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.
Thanksgiving myth tells us that the Pilgrims survived because friendly Native Americans helped them adapt their farming practices. Since then, it's been Native people who've been forced to adapt.
It's easy to measure physical damage from natural disasters made worse by climate change, less so their lingering psychological impacts. But experts say they're no less real.
Many are cheering the closure of a giant coal strip mine in Arizona, but thousands of Native Americans who burn coal for heat are scrambling. Alternative heat sources are scarce and expensive.
An Oklahoma man exploring his Cherokee roots discovered a forgotten variety of corn and revived it with help of heirloom seed savers. The revived Glass Gem corn now has 19,000 Facebook followers.