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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Meteor Crater

Several tourist attractions and outdoor recreation sites in Northern Arizona plan to reopen in the coming week as restrictions loosen during the coronavirus pandemic.  KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

SearchNet Media from Tucson, Arizona

The owners of more than 350 restaurants, shops, and other small businesses in Arizona have signed a letter pledging not to reopen yet because of the coronavirus pandemic, despite the gradual loosening of public health restrictions. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

Northern Arizona University

Scientists at Northern Arizona University’s Pathogen and Microbiome Institute are tracking the coronavirus in an unusual way—by taking samples of sewage. In places where people are infected, the virus ends up in untreated wastewater. The scientists are sampling the virus’ genetic material in the greater Flagstaff area and on the Navajo Nation to see if they can quickly pinpoint spikes in the disease. In KNAU’s weekly update on the science of COVID-19, Melissa Sevigny spoke with infectious disease expert Dr. Crystal Hepp about the research.   

Shaula Hedwall

The Museum Fire burned nearly two thousand acres north of Flagstaff last July. The area is home to a federally threatened species, the Mexican Spotted Owl, and the fire affected three patches of habitat set aside for them, called Protected Activity Centers. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with two wildlife biologists about how the owls are doing now, Shaula Hedwall of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Julia Camps of the Coconino National Forest.


Scientists at Northern Arizona University have designed new models for the spread of the coronavirus disease, tailored to rural counties in Northern Arizona. One goal of the project is to offer information to public health officials and decision-makers about the outcomes of different scenarios for easing restrictions. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with epidemiologist Joe Mihaljevic  about the research, which is funded by a $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.