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Mason scientists receive funding for ecological study of Gunston Cove

R. Christian Jones, Professor/Director, Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center (PEREC), Environmental Science and Policy, Amy Fowler, Assistant Professor, Environmental Science and Policy, and Kim de Mutsert, Assistant Professor, Environmental Science and Policy, received $88,866 from the County of Fairfax for a two-part ecological study of Gunston Cove.

This is the 37th year of this ongoing study.

For the first part of this project, the researchers will conduct sampling at two core stations, one in Gunston Cove and a second along the Potomac River. They will conduct monitoring semi-monthly from May through August and monthly during April and September.

At all embayment and river stations, the researchers will measure temperature, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen in situ and at depths of 0.3 meters and at 0.5- or 2-meter intervals to the bottom.

They will determine chlorophyll levels on samples from 0.3 meters and on depth-integrated composite samples.

The researchers will also collect water samples to measure nutrients and other water quality parameters on a monthly basis.

Finally, the researchers will assess species composition and abundance of phytoplankton, microzooplankton, macrozooplankton, ichthyoplankton, and benthic invertebrates.

For the second part of the project, the researchers will conduct a study of anadromous fish--fish that ascend rivers from the ocean to breed.

The researchers will submit a draft of the final report for these research efforts to Fairfax County officials by April 1, 2021.

Funding for this work began in July 2020 and will end in late June 2021.