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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.

Lovejoy

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, two recipients who are pursuing their MS in Environmental Science 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 and Policy at Mason?

#1

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

100,000+

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

26.1%

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 Rivers

Short film about the sources of plastic in our rivers, why we should be concerned, and what we can do to change it.

This film was a project by the Conservation Storytelling Class of Fall 2021. The Conservation Storytelling Class is taught yearly by ESP graduate student Dr. Jennifer Lewis. It was a combined effort of students from George Mason University (USA), Tribhuvan University (Nepal), Lucknow University (India) and Jagnnath University (Bangladesh).

News and Events

Upcoming Events

More Events
Dec6

2021 Celebration of Success

Dec 6, 2021/2:00 - 3:30 PM

Exploratory Hall atrium

Join Dean Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm for the 2021 Celebration of Success that recognizes and shows appreciation of all College of Science faculty and staff. On Monday, December 6 from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Dean Fernando R. Miralles-Wilhelm will present the Dean's Awards to nine faculty and staff for their service during
Dec7

The Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation Fall 2021 Student Final Presentations

Dec 7, 2021/9:30 AM - Dec 9, 2021/4:00 PM

Virtual

The Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation invites you to attend their virtual Fall 2021 Student Final Presentations. Tuesday, December 7 and Wednesday, December 8 Research Presentations: 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Case Study Presentations: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Thursday, December 9 Practicum Showcase: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The order
Dec20

Winter Holiday

Dec 20, 2021/8:30 AM - Dec 31, 2021/5:00 PM