University of Alaska Fairbanks—August 2016

M.S.—Fisheries: School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit, Advisors: Dr. Peter Westley and Dr. Jeffrey Falke

University of Montana—May 2013

Double Major : B.S.—Wildlife Biology (Aquatic), B.A.—Journalism (Print)

Graduated with High Honors in both degrees; University Scholar in the Davidson Honors College

Teaching (TAs)

BIOL 5821 (Ecological Statistics)Purdue University, 2018

FISH/BIOL 427 (Ichthyology)University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2016

Created Teaching Materials (R Markdown)


Intro to ggplot2

       made with introduction to GLMs in mind

Morgan was raised in Tenino, Washington where he grew up on the banks of the Deschutes River, a small south Puget Sound river. It was there, with net and bucket in hand Morgan developed his early love of aquatic ecology.  After graduating high school, Morgan moved to Montana where he pursued two degrees, one in Wildlife Biology and one in Journalism at the University of Montana.  After four years he graduated with both degrees and also became proficient in trout fishing. 

On top of his studies at UM, Morgan worked on an undergraduate research project investigating the effect of whirling disease on salmonid assemblages in the Blackfoot River, Montana.  Apart from education, he has worked in a variety of fisheries jobs, which have taken him to Alaska, Montana, Oregon, and finally back to Washington.  At UAF, Morgan's research focused on how climate change will affect early life stage development of Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon. In the fall of 2017 Morgan will begin a PhD at Purdue University in Dr. Mark Christie's lab.


In his free time, Morgan most enjoys fly fishing. He also likes to go hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing,  and wildlife viewing with his wife, Melissa.

BS Thesis2013

Is whirling disease driving salmonid community shifts in tributaries of the Blackfoot River, Montana?

Research & Teaching


MS Thesis2016

Climate, embryonic development, and potential for adaptation to warming water temperatures by Bristol Bay sockeye salmon. 

Morgan Sparks | West Lafayette, IN | msparks1309@gmail.com 

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