Robbie Harris

WVTF/RADIO IQ New River Valley Bureau Chief

Robbie Harris is based in Blacksburg,  covering the New River Valley and southwestern Virginia. 

The former news director of  WBEZ/ Chicago Public Radio and WHYY in Philadelphia, she led award-winning news teams and creative projects.  Early in her career, she was the Humanities Reporter at New Hampshire Public Radio, and also served as a tape editor on Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Robbie worked at New Jersey Public Television and WCAU/CBS TV in Philadelphia while she pursued  her Master's Degree at the University of Pennsylvania.  During college, she was a Page at Saturday Night Live in New York and a reporter and program host for Cross Country Cable Television in Somerville, NJ.  Robbie also worked at the Rutgers College Radio Station, WRSU and was part of the team which founded "Knight Time Television" at the university.

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Part 1 of 2
1:44 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Searching for Rare Earth Minerals

Bastnasite

Metals known as ‘rare earth elements” are in growing demand worldwide.  They’re vital for many of the high tech devices we all use.  China has been the major source for rare earth minerals, but recently cut its exports. This has geologists in the U.S. searching for domestic deposits. 
 

 

If the term ‘rare earths’ is not familiar to you, the high tech devices that depend on them are. From the ear buds for your cell phone, to advanced medical devices like MRIs, and new technologies such as wind turbines, magnetic refrigeration and electric cars

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Blacksburg Musical Tradition
4:44 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Summer Arts Festival

Credit Virginia Tech

With summer on the way it’s festival season, a time for everyone to get out and celebrate the arts and culture of the region.  This Friday marks the beginning of The Summer Arts Festival in Blacksburg. 

Music from eight different bands, classic movies at the Lyric, street festivals, art exhibitions and live theater productions are all part of Blacksburg’s Summer Arts Festival.

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Renewable Energy
5:01 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Solarizing Blacksburg & Beyond

Virginia may not be taking the lead when it comes to renewable energy, but that’s not stopping towns and cities around the commonwealth from taking the initiative themselves.  

When the Solarize Blacksburg project kicked of in March the town had just 30 homes with solar power arrays. In only these last few months, that’s doubled.

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Part 2 of 2
10:06 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Poison Ivy: Seeds of Destruction

Just as the season for getting outdoors gets into full swing, so does a noxious weed that can take the fun out of summer outings.

Poison Ivy, which causes an itchy rash in eighty per cent of people who come in contact with it, is on the rise in the US, fueled by rising C-O2 levels.

But scientists at Virginia Tech have found that the weed contains the seeds of its own destruction –a kind of poison pill could be used to control the plant in the landscape.

 

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Looking for Citizen Scientists
5:09 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Itchy and Scratchy: Tracking Poison Ivy

Now you may start feeling itchy when you hear this next story.  For anyone who’s had poison ivy, just hearing the word can be enough to start you scratching. 

But as common as the plant is, there is actually very little scientific information about poison ivy, until now.

Scientists at Virginia Tech are looking at ways to control poison ivy naturally. And they’re asking for your help to do it.

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