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.

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Cats and dogs can get infected with COVID-19, but not much is known about the relationships between sick people and their pets. Scientists at Flagstaff’s Translational Genomics Research Institute are recruiting Arizona pet owners who have been recently diagnosed with COVID to learn more. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with lead researcher Hayley Yaglom about what she’s learned so far.


Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

Many homes in rural areas of Coconino County lack access to the Internet, but that's changed for forty-five households in Tuba City, thanks to a new partnership with SpaceX. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Lake Mead, the largest reservoir on the Colorado River and in the country, has fallen to its lowest level since it was first filled in the 1930s. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


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It’s estimated that more than seven hundred thousand Native Americans in the U.S. are living without access to clean and reliable water.  A recent report from the Water & Tribes Initiative surveyed thirty tribes in the Colorado River Basin and found widespread problems with lack of water access and contaminated supplies. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with the report’s lead author, Heather Tanana, a Navajo Nation citizen and assistant professor at the University of Utah.

National Park Service, Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Diminishing aquifers, drying rivers, and lingering droughts are the headlines in the West this year. Experts in science and policy say it’s urgent Arizonans plan for a future with much less water. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with John Fleck of the University of New Mexico’s Water Resources Program about how warnings about the Colorado River’s limits have been ringing out for more than a century.   

So let’s do some history first. When did hydrologists first start warning people that the Colorado River didn’t have as much water as they wanted it to have?

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