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

The Nature Conservancy

National parks and other protected areas often aim conservation efforts at particular species—as grand as the California condor or as tiny as the sentry milkvetch.

But in an era of climate change, there’s no guarantee plants and animals will stay in the areas set aside for them. Some of them have to move to survive, heading northward or up mountain slopes in search of cooler weather. That’s why The Nature Conservancy created a new set of maps to guide protection efforts. Where old maps focused on biodiversity, these new ones reveal “resilience.”  

Melissa Sevigny

A new study from Northern Arizona University looks at the long-term effects of restoring a forest with mechanical thinning and prescribed burns. The news is good: treated forests are healthier and more resistant to catastrophic wildfires, and those benefits seem to last. But climate change adds a wild card. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with forest ecologist Mike Stoddard about the findings.


FUSD

Many Native students who attend school in Flagstaff live in a dormitory operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs because their family homes are far away, scattered on the vast Navajo Nation. But when schools shut their doors at the start of the pandemic, they had to go home…where they faced not only a sudden switch to online classes, but also a lack of access to Internet, electricity, food and water. Teachers and counselors worked long hours to stay connected to their students, many of whom were suffering from isolation and fear. Darrell Marks is the Native American academic advisor at Flagstaff High School. Tomorrow he receives a special award for courage from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation for risking his health and safety to help others during the pandemic. In this audio postcard, we meet Darrell Marks who says the recognition is bittersweet after a year of heartbreaking loss.


Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona

Early risers tomorrow morning will have a chance to see the full moon disappear behind Earth’s shadow in a total lunar eclipse. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo

India’s crisis continues with 26 million confirmed coronavirus cases and three hundred thousand deaths; thousands more are reported every day. The country’s severe shortage of vaccines reveals the inequities in the coronavirus response between developed and developing nations. Amit Kumar is an epidemiologist at Northern Arizona University who researches health care disparities. He spoke to KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny about how India’s crisis is a global problem—but also deeply personal for him, because he has family and friends there suffering from unimaginable tragedy and fear.   


Pages