Science and Innovation

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.

Melissa Sevigny

A new study by The Nature Conservancy shows forest thinning and prescribed burns cause a short-term loss of carbon to the atmosphere, but save carbon in the long run. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, that’s because healthy forests have bigger trees and experience fewer catastrophic wildfires.


U.S. Geological Survey

The Flagstaff Festival of Science begins today and it’s all about astronauts. The theme is To the Moon and Beyond in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landings. It takes a lot of people to launch an astronaut into space, and one of those people is Flagstaff geologist Lauren Edgar of the U.S. Geological Survey. It’s her job to train future astronauts in geologic field work, using Northern Arizona’s volcanoes and lava fields as a kind of stand-in for the Moon and Mars. Mars even has its own supersized Grand Canyon called Valles Marineris. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Lauren Edgar about her work with the most recent class of astronaut candidates.

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