systems.

ESP students who are trained in environmental policy, conservation sciences, climate change, aquatic ecology, wildlife management or one health, go on to professional careers in government agencies, non-profit organizations, and the private sector.

Students also planted and mulched saplings as a part of the ongoing Rappahannock Parking Deck Reforestation Project. Photo by Sarah D'Alexander

Visit Us On Campus

See what our program can do for you. 

  • Environmental Science and Policy Office

    3005 David King Hall, Fairfax Campus

  • Campus Map
David King Hall at George Mason University Fairfax Campus

Distinguished faculty and high-caliber graduate students

Extraordinary people come to Mason. Our faculty includes Dr. Thomas Lovejoy, known as the “Godfather of Biodiversity” and until 2021, the late Dr. Lee Talbot, co-author of the landmark Endangered Species Act of 1973.  Meanwhile, ESP graduate students have been awarded 8 Fulbright fellowships since 2013.


Why Study Environmental Science and Policy at Mason?


First in the country to offer a PhD program that explicitly blends Environmental Science and Public Policy.


Over 100,000 middle school students reached since 2009 through the PEREC Field Interpreter environmental stewardship program.


Steady year-on-year increase in enrollment in the B.S. in Environmental Science degree program over the last 5 years.

Our strategic approach to academic and research excellence

Every student pursues their own passion and conducts research in that area to contribute to the health of our environment. Undergraduates can choose from 6 concentrations, drawn from our three areas of expertise: water and watersheds, One Health, and conservation.

Ahn Wetland EVPP/BIOL 355

Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center (PEREC)

We have a multi-investigator research and education center on the tidal Potomac River - the Potomac Science Center. About half of the ESP core faculty is housed here.

Potomac Science Center

Plastic in the Environment v2

Plastic waste is choking our planet by sheer volume. Here's what we can do, one person at a time.

Created by Dr. Jennifer Lewis, current PhD student in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy. 

Check out more of our videos on our Vimeo and YouTube channels!

News and Events



Mason Science Transfer Appreciation Event

Oct 18, 2021/3:00 - 4:00 PM

The Hub

It's National Transfer Student Week, and the College of Science is celebrating our transfer students. Join #MasonScience for a fun, information-packed Transfer Appreciation Event! Explore resources, opportunities, and career readiness programs exclusively for our transfer students. Get success tips from faculty and our transfer ambassadors. Win t-shirts and prizes, and

Faculty Panel: Grand Challenges

Oct 18, 2021/5:00 - 7:00 PM

Merten Hall 1201

A Presidential Investiture at George Mason University Special Event All are invited to participate in and attend the the Grand Challenges, Faculty Panel featuring: Dr. Gregory Washington, President, George Mason University Thomas Lovejoy, University Professor, Environmental Science and Policy Guadalupe Correa Cabrera, Associate Professor, Schar School of Policy and Government

American Society for Intercellular Communication (ASIC)

Oct 21, 2021/12:00 PM - Oct 23, 2021/12:00 PM

The meeting will be held on October 21st – October 23rd 2021. The meeting is organized by a group of investigators seeking to create a platform for informal exchange of ideas on emerging questions and cutting-edge developments in the field of Extracellular Vesicles (EVs), Extracellular Particles (EPs), and particulate carriers