Mason was born and raised in Wilmington, NC and, upon graduating high school, served as a pollution investigator in the United States Coast Guard. After serving in the USCG he chose to pursue college and enrolled at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington for a Marine Technology degree. After graduation he accepted an internship at BIOS as a Marine Technician and, shortly after his internship, he accepted a full-time position on the vessel. As a Marine Science Technician on the R/V Atlantic Explorer, Mason operates, maintains, and upgrades the ship's IT infrastructure, science equipment, and laboratory spaces. He and his colleagues are also responsible for all deck operations as well as the safety of the science party.