Melissa Sevigny

Science & Technology Reporter

Melissa grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran desert. She has a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Arizona and an M.FA. in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University. Her first book, Mythical River, forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press, is about water issues in the Southwest. She has worked as a science communicator for NASA’s Phoenix Mars Scout Mission, the Water Resources Research Center, and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Melissa relocated to Flagstaff in 2015 to join KNAU’s team. She enjoys hiking, fishing and reading fantasy novels.

Ways to Connect

U.S. Geological Survey

The Flagstaff Festival of Science begins today and it’s all about astronauts. The theme is To the Moon and Beyond in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landings. It takes a lot of people to launch an astronaut into space, and one of those people is Flagstaff geologist Lauren Edgar of the U.S. Geological Survey. It’s her job to train future astronauts in geologic field work, using Northern Arizona’s volcanoes and lava fields as a kind of stand-in for the Moon and Mars. Mars even has its own supersized Grand Canyon called Valles Marineris. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Lauren Edgar about her work with the most recent class of astronaut candidates.

NASA

NASA astronaut candidate Jessica Watkins recently came to Flagstaff for geologic field training training along with astronaut Don Pettit. He's spent a year on the International Space Station. KNAU put the experienced astronaut and the future astronaut together to talk about the thrill of space travel.


Zoe Rodriguez

Utah naturalist and writer Terry Tempest Williams will speak at Northern Arizona University tomorrow night. She’s published more than a dozen books about wilderness and its necessity to the human spirit. Her most recent book The Hour of Land chronicles the threats to America’s national parks and public lands. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Terry Tempest Williams in advance of her visit to Flagstaff.


Andrey Atuchin, Virginia Tech

The Triassic period was a time of giants on Earth: lumbering reptiles with armored plates, and fifteen-foot-long crocodiles. The fossils of these extinct beasts are preserved in the rainbow-colored rocks of the Petrified Forest National Park in northern Arizona. But the same rocks hold the secrets of tiny creatures too.

Courtesy of Shiloh Deitz

Researchers at the University of Oregon used Census data to make the first nationwide map of what they call “plumbing poverty”—households that lack running water, a shower, or a toilet. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports the Navajo and Hopi Nations stand out dramatically. 

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