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

USGS/Grand Canyon National Park Museum Collection

150 years ago this week John Wesley Powell began his epic journey down the Green and Colorado Rivers. He became a legendary adventurer as the first white man to raft the Grand Canyon. But the experience inspired him to make a radical effort to change the way America settled the West. Powell warned Congress the land was too dry to support farmers, and said states should be organized by watersheds instead of political lines. Author John Ross tells that story in his book The Promise of the Grand Canyon. Ross spoke with KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny about the lessons we can learn from Powell today.


Melissa Sevigny

Sending kids to Camp Colton at the base of the San Francisco Peaks has been a local tradition since the seventies. Thousands of sixth grade students have learned about science and nature there. But this spring there’s a new curriculum focused on forest health and wildfire prevention. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke about it with Ari Wilder, the executive director of Friends of Camp Colton.

Grand Canyon National Park / Erin Whittaker

Low, steady releases of water from Glen Canyon Dam are taking place this spring and summer as an experiment to increase aquatic insects on the Colorado River. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, these “bug flows” benefit the river’s ecology and might even help anglers catch more fish.


Melissa Sevigny

A first-of-its-kind study reveals the increased risks of lung disease and cardiovascular mortality for wildland firefighters due to smoke exposure. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

Arizona Department of Health Services

The percentage of unvaccinated students in Arizona has been rising the last several years. This year, 6 percent of parents declined to give their kids at least one required vaccine.  Now the Arizona Department of Health Services warns 9 counties in the state don’t have the immunization levels to protect against measles outbreaks, which are happening in other parts of the country. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Jessica Rigler, assistant director of public health.

Jessica, what is your level of concern for Arizona right now?

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