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

Andrey Atuchin, Virginia Tech

The Triassic period was a time of giants on Earth: lumbering reptiles with armored plates, and fifteen-foot-long crocodiles. The fossils of these extinct beasts are preserved in the rainbow-colored rocks of the Petrified Forest National Park in northern Arizona. But the same rocks hold the secrets of tiny creatures too.

Courtesy of Shiloh Deitz

Researchers at the University of Oregon used Census data to make the first nationwide map of what they call “plumbing poverty”—households that lack running water, a shower, or a toilet. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports the Navajo and Hopi Nations stand out dramatically. 

Hestia / Gurney Lab

This week scientists at Northern Arizona University published the first-ever map of a megacity’s carbon emissions down to the scale of specific roads and buildings. The animation shows the Los Angeles urban area as carbon emissions rise and ebb over the course of the day. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with climate scientist Kevin Gurney about how this data can guide policy decisions about climate change.

Judi Rochford

Forensic scientists (at least on TV shows) collect DNA to figure out who was at the scene of a crime. What if you could use the same technique to discover when a mountain lion crossed a river or what kind of fish live in a lake? A team at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott is working on that idea as a new, faster way to survey wildlife. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

Courtesy of Ted Schuur

New research conducted by Northern Arizona University in Alaska shows melting permafrost may be releasing a lot more carbon into the atmosphere than scientists previously thought. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


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