Profile photo of Sabrina Novak
Sabrina Novak
Adjunct Faculty Member
Integrated Studies
M.S; University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

I graduated from University of Tennessee – Chattanooga with my M.S. in Environmental Science: Resource Conservation and Management.  While working on my master’s I was hired to work for the Tennessee Aquarium Research Institute where I hatched, raised and released Lake Sturgeon back into areas of its historical distribution from which the species had been extirpated.  That work also included traveling to Wisconsin to collect eggs during spawning season with our partners from the Fish and Wildlife Service.  I also worked in the field surveying mollusk populations in Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama.  We worked to raise both endangered or threatened mussel and snail species to release into various water basins.  This involved learning: to identify species, through trial and error identify what fish species served as host to specific mussel species, what parameters the various species needed to both thrive and reproduce and tank design to facilitate individual organism survival.  I was lucky enough to work with some amazing field scientists during my time there and learned volumes from them.  My thesis involved traveling to various universities to collect historical records of mollusks within the Coosa River Basin as well as conducting field research on the current species distribution within that system.  This allowed us to compare and contrast what was there in the past to what was there currently.