The Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center (PEREC) is one of the key components of George Mason University’s new Potomac Science Center.

PEREC focuses on Potomac River restoration and local sustainability practices, so that the local ecosystem will be healthy for years to come. We translate our research into award winning and engaging field programs for K-12 students and the larger community.


PEREC Events

The Health and Ecology of Hunting Creek



Taken while collecting samples on the Potomac River.

LARIN ISDELL (May 30, 1979 to November 11, 2017)

PEREC has lost one of its own. Mr. Larin Isdell passed away on November 11, 2017 at his home in Stafford, Virginia. An MS degree candidate in Environmental Science and Policy under PEREC Director R. Chris Jones, Larin had completed all coursework for his degree and was in the final stages of revising his thesis. Larin had filed for winter graduation this year. Larin had a bachelor’s degree from Mary Washington University with double major in music and biology. Larin joined the Jones lab about 4 years ago and had proved an invaluable asset. In addition to his thesis work studying the bioaccumulation of PCB’s in fish tissue in the tidal Potomac River near Alexandria, he was instrumental in analyzing benthic invertebrate samples for a major grant with the National Park Service and held a Research Assistantship on that project for two years. Larin became the most skilled macroinvertebrate specialist at PEREC. On a personal side, Larin was a cheerful, but dedicated individual who was very giving of his time and expertise to others in the lab. Said Dr. Jones, “everyone came to admire his grittiness and good spirit as he worked his way through both his research and various health issues. He was symbolic of the returning student at GMU; he knew what his mission was and he dedicated his time and energies to his own goals without losing sight of the larger team effort. He will be sorely missed.”


Larin’s family is hosting a “Celebration of Life” memorial service at 2 pm on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at the Mullins & Thompson Funeral Home, 1621 Jefferson Davis Highway, Fredericksburg, VA, 22401 / (540) 373-5842 (literally at the intersection of Rt 1 & Rt 3..going SOUTH on Route 1, it is at the last building before the “curve” of merging from Route 1 onto Route 3).


The family is encouraging as many as Larin’s fellow students who have an interest to come to the memorial service and I hope that we can have a good turnout. His father, Lee Isdell, says, “What I anticipate is some “lighter” than a traditional ‘memorial’ service. I’m hoping I can encourage his associates to take a few moments and share some stories, the sillier the better…as we literally ‘celebrate’ his life.”


View Full Obituary Here

RSS Fish Lab

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    What are Local Fish Eating? By: Sammie Alexander As a member of the ecology team for the Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center’s (PEREC) summer OSCAR team project, my research goal is to investigate the predator-prey dynamics between fish and macroinvertebrates in two freshwater tidal Potomac River tributaries, Gunston Cove and Hunting Creek. This means, […]

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