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.

Ways to Connect

Peter Friederici

Today, KNAU brings you a special installment of our environmental series, Earth Notes...an interview with long-time editor, Peter Friederici. He's stepping down from the position after 15 years to take on a new role at Northern Arizona University as the director of the Master of Arts and Sustainable Communities Program. Peter spoke with Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris about editing hundreds of Earth Notes on the history and bounty of the Colorado Plateau.

University of Iowa Press

The Buenaventura is a mythical river that early map makers drew across the Southwest hoping it was actually there. It wasn't. But its legend lured countless explorers to the region in search of abundant water in the desert. That myth is the subject of a new book by KNAU science reporter Melissa Sevigny. In this interview, she tells Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris about the chain reaction caused by the mythical river. 


Arizona voters head to the polls tomorrow to decide on an Education Finance Amendment, Proposition 123. It would settle a lawsuit brought against the state by public schools for failure to increase K-through-12 funding based on inflation during the recession. It would also give a $3.5-billion-dollar cash injection to public schools over the next 10 years. More than 60 percent of that money would come from the State Land Trust, given to Arizona upon statehood in 1912 as a means to generate revenue for schools. Opponents of Prop 123 say the settlement jeopardizes the land trust and should be paid entirely out of the state’s general fund. Supporters believe it’s an immediate opportunity to pump money into K-through-12 education. Both sides admit it’s a short term plan to the issue of school funding. KNAU reached out to voices on both sides of Prop 123. Morgan Abraham, a Tucson investment advisor and the chairman of the No on Prop 123 campaign, spoke with Arizona Public Radio’s Gillian Ferris. Flagstaff City Councilman, Jeff Oravits supports the amendment and spoke with Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius. 


The Telepoem Booth

Apr 22, 2016
KNAU/Gillian Ferris

This April marks the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month. Arizona-based writer and artist Elizabeth Hellstern created a special public art installation for the occasion, The Telepoem Booth. It combines the vintage technology of a rotary phone booth with the modern technology of mp3 files. Hellstern recorded more than 200 poems - read by their authors - and programmed them into a 7o's-era phone booth. All you have to do is look in the Poem Directory and dial. The Telepoem Booth is currently set up on a sidewalk in downtown Flagstaff. That's where Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris caught up with its inventor and produced this audio postcard.


Ryan Singer

The 10 year wait for the 7th film in the epic Star Wars series has come to an end. "The Force Awakens" opened this week in theaters across the world. The intergalactic saga has pulled-in generations of fans since its debut nearly 40 years ago. Its social impact is huge. Ryan Singer knows that. Raised on the Navajo Nation, Singer's vibrant paintings blend the landscapes and characters of both the Navajo reservation and Luke Sykwalker's home planet, Tatooine. He told Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris he's been thinking about Star Wars since the first time he saw it.


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