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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Taking Care of Living Sports Fields
4:41 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Protecting Their Turf

Credit Virginia Tech

Football season may be over for the players, but for some people, it’s never over.  That’s what it’s like for the teams that keep the living outdoor sports fields looking good.  Real grass takes real work to maintain; Especially when the turf has to look good on TV.

Even in the off-season, Hokie special teams practice kicks at Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium so the field has to be ready.    The work of keeping the living playing field ready for it’s close up is a never-ending pursuit.

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Clean Energy Partnerships
4:00 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Charging Up Innovation

A power-supply (front) on a chip prototype developed at Virginia Tech is 10 times smaller than today's commercial technology. The smaller size and improved efficiency of wide bandgap devices promises significant energy savings.
Credit Christina O'Connor.

Virginia Tech is one of seven partners selected for a nationwide push to create manufacturing hubs, which President Barak Obama mentioned in his state of the Union Address this week. 

Tech just found out it was selected for the government/ private sector partnership for the President’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute, headquartered at North Carolina State University.

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Fiction Speaks for Victims
1:12 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Children of Paradise: A Story of Guyana's Tragedy

Does Fiction have the power to heal the soul?  A new novel about one of the most horrific events of the late twentieth century raises the question. 

“Children of Paradise” is an imagined account of an actual mass suicide at a commune in the jungle of Guyana in 1978.  

A writing professor at Virginia Tech is using the tools of fiction to retell the story in the voices of its victims.  A warning....the events described are disturbing. 

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Fighting One Invasive Species With Another
12:54 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Saving Hemlocks from Extinction

A tiny, invasive bug is bringing down hemlock trees from Appalachia to southern Canada. And scientists fear another treasured native tree may be going the way of the American chestnut, forever changing forest ecosystems.

Researchers at Virginia Tech are hoping to beat the invaders at their own game. They’re using a new invasive species to keep an old one in check, and save the American hemlock tree.

 

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Legislative Hearing Scheduled
1:34 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

The Future of Stadium Woods

A 14-acre  stand of trees on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg recently escaped destruction when the University agreed not to build an athletic practice facility on that spot. 

Now a Virginia Senator wants to make protection of the parcel, known as Stadium Woods, permanent.

Senator John Edwards applauds Virginia Tech’s Board of Visitors for voting to save Stadium woods from development – for now. But he’s introduced a bill that would make protection permanent with a conservation easement on the land.

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