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As part of Mason's Safe Return to Campus Plan, all classes and associated instructional activities—including final exams—will be conducted virtually beginning November 30, while most campus facilities will remain open. Visit Mason’s Safe Return to Campus Plan for COVID-19 updates.


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.

Ryan Valdez with Sudan

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See what our program can do for you. 

  • Environmental Science and Policy Office

    3005 David King Hall, Fairfax Campus

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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 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!

News and Events

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Tell us what you think: GRADUATE ESP Students Virtual Focus Group

Dec 4, 2020/10:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Tell us what you think: Graduate ESP Students Virtual Focus Group 

Would you like to share ideas to shape Environmental Science and Policy programs at Mason?  

Join us Friday, December 4th from 10:00am-12:00noon 


Tell us what you think: UNDERGRADUATE ESP Students Virtual Focus Group

Dec 4, 2020/2:00 - 4:00 PM


Tell us what you think: Undergraduate ESP Students Virtual Focus Group 

Would you like to share ideas to shape Environmental Science and Policy programs at Mason?  

Join us Friday, December 4th from 2:00-4:00pm


Celebration of Success

Dec 8, 2020/2:00 - 3:30 PM

Event open to College of Science faculty and staff only. 

Join Dean Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm for the 2020 Celebration of Success that recognizes and shows appreciation of all College of Science faculty and staff.

This year, the dean will honor nine faculty and staff with awards for their service during the 2020 calendar year.