Melissa Sevigny

Science & Technology Reporter

Melissa grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran desert. She has a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Arizona and an M.FA. in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University. Her first book, Mythical River, forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press, is about water issues in the Southwest. She has worked as a science communicator for NASA’s Phoenix Mars Scout Mission, the Water Resources Research Center, and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Melissa relocated to Flagstaff in 2015 to join KNAU’s team. She enjoys hiking, fishing and reading fantasy novels.

Lowell Observatory

A celestial event last week is helping astronomers from Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff study Pluto’s atmosphere. The ground-based data gives a clearer picture of the ninth classical planet.

Melissa Sevigny

The City of Williams west of Flagstaff is in the process of drilling a new well. Like many places in the Southwest, it’s facing drought and rising demand. But there’s another reason water supply is a challenge in Williams.  A fluke of geology has forced the city to take the lead in the hunt for groundwater on the Colorado Plateau.    

Melissa Sevigny

Honeybees have been in the news lately because they’re disappearing. They’re crucial to food production, but they’re not native to North America. Now some scientists are turning their attention to the importance and health of native pollinators. Researchers are using the elevation of the San Francisco Peaks to study how local insects might respond to a warming global climate.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has created a new online tool that identifies communities facing environmental health risks. Parts of northern Arizona are among the nation’s most vulnerable regions.

A group of scientists is calling for a moratorium on the development of tar sands and oil shale in North America. The Colorado River Basin contains the largest untapped deposits of oil shale in the world.

More than 100 scientists have asked policy leaders to consider the potential global impacts of developing tar sands and oil shale. They say the carbon-intensive extraction process is incompatible with limiting climate change.

Thomas Sisk, an ecology professor at Northern Arizona University, is one of the lead authors.

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