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.

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KNAU and Arizona News
4:22 am
Fri May 22, 2015

The Slide Fire: 1 Year Later - Ecological Recovery Of The Burn Area

Map of the Slide Fire burn area.
Credit Arizona Highways

Every day this week, we've been hearing from some of the people closest to last year's Slide Fire in Oak Creek Canyon. We've checked in with investigators, evacuees, emergency responders and firefighters. And today, we hear from two fire scientists about the ecological recovery of the burn area. We start with Rory Steinke, Watershed Manager for the Coconino National Forest and leader of the Burn Area Emergency Response Team.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Mon May 18, 2015

Slide Fire: 1 Year Later... The Investigation Continues

Credit InciWeb

This week marks one year since the Slide Fire broke out in Oak Creek Canyon. It burned more than 33 square miles and forced the evacuation of nearly 300 residents and visitors. It now stands as the largest wildfire in the history of the Coconino National Forest. Each day this week, KNAU will revisit the Slide Fire: checking in with evacuees, taking a look at how flora and fauna are doing, hearing from local officials about lessons learned in firefighting and community preparedness. KNAU's Aaron Granillo starts our series with an update on the investigation into the human-caused blaze.

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KNAU and Arizona News
3:34 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Threatening Calls 'Lockdown' Two More Flagstaff Schools

Two more public schools in Flagstaff were put on lockdown today after receiving threatening phone calls. The calls were made to Mount Elden Middle School and Marshall Elementary shortly before normal release time this afternoon. They were immediately put on lockdown. At least 3 other nearby schools were put on "lockout" status, including Puente de Hozho, Flagstaff High School and Thomas Elementary. "Lockout" status means that regular activities are conducted, but no one is allowed to leave or enter the building.

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KNAU and Arizona News
8:38 am
Fri February 20, 2015

The Reinvention Of Collegiate A cappella

The NAU Highlanders A cappella group
Credit NAU Highlanders

The hit movie "Pitch Perfect" and the soon-to-be-released sequel "Pitch Perfect 2" are helping revive the popularity of A cappella music. The setting for the films is the International Championship of Collegiate A cappella, or ICCA. It's a real event, happening this weekend in Tempe. And this year, all 3 A cappella groups at Northern Arizona University qualified for the first round of competition. Though collegiate A cappella went out of fashion for a few decades, Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris reports, it's reinvented itself to emerge as a creative mish-mash of musical styles.

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KNAU and Arizona News
1:44 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

ISIS Claims AZ Aid Worker Killed In Airstrike In Syria

Kayla Mueller
Credit The Mueller Family / NPR

Islamic State militants claim that an aid worker from northern Arizona, held hostage by the group, has been killed in a Jordanian airstrike in Syria. As Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris reports, ISIS released a statement today claiming the victim is 26 year old Kayla Mueller, a Prescott native and graduate of Northern Arizona University.

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KNAU and Arizona News
2:14 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Flagstaff Remembers Fallen Police Officer Tyler Stewart

The memorial service of slain Flagstaff Police Officer, Tyler Jacob Stewart. (Christ's Church, Flagstaff, AZ)
Credit azcentral.com

Today in Flagstaff, hundreds of mourners gathered along the funeral procession route of fallen police officer Tyler Jacob Stewart. Stewart was killed in the line of duty last Saturday while following-up on a domestic violence incident. He was a rookie officer, just 24 years old. As Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris reports, Stewart's family, friends and fellow law enforcement officers remembered him as compassionate and loyal.

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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
Credit alisonhawthornedeming.com

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

Credit webmd.com

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.
Credit azredistricting.org

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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