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credit Alexis Knapp

Melissa L. Sevigny grew up in Tucson, Arizona where she fell in love with the Sonoran Desert’s ecology, geology and dark desert skies. Her lyrical nonfiction and poetry explores the intersections of science, politics, and history, with a focus on the American Southwest.

Sevigny is the author of two nonfiction books, Mythical River: Chasing the mirage of new water in the American Southwest (University of Iowa Press, 2016) and Under Desert Skies: How Tucson mapped the way to the moon and planets (University of Arizona Press, 2016). She earned a B.S. in Environmental Science & Policy from the University of Arizona and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University.

She developed as a science writer by volunteering and working for groups such as the Southern Arizona Regional Science & Engineering Fair (SARSEF), Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, NASA Space Grant Program, Water Resources Research Center, and Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. She worked for NASA’s Phoenix Mars Scout Mission during its ground operations on Mars in 2008. She’s currently the interviews editor for Terrain.org: A Journal of Built and Natural Environments, and a member of the National Association of Science Writers.

Sevigny is now the Science & Technology Field Reporter for KNAU (Arizona Public Radio) in Flagstaff, Arizona. Listen to her radio stories here, or follow her on Twitter @MelissaSevigny

Grants & Awards

Mythical River named a “Nature Book of Uncommon Merit” and medal finalist by the John Burroughs Association.

Mythical River nominated for a Viola Award by the Flagstaff Arts Council.

Awarded a 2017 Artist Research and Development Grant and the Bill Desmond Writing Award by the Arizona Commission on the Arts

Mythical River top pick for Southwest Books of the Year

Under Desert Skies finalist for New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards

First place for environmental/science writing from the Arizona Press Club

Winner of the 2015 Ellen Meloy Grant for Desert Writers