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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India now leads the world in coronavirus cases, with hundreds of thousands of people falling ill every day and a devestating death toll from the disease. The Navajo Nation is doing what it can to assist. President Jonathan Nez spoke with KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny about how Navajo citizens understand India’s suffering from their own experiences during the pandemic.  

Zak Podmore, Salt Lake Tribune

An ancient petroglyph panel near Moab, Utah was vandalized with obscene and racist graffiti earlier this week. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, authorities are searching for the people responsible.


University of Arizona Health Sciences

Mexican-American children north of the U.S.-Mexico border generally live in cleaner, healthier homes than those to the south. And yet, they have much higher rates of asthma. Scientists at the University of Arizona Health Sciences think exposure to some kinds of bacteria may be a good thing when it comes to asthma. They’re recruiting mothers and babies in Tucson and Nogales to test that idea, called “the hygiene hypothesis.” KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Dr. Fernando Martinez about the study.


National Park Service

Here’s a fish story for you: what if you could get paid to go fishing all day? The National Park Service wants anglers to help get rid of exotic brown trout at Lees Ferry on the Colorado River. The agency is giving cash prizes for every fish to try to knock down their numbers. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, the program is an unusual experiment, designed to meet the goals of the Park Service but also respect the spiritual beliefs of the Zuni Tribe.

National Park Service, Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Newly released numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation project a high chance of shortages on the Colorado River within the next two years. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


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