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 has worked as a science communicator in the fields of water policy, sustainable agriculture, and planetary science. She worked for NASA’s Phoenix Mars Scout Mission during its ground operations on Mars in 2008. She is currently the Science & Technology Reporter for KNAU (Arizona Public Radio) in Flagstaff, Arizona.
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
Interviews editor for Terrain.org: A Journal of Built and Natural Environments
Advisory board member for the Southern Arizona Regional Science & Engineering Fair
Member of the National Association of Science Writers