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Sustainability News

August 9, 2021

Erinanne Saffell, a senior lecturer in Arizona State University’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, remembers experiencing severe floods growing up in Arizona in the 1970s.

“When I was about 3 years old we had a tropical cyclone that flooded out the area, and my family was sandbagging our house in Scottsdale. I remember Hurricane Joanne in 1972, and my mom was driving the station wagon. I couldn't see because the rain was so intense. Most of my early childhood memories are of too much water flooding in Arizona,” Saffell said.

These early experiences sparked Saffell’s lifelong fascination with water and led her to pursue a career researching extreme weather and climate events, including flood and drought, as well as impacts of urban heat islands. Since 2009, she has worked as a senior lecturer in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, where she develops courses and upper-division seminars in physical geography, meteorology and climatology, and directs K–12 outreach and training programs on these topics.

Now, Saffell has been appointed Arizona’s state climatologist by Gov. Doug Ducey — a role in which she will educate and advise both local and state communities on issues of climate and weather. Read more on ASU News.