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Molly Boeka Cannon, Co-Director

Molly Cannon

Molly Boeka Cannon is an archaeologist interested in person-environment-behavior interactions. Her research seeks to understand the spatial and social dynamics that define how people relate built environments to larger processes like climate and societal change. Molly has worked throughout the American West and Great Plains to develop case studies that explore these relationships. She holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Nebraska, anMA in Anthropology from the University of Wyoming,and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Nebraska.


Water heritage is our connection to the past through one of our most basic needs.


Office Location: Old Main 252A
Phone: (435) 797-7545

Anna Cohen, Co-Director

Anna Cohen conducting research in Honduras

Anna Cohen is an archaeologist with interests in ancient political change and long-term landscape modification. She focuses ohow both ancient and modern peoples are impacted and shaped by land, water, and other resources. In addition to field research in various parts of Utah, Anna has worked in the Southeastern U.S., Latin AmericaEurope, and Asia. She has PhD and MA in Anthropology from the University of Washington, an MA from the University of Chicago, and BA from McGill University. 


 Water heritage is source of inspiration for sustainable future.


Office Location: Old Main 245H
Phone: (435) 797-0270

Moni Butte, Research Assistant

Moni Butte

Moni Butte is an Anthropology major at USU and conducts interviews with the WHAP. She is passionate about studying the effects of religion and culture on human and environmental health. Part of this passion was born in her childhood after watching the movie Ferngully and deciding that she would forever be a "tree hugger" because the movie illustrated how humans can have a detrimental effect on the environment.


Water heritage is a universal topic because it is important to understand how our behaviors can affect water accessibility for others.

Megan Jenson, Research Assistant

Megan Jensen

Megan Jenson is an Anthropology major at USU and conducts interviews with the WHAP. She is interested in ethnography and the ways in which landscapes impact communities. Born and raised in Box Elder County, Megan spent her childhood around farmers and irrigation systems. She has first-hand experience with water features and the role they play in the daily lives of community members. 


Water Heritage is about the connections between communities and local land features, and the ways that these relationships change over time.

Kelly Jimenez, Research Assistant

Kelly Jimenez

Kelly Jimenez works on the WHAP geospatial database. She is interested in how water heritage contributes to community hierarchies and how water rights have been transferred over time. Kelly is a USU graduate student working towards a Master of Science in Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management. Her thesis project uses spatial analysis to highlight issues of race, class, and identity at a Chinese railroad workers’ camp in Northern Utah. She has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Central Florida, and she has worked on field projects throughout Utah and the Southeastern U.S. 


Water heritage means learning more about how communities incorporate water resources into their social structure, and how access to water influencecommunity function.

Ben Johnson, Research Assistant

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson focuses on archival research that relates to Utah waterways, including oral histories and community accounts. He is from Box Elder County and grew up farming and moving irrigation pipe on the Bear River. Ben is an Anthropology (Archaeology) undergraduate student with an Art minor and Museum Certificate. He has also held positions as a Museum Assistant, Teaching Assistant, and Peer Advisor in Anthropology. 


Studying water heritage uses multiple research techniques to collect data that can benefit local communities,such as those within the Bear River watershed.

Victoria Ramirez, Research Assistant

Victoria Ramirez

Victoria Ramirez is researching the relationship between water management and climatic changes in Utah over time. She is pursuing a Master of Science in Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management at USU. She has a BA in Anthropology from California State University-Fullerton, and has worked for different environmental companies and National Park Units throughout California, Nevada, and Arizona. Her thesis focuses on the distribution of Fremont rock art motifs in the Dinosaur National Monument/Vernal area of Utah.


Water heritage is learning about the connection that people have with their environment over time.