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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

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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:

Congratulations ESP Department Graduates

Some pictures of our department's happy graduating seniors shared by our Undergraduate Program Director Dr. Younsung Kim on the occasion of the George Mason University Spring 2022 Commencement.

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

News and Events

Upcoming Events

More Events

Resetting our Future: Using Strategic Foresight to Prepare for the LargeScale Disruptions of the Climate Crisis

Oct 12, 2022/4:00 - 6:00 PM

Merten Hall, Room 1204, Fairfax Campus

As the impacts of climate change on both businesses and communities becomes increasingly severe, an effective response requires long-term planning in the midst of uncertainty. This timely event introduces ‘Strategic Foresight’, a structured process that enables us to navigate the complexity of the climate crisis and prepare for a wide

Workshop: Incorporating Systems Thinking within Environmental Curricula

Nov 11, 2022/9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Potomac Science Center, Woodbridge, VA

Workshop Details Systems thinking is often described as a core capacity for understanding sustainability and a critical skill for the 21st century. As such, the event is part of a George Mason University Curriculum Impact Grant-funded project that seeks to convene faculty and graduate students to examine the current state