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Spring semester began Monday, January 25, with a mix of in-person instruction and expanded online classes. Visit Mason’s Safe Return to Campus Plan for COVID-19 updates.


Dr. Tom Lovejoy recognized by President Obama for his efforts as a Science Envoy


Dr. Tom Lovejoy, University Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, who recently received the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Council of Science and the Environment (NCSE) was recognized by President Obama for representing the country as a Science Envoy in a letter of appreciation from the White House signed by the President.

He participated in three trips as Science Envoy during his service – to Malaysia (July 2016) and Peru (August 2016 & January 2017). The goal of these trips is to use the presence of the Science Envoy to catalyze topics with the national government in question as well as with civil society and the private sector. The mission has the full weight of the Embassy behind it, and meetings with ministers in foreign countries are always held together with the U.S. Ambassador.

The Science Envoy’s mission includes public talks and interaction with the media, e.g. last Sunday an interview ran on the Peruvian equivalent of the long-running news magazine show on CBS, 60 minutes. The topics discussed were generally biodiversity, conservation and sustainable development. On Dr. Lovejoy’s most recent trip, there was particular focus around the illegal alluvial gold mining in Madre de Dios: 70,000 hectares of destroyed aquatic ecosystems and rain forest to date. The conclusion was that there must be a comprehensive plan to take this on, otherwise it will be the end of the western Amazon.

Future trips are scheduled for Peru and Colombia in May 2017.