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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

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

Conservation Storytelling

This film is a production of #ConservationStorytelling, a study abroad class led by our PhD student, Dr. Jennifer Lewis and Mahmud Rahman. Students from George Mason University, Kathmandu University, and Tribhuvan University collaborated.

GMU departments involved:

Department of Environmental Science and Policy
Film and Video Studies
Department of Communication

News and Events

Events

Calendar
Aug1

Deadline to submit COVID vaccination documentation

Aug 1, 2021/8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Student Health Services

Message from Mason President Gregory Washington: COVID-19 Vaccination Students: Mason will require that all students be vaccinated against COVID-19 by August 1. This policy does not apply to students who take online courses only and do not come to any campus, or to individuals who have an approved medical or
Aug2

Females of Color and those Underrepresented in STEM (FOCUS) Camp (virtual)

Aug 2, 2021/8:00 AM - Aug 6, 2021/5:00 PM

Participants (6 through 8 graders) engage in four different interactive and hands-on STEM workshops and on the last day, the participants present what they learned in these workshops in a conference-style setting. Sign up and learn more about this opportunity.
Aug6

Transfer Science Bridge 1 (virtual)

Aug 6, 2021/10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Transfer students are invited to join us for an interactive, virtual bridge session that builds on New Student Orientation and fully prepares you for life as a Mason Science student. Learn more about this and other transfer student events.