Environmental Science and Policy
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.
In This Department
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 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.
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.
Mason Students in the Field
At Mason, lots of learning takes place outside the classroom. Our students have research opportunities taking them from sea level to five stories above it! And with key partnerships like Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, you can be hanging out with endangered red pandas while earning class credit. The temperature may be hot, but doing research doesn’t get any cooler than this!