Science and Innovation

Melissa Sevigny

Not many vegetables have a Facebook page at all, let alone with nearly 19,000 followers, but “Glass Gem” corn is special. Its translucent, rainbow-colored kernels made it an Internet sensation. Growers of this heritage crop say Glass Gem has inspired thousands of people to get involved with seed-saving and reconnect with ancient foodways. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny tells the story of how this unique corn made its way from Oklahoma to Cornville, Arizona—and from there, to the world.


Ryan Heinsius

Teenage climate activists have gained global attention this year. Sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg from Sweden inspired widespread school strikes in September, and indigenous hip-hop artist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is part of youth-led lawsuit against the U.S. government to secure the right to a stable climate. Youth voices will be at the center of this week’s Climate Summit in Flagstaff. It will bring together scientists from all three state universities as well as a diverse group of health professionals, environmentalists, tribal members, writers, and artists. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with two of the organizers, Kate Petersen and Bruce Hungate.


Melissa Sevigny

It’s common now to see smoke in the air around Northern Arizona in the fall. Prescribed burns have become the norm for managing forests—especially around Flagstaff, which is a national model for forest management in an age of megafires. But nationwide, there’s a shortage of people qualified to do those burns, and funding is limited. The Nature Conservancy is trying to fill that gap by offering training for future “Burn Bosses.”  KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


Gardening is part of the curriculum at The STAR School on the western edge of the Navajo Nation. The pre- K  through-8th grade school is an off-grid, solar-powered charter school and one of few schools in Northern Arizona that is certified to serve its own student-grown produce in the cafeteria. In the latest segment of Eats and Beats, stories about food and music, KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports it’s a way to get kids excited about science, nature…and even eating their vegetables.

Melissa Sevigny

Flagstaff’s Lowell Observatory will host a free open house tomorrow for its new plaza with six advanced telescopes. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, it’s part of an expansion planned through 2023.

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