Gillian Ferris

News Director and Managing Editor

Gillian came to KNAU in 2001 as a freelance reporter after careers as a river cook, baker and teacher. Her first story won an Arizona Associated Press Award. Since then, Gillian has won more than a dozen regional and national Edward R. Murrow Awards for Excellence in feature reporting, writing, editing and documentary work. She served as the local anchor for NPR’s Morning Edition for well over a decade before becoming news director and managing editor at KNAU. As much as she loves reporting, Gillian has found her true soul work in editing and producing other journalists’ work. When not in the newsroom, she’s outside hiking, surfing, playing disc golf, running rivers and hanging out with her beloved dogs and friends.

Ways to Connect

Tom Brownold / Tom Brownold Photography

Anyone who’s ever hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back knows the trek is usually followed by a couple of days of sore muscles. But, no creature probably knows that better than the Canyon’s legendary pack mules. For more than 100 years, they’ve been hauling supplies and tourists in and out of the Grand Canyon. And now, one man is bringing them some relief. Arizona Public Radio’s Gillian Ferris Kohl reports.

When Rene Noriega retired a few years ago after a long career as a Border Patrol agent, he felt there was only one thing to do next.

In the late 1880s, a silver strike turned the dusty town of Tombstone, Ariz., into a cosmopolitan hot spot. There were casinos, oyster bars and shops filled with the latest Paris fashions.

But when the silver ran out, Tombstone almost died. Only one thing has kept it alive for the past century: the 1881 shootout at the O.K. Corral, re-enacted daily.

 Today marks Arizona’s 100th anniversary of statehood. And throughout this centennial year KNAU will bring you stories of some of Arizona’s most notable events, places and characters. This morning, we start with Wyatt Earp. He became a legend in the late 1800’s after the infamous gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone. Since then, Earp has captivated the imaginations of people all over the world, including Hollywood filmmakers. Arizona Public Radio’s Gillian Ferris Kohl brings us the story of how Wyatt Earp secured Arizona’s place in silver screen history.

The History of the Ice Cream Cone Runs Deep in Flagstaff

Today, KNAU begins a series on summer foods with a northern Arizona twist. Our first story focuses on the history of the ice cream cone, which, as Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris Kohl reports, has deep ties to Flagstaff.

Tough Tomatoes