Mesa Community College Program Director Named Arizona State Climatologist

Aug, 16 2021

MCC Program Director Named Arizona State Climatologist

Erinanne Saffell, Ph.D., director of Mesa Community College’s (MCC) Geography program and residential faculty member, is appointed Arizona’s state climatologist by Governor Doug Ducey.

"We are thrilled to have Dr. Saffell representing the Maricopa Community Colleges in her new role, and look forward to the knowledge and expertise she will bring as she serves Arizonans," said MCCCD Interim Chancellor, Dr. Steven R. Gonzales.

Saffell, born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, cites her early memories of extreme weather conditions as the source of her interest in climatology. She describes extreme flooding from Tropical Storm Norma in 1970, heavy rainfall from Hurricane Joanne in October 1972, and the 1980 flooding event that closed all but two crossings of the Salt River as events that made an impact on her decision to study geography and climatology.

Saffell’s commitment to engaging students in observing major weather patterns led to MCC becoming a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador in 2015. As a WRN Ambassador, the college is connected with NOAA partners to strengthen Arizona's resilience to extreme weather.

The State Climate Office is a unit of Arizona State University’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. The office provides information regarding the state’s climate in support of operational, educational, planning and research endeavors.

“As a geographer and climatologist, I’m excited to help the communities of Arizona understand the weather and climate of our state, and am looking forward to serving Arizona,” said Saffell.

Learn more about MCC’s Geography program, directed by Dr. Saffell, at

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