The Arizona Department of Corrections is trying a new approach to getting the drugs needed to carry out executions.
Meet The Arizona Science Desk Team
Kerry Fehr-Snyder is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years of print experience, including an emphasis in science and medical reporting.
She honed her understanding of science during a yearlong Knight Foundation fellowship at MIT for science and technology writers. There, she audited classes at MIT and Harvard in a variety of courses, including evolutionary biology, astrophysics and biotechnology during the race to map the human genome. For fun, she took a class sculling on the muddy Charles River, where she gained an appreciation of the laws of physics.
During her long reporting career at the Arizona Republic, she mentored and edited younger journalists. She also wrote and designed the monthly medical marijuana newsletter for the Arizona Department of Health Services and its 70,000-plus certified cardholders.
Most recently, she was the associate editor for the San Tan Sun News, a community newspaper in south Chandler that is produced by Times Media. While there, she edited freelance stories, assigned news stories and features, while also editing the Scottsdale Airpark News and other Times' publications.
Fehr-Snyder is a near-native of Tempe, where she earned degrees in journalism and economics from Arizona State University.
Nicholas Gerbis joined the Arizona Science Desk in August 2016. A freelance science journalist and editor for most of his career, he also has an extensive background in nonprofit and science communications.
Apart from travel and three years in Delaware spent earning his master’s degree in physical geography (climatology), Nicholas has spent most of his life in Arizona. He holds a bachelor’s degree in geography (climatology/meteorology) and a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Arizona State University.
In his spare time, he enjoys bad films, good documentaries and collecting old board games.
Nicholas briefly “retired in reverse” and moved from Arizona to Wisconsin, where he taught science history and science fiction film courses at University of Wisconsin — Eau Claire. He is glad to be back in the Valley and reports that he has almost completely thawed out.
Sara Hammond joined the Arizona Science Desk in July 2015. Hammond has an extensive background in journalism as well as corporate communication. A graduate of the University of Arizona’s (UA) School of Journalism, Hammond interned at the Tucson Citizen and, after graduation, spent 10 years reporting for the Portland Press Herald in Maine.
After returning to Arizona, Hammond worked as a business reporter at the Arizona Daily Star, and later went to work in the corporate world. She has a varied background, having handled communications for an electric utility, an aerospace and defense electronics company, the UA Phoenix Mars Mission and, most recently, the UA Cancer Center.
Hammond has received reporting awards from the Arizona Press Club and Arizona Associated Press Managing Editors association.
Melissa Sevigny joined the Arizona Science Desk in May 2015. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran Desert. She has a bachelor's degree in environmental science from the University of Arizona and an master's of fine arts 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.
Sevigny 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.
Sevigny relocated to Flagstaff in 2015 to join KNAU’s team. She enjoys hiking, fishing and reading fantasy novels.
Maya Springhawk Robnett joined the Arizona Science Desk in May 2016.
Springhawk Robnett grew up in the Southwest and began attending Arizona Western College in Yuma at the age of 14. At 17, she graduated with her associate's degree in studio art.
From May 2012 to September 2014, she worked part time at KAWC as a reporter while pursuing her degree in mass communication and media studies at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Springhawk Robnett’s coverage included a diverse range of topics, from mixed martial arts in Yuma to the Arizona foster care system. She also produced KAWC’s "Work Stories" series for more than a year, focusing on the daily lives and stories of those making a living in Yuma County.
Ambar Favela Joined the Arizona Science Desk in July 2015. Favela has an extensive background in graphic arts and broadcast television. She attended the Art Institute where she studied art and animation. She has Worked at various Valley TV stations as a graphics designer.
Favela was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. She grew up watching science fiction movies and TV shows. She loves the "Terminator" film series and is a big "Star Trek" fan.
She lives in Phoenix with her husband and adorable kitty, Gemini. On the weekends, you will find her being creative and working on all kinds of art hobbies. Favela loves to hike when the weather cools down. Favela finds herself restless and can’t go to sleep until she sees astronaut Scott Kelly’s daily space pictures on Twitter.
Sky Schaudt joined the Arizona Science Desk in March 2015. She is based out of KJZZ in Phoenix.
She earned her bachelor's degree from William Penn University and her master's degree in mass communication from the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Prior to working with the Arizona Science Desk, she was a digital news editor at azcentral.com.
When she isn't on the internet, Schaudt enjoys shopping at thrift stores and spending time with her family.