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

U.S. Geological Survey

This week we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, and its unique connection to Northern Arizona. Every astronaut who walked on the moon first came to Flagstaff to train. That’s partly because it was home to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Branch of Astrogeology, founded by geologist Gene Shoemaker. Shoemaker’s secretary, Jody Swann, remembers what it was like to work there during the heyday of Apollo…and mapmaker Ray Jordan recalls the Surveyor missions, unmanned spacecraft that went to the moon just before Apollo. They’re today’s voices in our weeklong series.


U.S. Geological Survey

This week we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing and its unique connection to Northern Arizona. Everyone who walked on the moon first trained in Flagstaff. That’s partly because the U.S. Geological Survey’s Branch of Astrogeology was here. Carolyn Shoemaker’s late husband Gene founded the branch. She remembers that exciting time in history. Gerald Schaber was a geologist with the branch and trained crews of astronauts of Northern Arizona’s dramatic landscapes of volcanoes and craters. They’re today’s voices in our weeklong series.


U.S. Geological Survey

This week we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. Everyone who walked on the moon first trained in Flagstaff. We’re hearing stories from the people who worked to make it happen. NASA estimates it took more than four hundred thousand people to get Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the surface of the moon. Baerbel and Ivo Lucchitta were two of them. A husband-and-wife team in Flagstaff, Ivo taught geology to astronauts at places like Sunset Crater and Meteor Crater, while Baerbel made detailed maps of the moon. As young scientists they’d studied the geology of Earth, but were swept up into the Space Age after hearing the unmistakable sound of Sputnik, the first satellite in space.

U.S. Geological Survey

This Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. In many ways that “one giant leap” onto the Moon started off in one small town in Arizona. Every astronaut who walked on the moon first came to Flagstaff to train, in its lunar-like landscape of volcanoes and craters. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports on Flagstaff’s yearlong celebration of its role in the historic moon landing.

Christine Sapio

A group of teenagers in Flagstaff are spending their summer… hanging out at school. They’re the CocoNuts FIRST Robotics Team, an award winning club of budding engineers at Coconino High School. They’ve built a replica lunar rover to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. The rover makes/made a grand entrance on a float at the Fourth of July parade today. In this audio postcard, we hear from the kids and one of their coaches about the project.

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