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 Emory oak is a giant among the pinyon and junipers of Arizona’s high country. Its acorns are special, rich in nutrients and free from the bitter tannins that make most acorns unpleasant to eat. They’re also a culturally important food for the western Apache. Ground acorn sits on tabletops next to salt and pepper shakers, to be sprinkled on venison, rolled into tortillas, or stirred into gravy.


Yesterday Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country has developed a vaccine that works against the coronavirus disease. But many scientists say there’s a long way to go with testing and research before it’s proved safe and effective. Scientists worldwide are trying out more than 150 potential vaccines to learn the best way to stimulate the body’s immune response to COVID-19. One of them is Todd French, the head of Northern Arizona University’s new COVID-19 Testing Service Center. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with him about the latest developments in the global push to end the pandemic.


What does a flower look like to a hummingbird? New research says it’s probably nothing like what humans perceive, because hummingbirds can spot ordinary colors blended with ultraviolet light. 

NASA/Bill Ingalls

The Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight and tomorrow, offering a dazzling display of shooting stars. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports on how to watch.

The Flagstaff Unified School District is asking for students, teachers, parents, and community members to join an Anti-Racism, Anti-Bias Task Force. The goal is to find ways to foster inclusion and belonging for all students, addressing concerns that school leadership is predominately white while more than half of students are Black or Hispanic. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with FUSD board member Kara Kelty, who is of the co-chairs of the task force.