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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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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VT's Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Center
4:41 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Growing Mussels

Credit Virginia Tech

Forty years on, the Endangered Species Act continues to demonstrate its effects on a species native to this area; the fresh water mussel. 

You might say these shellfish do the heavy lifting when it comes to keeping waterways healthy. More strains of these living water filters grow in this region, than anywhere else in the world. 

The small buildings at Virginia Tech’s Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Center in Blacksburg seem more like a fishing village than a high tech research facility.

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FAA Announces Six Test Sites
4:44 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Virginia Tech Selected as Drone Research Site

Credit Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech is one of six sites that will test drones as part of push to integrate them into the nation’s airspace in the next few years.  

 

The Federal Aviation Administration selected 6 public entities to test unmanned aerial vehicles, known as drones. Virginia Tech will look at safety, from technical risks, to other potential failures in the remotely piloted planes.

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Environment
1:13 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Hope Has Wings

You’re at home or in your office and all of a sudden you hear a thud at your window. . . Another window collision; a major cause of death for birds.  Bird kill by skyscrapers in large cities has been well documented, but not in smaller towns.  That doesn’t mean it’s not a problem. 

“The birds that hit the windows, they’re hidden behind bushes, or under the leaves, and they’re just out of sight, out of mind.”

Becky Schneider and a flock of volunteers have been documenting bird death by window at a Blacksburg office park since last fall. 

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