Dr. Dann Sklarew‘s Sustainability in Action course (EVPP 480) always participates in a river clean up. This is the third clean up of 2018, during the summer session, and students enjoyed great weather for kayaking on the Occoquan. Balloons, a beach ball, water bottles, and fishing line were some of the most commonly found items. The kayaks were generously provided by Occoquan Regional Park.
Featured Image: Dr. Dann Sklarew‘s Sustainability in Action Course did a clean up of the Occoquan river in April 2017. They braved the wind to collect 19 bags of trash! The most commonly found items were bottles (glass and plastic), Styrofoam, and fishing line.
Being part of a river community has tremendous perks. Our students and faculty have worked with John Houser and the Occoquan River Community for years, conducting research sharing family-friendly water quality activities at the Occoquan River Festival, as well as updating the community on research and programming on annual Rivershore cruises and participating in river clean-ups. This community has provided Mason students with diverse experiences as well as valuable networking connections.
When the Occoquan Regional Park Manager, John Houser, and the Occoquan Water Trail League (OWL) needed help to complete the installation of mile marker signs along the 40mile stretch of river shore, they immediately looked towards hiring George Mason students. The OWL is a volunteer affiliate of the Occoquan Water Trail and NOVA Parks, composed of recreational paddlers and others committed to low-impact use, conservation and resource stewardship of our shared waterways. Weather and tides permitting, river marker sign installation should be completed by the end of June.
We’re proud to be a part of the newly organized Occoquan River Communities Alliance, said PEREC’s Dr. Cynthia Smith, where the business, university, parks, town, arts and communities routinely come together supporting each other.
Have you been following last summer’s OSCAR research on micropollutants in the Potomac? Are you an undergrad who would you love a PAID summer research experience like that? There are TEN positions open!
Apply now at https://gmu-csm.symplicity.com/
Curious about the results of of the 2017 summer undergraduate research? Led by principal investigators Amy Fowler and Kim de Mutsert, the Summer Team Project looked at the effects of micropollutants on the Potomac River watershed. Watch the video to find out what the researchers found and how this experience changed the undergraduates.
Led by principal investigators Amy Fowler and Kim de Mutsert, the Summer Team Project looked at the effects of micropollutants on the Potomac River watershed. Projects were funded by the Students as Scholars at Mason as well as the Patriot Green Fund, and the videos were produced by graduate student, Chelsea Gray, thanks to the Virginia Sea Grant.
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.”
A full obituary may be found at:
Written by: Jessie Melton
River herring, Alosa pseudoharengus and Alosa aestivalis, are an anadromous fish species that migrate from marine waters through estuaries to freshwater nurseries in order to spawn and lay eggs. River herring have historically been a valuable commercial species in fisheries, but the stocks collapsed throughout their native region along the Atlantic Coast since the 1990s. The Potomac Environmental Research and Educational Center (PEREC) has conducted an ongoing study of Gunston Cove for the past three and a half decades, and has incorporated the monitoring of river herring population to aid in determining whether or not the moratorium is beneficial to the decline in river herring abundance. (more…)
OSCAR student Heather Nortz talks about her summer 2017 research. Led by principal investigators Amy Fowler and Kim de Mutsert, the Summer Team Project looked at the effects of micropollutants on the Potomac River watershed. Projects were funded by the Students as Scholars at Mason as well as the Patriot Green Fund, and the videos were produced by graduate student, Chelsea Gray, thanks to the Virginia Sea Grant.