MCC program director named Arizona state climatologist

Erinanne Saffell, director of the MCC Geography Program, is named Arizona state climatologist.Erinanne Saffell, director of the MCC Geography Program, is named Arizona state climatologist. MESA, Ariz. -- August 10, 2021 -- 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.

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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Media Contact: Dawn Zimmer,, 480-461-7892

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized as an Aspen Prize Top 150 U.S. Community College and is known for service learning, career and technical programs, civic engagement and innovative approaches to education. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for career readiness, transfer education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 30,000 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses, additional locations and a combination of online formats. Through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, MCC is transforming how it champions student success, college completion, university transfer and career attainment and advancement. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution and nearly 50% of its students are the first in their families to attend college. Its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized tribes of Arizona as well as out-of-state tribes. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges. The diverse student body includes more than 300 international students from 55 countries. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to successfully transfer to a university or compete in the workforce. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapi Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) -

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit

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Publication Date: 
Tuesday, August 10, 2021