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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The Coconino and Kaibab National Forests have entered stage two fire restrictions. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, fire crews are preparing for an above-average wildfire season in Arizona.

Brady Smith, U.S. Forest Service, Southwestern Region, Coconino National Forest

A memo published today by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue directs the U.S. Forest Service to increase mining, grazing, and recreation on public lands. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

Cases of the coronavirus disease continue to rise in Arizona and the country. New research shows just a small fraction of sick individuals might be responsible for the majority of new cases. In KNAU’s weekly update on the science of COVID-19, Melissa Sevigny speaks with infectious disease expert Dr. Paul Keim about these so-called “super-spreader events” and what they mean for controlling the pandemic.


The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is starting to evolve. Scientists say that’s nothing to be alarmed about, but it does have implications for public health. In KNAU’s weekly update on the science of COVID-19, Melissa Sevigny spoke with Dr. Jason Ladner, a geneticist at Northern Arizona University, about why viruses change over time and what that could mean for developing a vaccine.  

Dine Native Plants Program

Mining, grazing, and drought have all taken a toll on land in the Southwest, including the Navajo Nation. Replanting the damaged landscape isn’t easy, because it’s difficult to find local seeds adapted to the region and climate.