Payton Major
Payton Major Pay-ton May-jor (she/her/hers)
Innovation Squad, Phoenix

Payton Major expects to graduate in May 2023 with a bachelor’s degrees in broadcast journalism and meteorology, as well as certificates in GIS and atmospheric sciences. Major has interned with CNN Weather and MadridMedia and works for WeatheRate and the Arizona Climate Office. She is assigned to the Phoenix news bureau weather innovation team.

Latest from Payton Major

Climate change and drought are muting bright fall colors as we know them

FLAGSTAFF – Visitors travel far and wide to view fall colors in northern Arizona, but climate change and ongoing drought are affecting fall foliage as we know it. The PhenoCam Network, based in Flagstaff, is tracking these changes.

A row of bright yellow aspen trees at Arizona Snowbowl north of Flagstaff show off their fall grandeur on Oct. 22, 2022. (Photo by Payton Major/Cronkite News)

As Arizona recovers from pandemic, Black entrepreneurs still face challenges

PHOENIX – The 2022 State of Black Business report revealed that although Black business owners still have the lowest entrepreneurship rate nationally, they contribute significantly to Arizona’s economy. But entrepreneurs like Fernanda Sayles, owner of FernDiggidy Sweets & Treats, have prevailed despite hardships.


‘It’s getting close’: As the megadrought grinds on, Arizona working to meet water demands

PHOENIX – Recent NASA images of Lake Powell and Lake Mead put Arizona’s water crisis into perspective. Experts are sounding the alarm and Arizona cities and entities are instituting conservation plans, but the future of Arizona water remains uncertain.


Cha-ching! Arizona’s first year of legalized sports betting cashes in on surprising success

PHOENIX – Friday marks the one-year anniversary of legalized sports betting in Arizona. Many observers say the state has exceeded expectations.


Sustainable drip: How some Arizona businesses are making fashion less polluting

PHOENIX – Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world, second only to oil production. The nonprofit FABRIC and the Arizona Sustainable Apparel Association are guiding small businesses to adopt sustainable, ethical values from the start.


New study shows nearly half of bald eagles affected by chronic lead poisoning

PHOENIX – A new study shows that almost half of bald eagles in the U.S. suffer from chronic lead poisoning. The main culprit is lead bullets and shot used in hunting, which break apart in animal carcasses. The carcasses are scavenged by the birds, who then ingest the lead.


Producing sustainable apparel from the start

Fashion is the second most polluting industry, second to oil production. Places like FABRIC and the Arizona Sustainable Apparel Association are guiding small businesses to practice sustainable, ethical values from the start.


Recycling solar panels is complicated. Here’s how one Yuma company does it.

YUMA – We Recycle Solar in Yuma is recycling solar panel waste, but there is more to be done to ensure a safe and eco-friendly process as solar power gains popularity worldwide and its waste grows.