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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AP file photo

Data from the U.S. Department of Energy shows a dramatic plunge in gasoline use as people follow health recommendations to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic. Kevin Gurney of Northern Arizona University is tracking the data daily. He says it reveals the financial upheaval caused by the pandemic, but also could hold lessons for how to act on climate change. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Kevin Gurney about his findings.


Northern Arizona University has moved to online-only classes for the remainder of the spring semester in response to the coronavirus pandemic.  KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, the transition has been especially difficult for science classes that rely on labs and field work.

Winslow Indian Health Care Center

There are now more than 100 known cases of the coronavirus disease on the Navajo Nation. Doctors trying to diagnosis and treat the disease face serious challenges in this rural region, including the vast distances between patients and hospitals. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Dr. Gregory Jarrin about the unfolding crisis. He’s a general surgeon at the Winslow Indian Health Care Center.

Christopher Corneschi/WikiCommons

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a spike in demand for food and other basic supplies, but new research from Northern Arizona University shows supply chains are still intact. The FEWSION project uses big data to map the sustainability of food, water, and energy systems in the United States. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with project lead Ben Ruddell about how those systems remain resilient in a crisis.

Josh Biggs/NAU

There are now tens of thousands of confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease in the United States. The Centers for the Disease Control and other health experts have asked people to avoid large groups, stay at least six feet away from one other, and self-quarantine when sick. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with infectious disease expert Paul Keim about why these measures matter. He’s a professor at Northern Arizona University and the nonprofit research institute TGen.