Department of Environmental Science and Policy


The interdisciplinary composition of ESP faculty, including physical, life, and social scientists, results in a wide variety of research objectives and needs.  Students are often a critical part of this research and there are many opportunities (Student Research Opportunities).

Examples of ESP Research:

  • Assessing current heavy metal, PCB and PAH levels in Long Creek and a reference stream as a precursor to a larger study involving up to five urban impaired streams (UISs) and three reference streams in southern Maine.
  • Assessing North America's first ever, successful mining project of a closed landfill to recover metals.
  • Development of novel methods for fine particle analysis to establish the appropriate methodologies and assess the need/market for indoor air quality sampling from Residential Wood Combustion (RWC) in Maine.
  • Survey of heavy metal contamination in residential urban soils in New England including analyses of semi-volatile organics 
  • Examination of the relationship between degree of soil contamination, historical land use, and socioeconomic factors such as demographics and economics
  • Examining the efficacy of mandatory retail take back of household hazardous waste collection
  • Analyzing the relationship between metals and semi-volatile organic composition of suspended particulates and irritation responses in human lung cells. 
  • Examine the relationship between environmental asthma triggers and the public school environment.
  • Understanding the relationship between site plans and growth management with special emphasis on the use of stream buffers for riparian protection.
  • Studying the approach to shared responsibility for managing electronic waste and the municipal waste attributes’ effects on household recycling rates of e-waste.
  • The impact of recycling containers on household participation and recycling rates in North America
  • To examine the land use and historical archaeology of Malaga Island, a historical African-American community in Casco Bay originally comprised of freed slaves.
  • Researching local environmental change as a result of cultural and environmental factors.
  • To examine the linkages between freshwater and marine systems through diadromous fishes.
  • Facilitating the student-fueled restoration and monitoring of Sherman Marsh, Newcastle, Maine.


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