The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Department of Biology, Geology and Environmental Science hosted a reception on Friday, March 31, to dedicate a painting in memory of Dr. Mark Schorr.
Some of the late Dr. Schorr’s students commissioned a painting of a Black Drum fish, which is now on display in the Holt Hall 1st Floor lobby. As part of the reception, the department announced the creation of the Dr. Mark Schorr Endowed Fund, an award in his memory to benefit graduate student research.
“Dr. Schorr was an excellent friend and mentor,” said Dr. Gretchen Potts, department head for Biology, Geology and Environmental Science. “He inspired students and colleagues with his enthusiasm for stream and fish ecology.
“We are honored that his students chose to remember him with this special painting.”
A member of the UTC faculty since 1994, Dr. Schorr earned tenure and promotion to associate professor in 1999 and attained the rank of professor in 2004. His teaching and research focused on stream fish ecology, emphasizing water pollution issues and population/community ecology. Every week, he took students to UTC field stations for hands-on learning as part of his courses. He was selected to the 2021-2022 All-Southern Conference Faculty Team.
Dr. Schorr’s teaching also extended to the mentorship of research and internship students. He chaired or supervised numerous master’s theses and internships each academic year. His research, supported by multiple grants, led to more than 90 peer-reviewed publications, presentations and scientific/technical reports. He also curated two zoological collections for the UTC Natural History Museum.
Dr. Schorr served on multiple department committees, chaired the Field Station Committee, worked with local conservation organizations WaterWays and Friends of Mountain Creek, and taught outdoor science labs to teachers and students in the Chattanooga greater area. Professionally, he served on the review board of the journal WATER.
In a note to Potts about Dr. Schorr, former UTC student Mike Hickman wrote:
“Dr. Schorr was one of my all-time favorite people,” Hickman wrote. “I took anatomy from him in 1995, which I believe was his first year. I had a great rapport with him and really appreciated his energy. Because I was a non-traditional student and he was new and young, sometimes I felt like I was teaching him.
“Later, as it turns out, we had sons the same age who played soccer together. He would often regale me with tales from the edge of limnology or ‘the study of inland bodies of water,’ he would always say.
“He truly made the world a better place through his positive and giving spirit, desire to commit action to cleaning up pollution and instilling that value in others through education. I, for one, will always cherish the memories of our conversations. It truly saddens me to know that I won’t have a chance to see him again.”