Environmental Sciences & Policy (ESP) Division

Since the Nicholas School was founded in 1991 - bringing together the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Department of Geology and the Duke Marine Lab - the faculty have been organized into three Divisions. The largest, the Division of Environmental Sciences and Policy (ESP), brought together natural and social scientists from the old School of Forestry and Environmental Studies for an interdisciplinary approach to environmental problem-solving. ESP faculty are housed both in Grainger Hall on Circuit Drive and in the A-Wing of the Levine Science Research Center, which is linked to Grainger Hall by a walkway.

Forging a Sustainable Future: Megan Mullin FInds Pathways to Environmental Solutions through Politics


PhD students work directly with ESP faculty while pursuing a degree in Environmental Science, through the University Program in Ecology or Environmental Policy, or in the Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program.

ESP faculty serve as Program Chairs for the Master of Environmental Management (MEM) concentrations Environmental Economics and Policy, Ecosystem Science and Conservation, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Health, and Water Resources Management as well as the Master of Forestry (MF) program. Faculty teach and serve as advisors to MEM and MF students.  ESP faculty also teach undergraduates pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences (B.S.)or Environmental Sciences and Policy (A.B.).


Faculty research in the ESP Division is focused on the biological, physical, chemical and social sciences, and cover such topics as environmental impacts of flame retardant chemicals and superfund sites, species conservation and ecosystem protection, effects of climate change and various practices on forest environments, and regulatory measures to mitigate environmental problems, resource allocation and environmental policy.