ESP PhD student Ryan Richards receives Fulbright grant

Ryan Clark Richards, a PhD student in the Environmental Science and Policy Department and Smithsonian-Mason Research Fellow, has been awarded a grant through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program to conduct research next year in Brazil.  Ryan is a student of Dr. Chris Kennedy in ESP, who is co-chair of his dissertation committee along with Dr. Francisco Dallmeier, Director of the Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.  Ryan’s research in Brazil will focus on the impact of policies that promote forest restoration and conservation to improve water quality in the Cantareira System, which is the water supply for the city of São Paulo.  His work exemplifies the unique interdisciplinary inquiries possible at Mason’s program in Environmental Science and Policy — at the intersection between conservation biology, policy studies, and computational social science — and in particular through our partnership with the Smithsonian Institution.

Ryan is one of two ESP students to be awarded a Fulbright grant this year!  Serda Ozbenian also received a 2014 Fulbright award. Congratulations to the both of them!

Important Dates for Students

SPRING 2020 Semester (modified due to COVID-19)

MLK Day (university closed): Jan 20

First day of classes: Jan 21

Spring Break (extended): Mar 9-20

Dissertation/Thesis Deadline: May 8

Last day of classes: May 11

Reading Day(s): May 12

Final Exam Period: May 13-20

University Commencement: May 22 (tentative)

COVID-19 DATE CHANGES – For the complete modified spring calendar, see and for latest COVID-19 updates, see: