Katelyn Harrop

Talk Show Producer

Katelyn Harrop joined Iowa Public Radio as a talk show producer in 2018, where she works on IPR’s national award-winning programs River to River and Talk of Iowa.

Before heading to Iowa, Katelyn was the News Director at WRFI Community Radio in Ithaca, New York where she produced a daily news magazine program, designed and directed the station’s original morning talk show, and co-founded a hyperlocal investigative news exchange. She has also worked as a freelance reporter covering public policy and social movements for digital publications including Vice and ATTN.

Katelyn is a proud Oregonian, and when she’s not in the office you can probably find her scoping out the Midwest’s best live music acts or hiking in Iowa’s Driftless Area.


On this segment of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by Iowa Public Radio news director Michael Leland and IPR reporters for an update on the impact of COVID-19 and recovery efforts within schools, prisons, hospitals and elsewhere across the state.

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It’s too early to get planting in the garden, but it’s the perfect time to think about giving your shrubs and trees a trim. On this 'Horticulture Day' edition of Talk of Iowa, guest host Katelyn Harrop speaks with Richard Jauron of Iowa State University and Aaron Steil of Reiman Gardens about the best practices to prune and trim shrubs and trees.   

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Large parts of our economy have nearly ground to a halt. On this episode of River to River, Ben Kieffer speaks with several Iowans, from a variety of industries, about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected their jobs, businesses and lives.

Michel Porro/Unsplash

On this segment of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by author and biologist Neil Shubin.

Matthew Putney/AP

On this segment of River to River, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, who represents Iowa's 3rd Congressional District, joins host Ben Kieffer live to address concerns surrounding COVID-19 and its economic impact on Iowans and Iowa businesses.

Courtesy of Rachel Cox

Rachel Cox’s grandmother was a woman with a big personality and a keen sense of fashion. When Cox, a photographer and assistant professor of photography at the University of Iowa, first started taking pictures of her grandmother, she didn’t have any particular projects in mind. But as her grandmother declined over the course of a decade, suffering from a degenerative brain disease, she felt compelled to photograph her life and death. The result is the book Shiny Ghost.

John Pemble/IPR file

Last week, U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, stood up in front of the House of Representatives in Washington D.C. to share her painful story of living with endometriosis, a disease she was diagnosed with more than ten years ago.

campuspartymexico / Flickr

Violent video games are wildly popular and have been for decades. Games such as Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, Doom and so many more are played by children across the country. 


Charlie Neibergall / AP

Centerville native Simon Estes, known for his acclaimed opera performances and philanthropic work, has toured opera houses across the globe, has sung for kings and queens and has raised more than $220,000 to date in scholarships for Iowans in 54 counties.

Estes, who is the F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Artist-in-Residence in Iowa State University’s music and theatre departments, will see his career immortalized further with the renaming of Music Hall at Iowa State University to the Simon Estes Music Hall.

Ramiz Dedaković / Unspalsh

When it comes to images in the media, it’s as much about what isn’t said and shown, as it is about what’s depicted.

This idea of “invisibility” sets the foundation for much of Barbie Zelizer’s work. Zelizer is the Raymond Williams Professor of Communication and director of the Center for Media at Risk at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a former journalist.

Phil Roeder / Flickr

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by political scientists Steffen Schmidt of Iowa State University and Donna Hoffman of  the University of Northern Iowa, for a look at what the results from Super Tuesday mean for the rest of the primary season. 

John Pemble/IPR file

Iowa is the only state in the nation that still automatically bans all people with felony convictions from voting. As of now, it’s up to the tens of thousands of Iowans with such convictions to appeal to the state to get their voting rights restored – a process that faced a significant backlog in the weeks leading up to the Iowa caucuses.

Tanya Rosen-Jones Photography

Simply by his resume, poet and documentarian David James Savarese is exceptional. His poems and prose have been published in journals and magazines across the country, including the Iowa Review, and his 2017 documentary Deej: Inclusion Shouldn’t Be a Lottery, which he co-produced, earned a 2018 Peabody Award and Emmy nomination.

Savarese is also autistic and nonspeaking. He describes poetry as his native language.

Andrew Dunham

A few weeks ago, Andrew and Melissa Dunham of Grinnell Heritage Farms announced they will not offer their storied community-supported agriculture, or CSA, program in 2020. They're scaling back their operation, and selling off equipment. Grinnell Heritage Farms has been one of the highest-profile, most admired local food operations in the state, and this announcement has raised concerns for farmers and advocates of the  local food movement across the state. 

Greg Thatcher

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe is joined by Fairfield-based artist Greg Thatcher, who has been making art inspired by yew trees for more than 30 years. Thatcher talks about his “Sacred Yew” exhibit at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and his multi-decade relationship with a single grove of yew trees in a small English town. 

Kathleen Ronayne/AP

The film "Erin Brockovich," starring Julia Roberts came out in 2000 and is based on the true story of Brockovich, a legal researcher, activist and single mother who uncovered a 30-year long industrial poisoning of a small town’s water supply by Pacific Gas and Electric. 

John Pemble / IPR file

Iowa lawmakers considered dozens of bills last week ahead of a legislative deadline known as the first “funnel” of the 2020 session.

Most bills that don’t relate to taxes or budgets had to pass through a subcommittee and full committee by the end of last week to remain eligible for debate. 

J.Scott Applewhite / AP

 This program origionally aired on 7-2-2019.   

We all know that February is Black History Month. The designation of that month, which dates back almost 50 years, created some space for learning about important moments in Black history in almost all public schools and in popular media. Unfortunately the way Black history is taught can be problematic, and focusing on Black Americans in February doesn’t prevent them and other communities of color from being left out of the national historic narrative the rest of the year. 

Katie Peikes / IPR File

For communities along the Iowa side of the Missouri River, March of 2019 was a disaster. Flooding rocked the region impacting residents, business owners and farmers. Forecasts for the spring of 2020 suggest new flooding conditions, which could impact many of these communities still recovering from last year’s impact.

freestocks / Unsplash

Whether a family-focused courtship in the early 1900s, a romantic romance abroad in the '60s, or a modern digital partnership that started with a swipe, dating — good, bad, and in-between — has stood the test of time.


What communication styles have made past U.S. presidents effective? And to what degree are those communication principles reflected in the current president, or in the presidential candidates in the 2020 race?

Michael Longmire / Unsplash

Iowa’s death rate from opioid overdoses is lower than many states, but it is increasing. A new study from the University of Iowa’s Injury Prevention Research Center presents ideas for getting ahead of this trend.

Courtesy of Vero Rose Smith

What does it mean to create in apocalyptic times? A new course and public talk series at the University of Iowa seeks to answer this question while looking at the concept of large-scale endings through art, music, writing and other mediums.

Courtesy of Julia McGuire

Planting pollinator-friendly habitats is popular right now, but some Iowans go even further and become backyard beekeepers. Now it’s easier than ever to learn how to do it.

Natalie Krebs / IPR

It's unclear who officially won the Democratic caucuses Monday. Many caucusgoers were left with more questions than answers as the Iowa Democratic Party precincts struggled to report results. 


Livia Knipp was only about halfway through her pregnancy when her water broke at 19 weeks. Doctors at the first hospital she visited gave her no hope for the survival of her unborn child. “They told me to start planning a funeral,” Knipp says.

After returning home from her initial hospital stay, Knipp took to Facebook to ask for prayers and support from friends and family and found the miracle suggestion she needed.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

River to River host Ben Kieffer talks with Democratic presidential candidate and businessman Tom Steyer. During this conversation, Steyer addresses his top policy priorities, which include declaring a climate emergency. Steyer also reflects on how his previous experience in business would help him conduct foreign policy and why he started the "need to impeach" movement in 2017.   


Kai Wright is the host of "The United State of Anxiety," a podcast from WNYC Studios. The newest season of the podcast focuses on what it means to build a multiracial democracy in 2020 and if that reality is even possible.  On this segment of River to River Kai Wright joins host Ben Kieffer ahead of a live taping of "The United State of Anxiety" at the University of Iowa on Jan. 27. 

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

River to River host Ben Kieffer talks with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren just 10 days ahead of the Iowa caucuses. Kieffer spoke with Warren Friday morning before she returned to the U.S. Senate chamber to continue impeachment trial proceedings.

Courtesy of Penguin Random House

What does it mean to pursue an antiracist existence? On this segment of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Ibram Kendi, Professor and Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University about tackling racism at a deeper level.