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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National Park Service, Lake Mead National Recreation Area

New projections from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation show the chances of future water shortages on the Colorado River have risen sharply following a dry year. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


Six western states have voiced opposition to the planned Lake Powell Pipeline, which would divert water from the Colorado River to fast-growing cities in southern Utah. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Firefighters are tamping down on recent record-breaking wildfires in California. But KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, scientists say bigger and more frequent blazes are here to stay.

Chris Richards/University of Arizona

A new smartphone app can anonymously alert people if they’ve been in close proximity to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.  “COVIDWatch” uses Bluetooth to connect with nearby phones that also have the app installed, and alerts users when they’ve been close to an infected person for a significant amount of time. It’s being tested for the first time at the University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University is considering adopting it. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Joanna Masel, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the U of A who designed the app’s risk assessment technology.


Arizona schools reopened this month with a mix of online and in-person learning. But KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, there’s been a dramatic spike in parents who have chosen to homeschool instead.

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