Science and Innovation

Lowell Observatory/Creative Commons

Any night this week is a good time to hunt for shooting stars, as the annual Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

Chris Richards/University of Arizona

Vaccines provide a high level of protection against COVID-19. That’s one of the findings of an ongoing research study following health care workers, first responders, and other essential workers in Arizona. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Dr. Jeff Burgess of the University of Arizona Health Sciences about the HEROES study and why the rise of the Delta variant in Arizona is worrisome.

National Park Service

Lake Powell on the Colorado River is at historically low levels. All but three of its boat ramps are stranded above the waterline. The National Park Service is fighting to maintain access to the reservoir for recreational boaters… with the help of an old “legacy” ramp that’s been underwater for half a century. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with William Shott, superintendent of Glen Canyon National Recreational Area.

Salt River Project

Winter runoff into the Salt and Verde rivers was the second driest in more than one hundred years of recordkeeping. But the reservoirs that serve the Phoenix area are still two-thirds full. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Salt River Project spokesperson Christa McJunkin about the city’s water supply, which comes from the Salt, Verde, and Colorado rivers and from groundwater.

Coconino National Forest

Heavy rain this weekend led to flash flood warnings across much of Northern Arizona, especially in areas with recent wildfire scars. The close links between fire and flood concern water managers in the Phoenix Valley, who rely on the Salt and Verde watersheds for drinking water supplies. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Salt River Project spokesperson Elvy Barton about why the utility is getting involved in forest restoration.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Lake Powell on the Colorado River is expected to drop to a record-breaking new low in the next day or two. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, the reservoir will reach its lowest elevation since it was first filled.

Arizona Department of Health Services

More than three and a half million people have received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Arizona, but only sixteen percent of those are Hispanic or Latino, even though that group is a third of the state’s population. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports on a research study being conducted by the three state universities to investigate the lagging numbers.

Scott Berger/Associated Press

Airport officials in some western states are concerned sporadic fuel shortages may hamper aerial firefighting operations. Planes and helicopters are critical in fighting wildfires raging across the West. Fire managers, however, say the problem is not widespread…or new. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

Melissa Sevigny

Streets in east Flagstaff filled with mud and debris this week as flash floods poured down from the Museum Fire scar. The two-year-old burn scar is a study site for scientists at Northern Arizona University, who want to know how forests will recover from wildfires in a warmer, drier climate. Just before the flooding, KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny took a tour of the spot to learn about the experiment.

Rafael Fire Information Facebook page

The recent Rafael Fire in Sycamore Canyon destroyed two historic cabins and damaged several other cultural heritage sites. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.