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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
George Mason Statue

The Catherine and Richard Becker Graduate Fellowship in Environmental Science and Policy

Made possible through a generous endowment by Catherine Z. and Richard J. Becker, students who are pursuing their graduate degrees in Environmental Science and Policy are selected each academic year. Recipients receive financial support while they learn, teach, and conduct research. All the Becker Fellows to date can be viewed here:

Why study Environmental Science?

Just some of the things you can do with a degree in Environmental Science and Policy!

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.

Dr. Changwoo Ahn and two of his students discuss a soil sample

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

News and Events

Upcoming Events

More Events

Faculty/ PI Workshop: How NSF’s New Mentoring Requirements Can Improve Your Research Agenda

Jun 18, 2024, 2:00 - 3:00 PM

REGISTER TO ATTEND In this 90-minute virtual workshop, participants will learn about NSF’s new graduate student mentoring requirements for grants submitted on or after May 20, 2024. NSF leaders will begin the event with information about the new requirements, which apply to any grant that provides support to graduate students

MS Thesis Defense - Environmental Science and Policy

Jun 19, 2024, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Virtual - contact for Zoom meeting info

Candidate: Katherine Saylor | Title: “It Comes Down To Communication”: Science Communication Skills are Key for Scientists Supporting Evidence-Based Policymaking Through the COVES Fellowship

The Health of Our Waterways

Jun 28, 2024, 6:30 - 9:00 PM

Potomac Science Center

650 Mason Ferry Avenue

Woodbridge, VA 22191

Join neighbors and friends, along with Dr. R. Chris Jones and faculty of the Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center (PEREC) for a discussion on the health of our waterways and a sunset gala. This benefit event supports the mission, research, and outreach of the Potomac Environmental Research and Education