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

Kris Hanning/U of A Health Sciences

The University of Arizona is unrolling a statewide program to test 250,000 health care workers and first responders in Arizona for antibodies against COVID-19. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


Scientists use different models to try to forecast the spread of the coronavirus disease. The models can inform public health decisions like when to reopen businesses, but—just like weather forecasting—they’re not perfect at predicting the future. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with computer modeler Joe Mihaljevic of Northern Arizona University for our weekly update on the science of COVID-19.

NAU Economic Policy Institute

Economists at Northern Arizona University surveyed about 400 businesses in Coconino County and Sedona to see how they’re coping with the economic shutdown. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports on their findings.


More than fifteen hundred clinical trials are underway worldwide related to the coronavirus disease. Many of these experiments are focused on developing new drugs and therapies to treat patients. Along with public health measures, those are an important line of defense against COVID-19 until a vaccine is created. In KNAU’s weekly update on the science of COVID-19, Melissa Sevigny spoke with infectious disease expert Dr. Paul Keim about what’s promising and what’s not.

The mayors of several rural Arizona communities say they’ve been left out of COVID-19 relief funding by the federal and state governments. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

The federal CARES Act funneled nearly 3 billion dollars to Arizona. A third of this went directly to the state’s three largest cities and Pima and Maricopa counties. But cities smaller than 500,000 people aren’t eligible for a direct payment. Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans spoke about the issue at a press conference. Flagstaff’s population is just over seventy thousand people.