Ryan Heinsius

Executive Producer/Local Content Manager

Ryan was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After a trip to the Grand Canyon as a kid, he became entranced with the Southwest and the Colorado Plateau, and has now lived in Flagstaff for more than a decade-and-a-half.

Before joining the KNAU newsroom as local content manger, Ryan served as the editor for the local weekly paper, Flagstaff Live, for nearly 10 years. It helped Ryan develop strong ties to ­– and a deep love for –Flagstaff and northern Arizona.

As a longtime local musician Ryan has performed, recorded and hit the road with several bands over the years. He can currently be seen playing regular gigs with the Voluntary String Band around Flagstaff and many other Southwestern live-music locales.

Ryan also spends his spare attempting to keep up with his wife while mountain biking, and showing their baby daughter the amazing peaks, forests, canyons, and culture of northern Arizona.

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KNAU and Arizona News
3:32 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Grand Canyon Airport Upgrades Raise Concern of Conservation Groups

The public comment period for the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Five-Year Plan ends next week. It includes an upgrade to the state-owned Grand Canyon National Park Airport. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, conservationists have raised concerns about the project’s potential effects on the Canyon.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Slide Fire: 1 Year Later... Fighting the Blaze

Fire fighting personnel observe smoke from the Slide Fire from the Oak Creek Overlook in May 2014. Eventually, more than 1,000 people were on hand to fight the fire which grew to more than 21,000 acres.
Credit USFS

When fighting the Slide Fire one year ago, crews had to negotiate some of the most challenging terrain in the Southwest along with extremely dry and windy conditions. The 21,000-acre fire became the largest in the history of the Coconino National Forest, and more than a thousand personnel were called in to fight it. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius recently spoke with Coconino National Forest Fire Staff Officer Don Muise about how what officials and firefighters approached battling the blaze and what they took away from the experience.

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KNAU and Arizona News
2:16 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Museum of Northern Arizona Receives National Honor at White House Ceremony

Museum of Northern Arizona President Dr. Robert Breunig, Navajo educator and musician Jeneda Benally and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House ceremony Monday awarding MNA the 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.
Credit Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Museum of Northern Arizona has been awarded the 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the award was presented Monday by First Lady Michelle Obama at a White House ceremony.

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KNAU and Arizona News
10:47 am
Fri May 15, 2015

A Conversation with NAU President Rita Cheng About How Budget Cuts will Affect the Future of Higher

Northern Arizona University President Rita Cheng
Credit NAU

Arizona’s most recent budget cut nearly a $100 million from the state’s three public universities. Northern Arizona University alone will lose $17.3 million and officials there have responded with a tuition increase for incoming students and the restructuring of several programs. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius sat down with NAU President Rita Cheng this week to discuss how the university is dealing with the cuts and what the future of higher education in the state might look like.

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KNAU and Arizona News
2:20 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Pres. Begaye: Agreement with Shelly Was About Continuity, But Opposes Escalade Project

Pres. Begaye taking his oath of office earlier this week.
Credit Alexa Rogals/The Daily Times

Navajo President Russell Begaye has altered his position on the development of a tram at the Grand Canyon. Earlier this week at his inauguration, the new president signed an agreement supporting the Escalade Project. But as Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, now President Begaye seems to have changed his mind.

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State Capitol News
1:45 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Arizona Leads the Nation in Higher Ed Budget Cuts Since the Great Recession

Gov. Doug Ducey and state lawmakers say the $99 million in cuts to higher education was necessary to contend with a $1.5 billion budget deficit.
Credit Mark Henle/The Republic

A recent report shows Arizona leading the nation in cuts to higher education since the Great Recession. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the study comes just months after the state trimmed nearly $100 million from its three public universities.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Fri May 8, 2015

New Eagle Aviary on Navajo Nation Will Supply Ceremonial Feathers to Members

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly with a representative from the Arizona Game and Fish Department, as well as a golden eagle, attend the Navajo Nation Zoo Fest on Sat, May 2. At the event, the president committed to signing legislation that will fund a new golden eagle aviary at the zoo.
Credit Navajo Nation

Outgoing Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly is expected to sign legislation that will fund the construction of a large golden-eagle aviary. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the move will expand a current program allowing tribal members to legally obtain the feathers of federally protected birds for ceremonial purposes. 

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KNAU and Arizona News
12:54 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Cinder Pit on Kaibab National Forest Opens for Forest Debris Disposal

A home in California that was saved from wildfire by creating a defensible space free of dry forest fuel.
Credit mtveederfiresafe.org

Officials with the Kaibab National Forest are encouraging residents who live in wooded areas to remove potential fire fuel from their properties. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, they’ll be able to dispose of yard debris at a cinder pit near Parks.

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KNAU and Arizona News
1:39 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Hybrid-Electric Motor Completes Colorado River Trip Through the Grand Canyon

Participants in the April trip included (from left) GCROA Executive Director John Dillon, guide Sarah Hatch, Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga, guide and trip leader Steve Hatch, Fred Thevinen, Trent Keller, and River District Ranger Brian Bloom.
Credit Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association

For the first time, a hybrid-electric motor has powered a Colorado River trip through the entire Grand Canyon. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the technology is being developed through a partnership between commercial river outfitters and the National Park Service.

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KNAU and Arizona News
1:50 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Kaibab Forest Managers Seeking Public Comment on Tusayan Road Easements

The initial public comment period has begun for a series of road improvements on the Kaibab National Forest in the Town of Tusayan. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius report, if approved it’ll pave the way for a large development project near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

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