About the Botanist

Morgan S. Abbott graduated from Utah Valley University in 2018 and holds a bachelor's degree in Botany. Throughout her undergraduate career, she participated and led multiple research projects, including water sampling in Utah Lake and Haiti. Most recently, she has worked in Bears Ears National Monument sampling springs to examine the relationships between surface water and plant communities and how these are associated with the cultural heritage of Native American tribes. In the future, Morgan intends to earn a doctorate in ethnobotany or environmental archaeology and teach in an academic setting. In her free time, she can be found exploring the foothills and canyons of Utah County or relaxing in a nearby park with her knitting.


Academic and Professional Background

Areas of Expertise:

Plant Identification, Remote Sensing, Range Assessments, Data Collection, Analysis & Interpretation, Plant Surveys & Inventories, Habitat Management & Monitoring

Professional Associations

  • Utah Native Plant Society

  • Botanical Society of America

  • Utah Rock Art Research Association

  • Geological Society of America

  • Utah Public Archaeology Network 

Ecological Monitoring Technician, Great Basin Institute

• Identifying, recording and collecting various plant species in the Colorado Plateau
• Collecting data for Line Point Intercept
• Using DIMA as a data recording tool
• Certified in AIM protocol
• Recording the incidence of forbs and pollinator species
• Navigation through BLM land within the Fillmore Office
• Responsible for maintaining vehicles and equipment.

Utah Forests Springs & Vegetation Assessment Intern, Grand Canyon Trust

• Collecting botanical and hydrological data of springs within Bears Ears National Monument
• Compiling data for surveyed springs using GeoJot/PhotoLink and Excel
• Communicating with local volunteers regarding data collection

Student Researcher, Utah Valley University

• Conducting primary botanical research
• Conducting primary hydrological research  
• Interpreted scientific research papers for implementation of methods
• Presenting at conferences
• Prepared maps on ArcMap
• Identified and collected native and invasive plants
• Secured funding via grants
• Participated in outreach events
• Presented at GSA 2017, Hydrology Days 2018 and UCUR 2018

Field Technician, Camp Williams

• Assisted Ecological Survey Team
• Prepared maps on ArcMap and QGIS
• Assisted the Juniper Restoration Project
• Identified ecological indicators
• Took soil sample surveys
• Identified and collected native and invasive plants
• Directly assisted Team Leads on various projects and provided support for their positions
• Prepared transects for various projects
• Created data sheets for primary research
• Researched and created methods for Vegetation Monitoring
• Interpreted scientific research papers for implementation of methods
• Responsible for managing duties between multiple projects

Data Entry and Curator Assistant, Utah Valley University Herbarium

• Documented various plant taxa from primary sources into spreadsheets
• Consulted published floras, taxonomic treatments, local checklists and herbarium collections
• Participated in curating the UVU Herbarium website

Research Assistant, Utah Valley University

• Identified various native and invasive plants for research projects
• Managed a 3 person team
• Assisted in managing a 10 person team
• Trained and mentored team leads
• Scheduled and conducted research meetings
• Conducted primary research
• Organized sampling trips
• Coordinated outreach events

Selected  Publications & Presentations

  • The History of Water In Bears Ears National Monument, Southeastern Utah: Towards A Synthesis of Geochronology, Native American Oral History and Rock Art. Emerman, S.H., M.S. Abbott, S.K. Tulley, S.I. Nofchissey, P.G. Bushman, D. Joe, J.E. Gherasim, S.R. Campbell, E.C. Matheson, K.L. Larsen, B.O. Howell, and D.J. Zacharias, 2018. The history of water in Bears Ears National Monument, southeastern Utah: In Emerman, S.H., B. Bowen, S. Schamel, and S. Simmons (eds.), Geofluids of Utah: 2018 Utah Geological Association Publication 47, pp. 1-21.

  • Use of Manning Equation for Estimating Discharge of High-Gradient Canals and Natural Streams. A.A. Ostraff, S. H. Emerman, N. D. Udy, S. M. Allen, H.Rakotoarisaona, J. Gherasim, A.M. Stallings, J. N. Saldivar, K. L.Larsen, and M.S. Abbott. Hydrology Days 2018

  • Examining the Ideal Conditions for Crude Oil Bioremediation by Algae Species. M.S. Abbott, B. Webb, B. Nickle, O. Kopp. Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research 2018

  • History of Water and Vegetation in Bears Ears National Monument. M.S. Abbott, S.H. Emerman, S.I. Nofchissey, P.G. Bushman, D. Joe, J.E. Gherasim, S.R. Campbell, S.K. Tulley. Hydrology Days 2018

  • Use of Remote Sensing Data for Analysis of Changes In Lake Water Levels and Shoreline Vegetation. M.S. Abbott, N. Blain. Introduction to GIS, Dec 2016

  • Trace Metals in Surface Water, Groundwater, Stream Sediments and Agricultural Soils of the Northern Peninsula of Haiti. S.M. Allen, J.W. Jackson, M.S. Abbott, K. Larsen, E. Cadet, S.H. Emerman. Geological Society of America 2015