Frank T. Manheim

Photo of Frank T. Manheim
Titles and Organizations

Affiliate Professor and Distinguished Senior Fellow, Schar School of Policy and Government

Contact Information 
Mason Square, Van Metre Hall
MS 3B1
Phone: 703-631-0166

Fax: 208-977-0348


Frank T. Manheim served as a senior ocean and earth scientist in the U.S. Geological Survey for 35 years. At USGS, his areas of expertise included marine geochemistry, scientific drilling expeditions, offshore mineral resources, coastal hydrology, and environmental studies of estuarine and coastal sediments and waters. He participated in interagency panels and helped initiate cooperative research projects spanning industry, universities and NSF, EPA, and international organizations. On leave from 1974-76, he served as chairman, Department of Marine Science, University of South Florida in St. Petersburg.

Upon retirement from USGS, Manheim joined George Mason University’s School of Public Policy (now the Schar School of Policy and Government) in 2003. His first major project at Mason was the origin of the conflict between environmentalists and industry in the United States. A book in 2009 reported that the unique U.S. conflict over environmental policy had roots in turbulent events of the 1960s and 1970s.

Manheim’s research has broadly explored U.S. policy history, including science agencies, environmental lawmaking, forest management policy, and renewable energy development. SSRN working papers revealed facets of Donald Trump’s background and strategies that the media overlooked. Five op-eds and newspaper articles were published in 2020 and 2021. An in-depth federal work-study research project on crime and policing in 50 Virginia communities was published in 2018.

Longstanding interest in African American educational history culminated in a forthcoming publication in cooperation with Black political science professor Shayla Nunnally. It reveals the existence of Black high schools of high quality throughout the South and border states prior to desegregation.

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Areas of Research

  • U.S. Environmental and Natural Resources Policy
  • Comparison of U.S. and European Lawmaking and Environmental Policy
  • U.S. Science Policy Since World War II
  • U.S. Federal Science and Technology Agencies
  • African American Educational History