Gillian Ferris

Managing Editor

Gillian came to KNAU in 2001 as a freelance reporter. Her first story won an Arizona Associated Press Award. Since then, Gillian has won more than a dozen Edward R. Murrow Awards for feature reporting, writing and documentary work. She served as the local anchor for NPR’s Morning Edition for 8 years before moving into a full time reporting position in 2012. Gillian covers everything from environmental issues to sports, with a penchant for human interest stories of all kinds. When she’s not working, Gillian revels in the natural world and is an avid hiker, skier, swimmer, river runner and surfer. She also enjoys making fancy cakes and reorganizing her collection of fabulous shoes… 70 pairs and counting.


KNAU and Arizona News
5:04 am
Mon December 22, 2014

KNAU's Southwest Book Review: NAU Grad Students Review 3 AZ Authors

Zoologies, by Tucson-based writer Alison Hawthorne Deming

If you have readers on your holiday gift giving list, you might consider something written by an Arizona author. In the latest installment of KNAU's Southwest Book Reviews, 3 graduate students in Northern Arizona's creative writing program review the latest works from 3 local authors.

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KNAU and Arizona News
9:52 am
Thu November 20, 2014

The Great American Smokeout: Easier Said Than Done For Long-Time Smokers


It's been almost 60 years since the U.S. Surgeon General officially announced that smoking tobacco can lead to lung cancer. Even so, an estimated 1 in 5 American adults still smoke, and today The American Cancer Society hopes those people will collectively give up the habit. It's the 37th annual Great American Smokeout, a national awareness campaign encouraging smokers to use the day as their "quit date". But, as Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris reports, giving up nicotine isn't always that easy, especially for long-time smokers.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:31 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Waiting For Jack: A Veteran's Day Remembrance

Major Jack Schwartz in front of the "operating room", 1943, Cabanatuan prison camp.
Credit Life Magazine

This story originally aired on Veteran's Day of 2006. It's a personal story produced by KNAU's Gillian Ferris recounting her grandfather's experience as a prisoner of war during WWII. But, it's also a story of how her grandmother and mother endured the anguish of waiting to know his fate. Gillian has reproduced the original story following the recent death of her grandmother and shares it with us on this day of remembrance.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:55 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

CD1 Candidates Kirkpatrick And Tobin Answer KNAU Listener Questions

A map showing the vastness of Arizona's Congressional District 1.

Democratic incumbent Ann Kirkpatrick will face-off in the November 4th election against Republican House Speaker Andy Tobin to see who will represent Arizona's Congressional District 1. It's the state's largest district and the 10th largest in the nation. A couple of weeks ago, KNAU's news team asked listeners to submit questions for the candidates, who addressed them in this previously recorded, unedited debate.

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KNAU and Arizona News
9:16 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Federal Investigators Look Into Sexual Harassment Allegations At Grand Canyon National Park


Federal investigators are at Grand Canyon National Park this week looking into allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation by some Park employees, including Rangers. As Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris reports, at least 12 people have come forward with claims that Park officials were aware of the harassment, but did little - or nothing - about it.

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KNAU and Arizona News
1:16 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Federal Judge Overturns Arizona's Ban On Same-Sex Marriage

Dan Bruey and Jeff Herd with their marriage license at the Coconino County Courthouse in Flagstaff.
Credit KNAU/Justin Regan

A federal judge in Phoenix today overturned Arizona's ban on same-sex marriage on grounds that it was unconstitutional. The ruling now clears the way for legal unions between same-sex couples.

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Southwest Book Reviews
4:18 am
Fri September 19, 2014

KNAU's SW Book Reviewer Becomes the Reviewed: Mary Sojourner's '29'

Credit Torrey House Press

In KNAU's latest Southwest Book Review, the reviewer - Mary Sojourner - becomes the reviewed. Sojourner's latest novel 29 has just been released. It tells the story of Nell Walker, a woman navigating a cycle of despair after losing her heart - and her job as a high-powered corporate executive - all at once. She flees Los Angeles and ends up in the small desert town of Twenty Nine Palms in a battle against energy developers who are threatening sacred lands. Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris spoke with Mary Sojourner about blending her passions for writing and environmental activism into the pages of 29.

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KNAU and Arizona News
3:10 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

NAU Announces Finalist For Presidency

Rita Cheng, poised to become the new president of Northern Arizona University
Credit Southern Illinois University

The Arizona Board of Regents today announced the final candidate in its search for the next president of Northern Arizona University. As Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris reports, Rita Cheng, current Chancellor at Southern Illinois University is poised to take over the post.

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KNAU and Arizona News
4:52 am
Fri May 30, 2014

An Interview With Garrison Keillor, Host of A Prairie Home Companion

Garrison Keillor in Flagstaff for the Summer of Love Tour.
Credit PHC/

One of public radio's most popular shows is coming to Flagstaff. The cast of A Prairie Home Companion will perform a live national broadcast tomorrow from the amphitheater at Fort Tuthill County Park. Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris had a chance to talk  with the show's host, Garrison Keillor. He's on the road, making his way from Minnesota to Flagstaff, and celebrating 40 years with A Prairie Home Companion.

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Fire Season 2014
6:33 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Meteorologist Lee Born On The Slide Fire Plume And Air Quality

A view from space of the Slide Fire plume
Credit NOAA

The Slide Fire burning in Oak Creek Canyon - and now on the outskirts of Flagstaff - is being fueled by dry conditions and strong winds. Many communities near the blaze are experiencing extremely smoky conditions and ash fallout. Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris spoke with meteorologist Lee Born about the fire's effect on air quality.

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