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

Melissa Sevigny

A unique partnership is addressing a home heating crisis on the Navajo and Hopi Nations, by supplying hundreds of cords of firewood from forest restoration projects. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

Bonnie Stevens / KNAU file photo

Mars is getting crowded. Eight working spacecraft currently explore its surface or orbit above it; and this summer three new missions are headed for the Red Planet. One of those is an orbiter called Hope, the first-ever Mars mission launched by the United Arab Emirates. It’s carrying an instrument built by scientists at Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with NAU’s Christopher Edwards about his hopes for the latest addition to the Mars fleet. 

Amy Martin/Flagstaff Shelter Services

Flagstaff Shelter Services is housing 250 people a night in three local hotels in the midst of the pandemic. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, the program allows for physical distancing and has eliminated COVID-19 cases among people experiencing homelessness, but it’s also expensive.


A strike for climate change is planned on Saturday at Flagstaff City Hall, but people won’t rally in person due to the pandemic. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, instead local protestors will display pairs of shoes to represent community members concerned about the effects of human-caused climate change. 


Getty Images/Mark Ralston

The coronavirus pandemic has been hard on everyone. But for Indigenous people and people of color, even simple precautions like washing your hands and wearing a mask are complicated by racism and longstanding disparities in access to resources. Sonja Smith is a cultural anthropology student at Northern Arizona University who recently wrote about racism and the pandemic in an online journal called The Conversation. Smith spoke with KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny about the deep divide between Arizona’s tribal nations and the bordering towns.


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