Katherine Perkins

News/Talk Programming Director

Katherine Perkins has done various jobs at IPR member stations since 1999.  She is now Executive Producer for Talk Shows.  As part of her job she is responsible for long-term planning and oversight for Talk of Iowa and River to River.  She continues to produce the weekly political discussion and legislative shows hosted from the Iowa Statehouse.  But, mostly she tries to stay out of the way of the hosts and producers, so they can continue to produce great programs. Before she assumed Executive Producer duties, Katherine was a talk show producer, researching topics, developing content and booking guests for Talk of Iowa and River to River, a role she has performed since 2007. Katherine’s reporting and producing have won statewide and national recognition.  She’s spent her entire career (almost 20 years) in public media, starting as a student reporter and weekend anchor for WSIU in Carbondale, IL

Katherine has a master’s degree in public affairs reporting from University of Illinois – Springfield, formerly Sangamon State University.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in radio-television from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale.

Katherine’s favorite public radio program is This American Life.

L.C. Nøttaasen / Licensed under Creative Commons from Flickr

The profound words of another can have a profound impact on our lives.  JFK inspired a generation with, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."

Did you know that every public radio program has a clock? You may think of it as one of the ways you time your day – maybe you know that you have to be in the shower by the time the NPR newscast starts, or that you should be on your way to work before you hear Frank DeFord, or that you usually are turning into the drive as Marketplace begins each evening.  Broadcast clocks are set templates that stations use to track the timing of a show's stories and interviews, newscasts, and funding credits each day.

Kansas State Historical Society

Six years before the Civil War officially began, shots were fired in the Kansas Territory in the fight between pro-slavery settlers and free staters.

Julie Englander / IPR

The lone Democrat in Iowa’s congressional delegation is looking forward to returning to Congress. Dave Loebsack says they’ve been gone too long.

Eric Kort, Creative Commons 2.0 / NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

One of the nation's best-known climate scientists is joining a lawsuit against the government to pressure for policies to address global warming.

Photos provided by candidate's campaigns

Debating last night in Cedar Rapids, the Democratic and Republican candidates to replace incumbent  Bruce Braley in Congress sparred over issues ranging from immigration and Middle East foreign policy to the nation’s minimum wage.

Drake University

At the age of nine, Celine Cousteau spent two weeks with her grandfather in the Amazon, nursing a pygmy marmoset to health and catching piranha.

Iowa Public Radio

Beginning Monday, September 29, 2014 IPR listeners will have a second chance to hear our locally-produced talk shows. 

IowaPolitics.com / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Iowa gained attention for the Supreme Court decision overturning a ban on same sex marriage. But the ruling was no surprise given the court's history.

Ian Britton / Creative Commons License 3.0

A visiting Professor from Scotland says he's "terrified" about Scotland's vote on independence from the UK September 18th.

Fans of Marketplace Morning Report will be hearing business news at a new time.  Starting Monday, September 22, 2014 Marketplace Morning Report will be heard at 5:50 and 7:50 a.m. on Iowa Public Radio.

Harkin Campaign Office

Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton returns to Iowa this weekend. She and husband, President Bill Clinton, are the headliners at the 2014 Harkin Steak Fry.

Wellcome Images (Creative Commons)

A new class of compounds has been shown to protect against brain damage caused by traumatic brain injury, or TBI.

Courtesy of Pecha Kucha Des Moines

We're seeing a rebirth of the lecture. TED talks go viral on YouTube regularly. Now Pecha Kucha is popping up all over Iowa.

Paul M. Walsh / Wikimedia Commons

Terry Anderson, a graduate of Iowa State University, was taken captive in 1985 on the streets of Beirut after a tennis match. 

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Ongoing violence in Ferguson, Missouri is being viewed through a different lens overseas.  Much of the coverage reflects pre-existing views of the U.S. 

John Pemble

In this special edition of Talk of Iowa, IPR Arts and Culture reporter John Pemble and Executive Producer Katherine Perkins report on the sights and sounds of the 2014 Iowa State Fair.  Listen as we attend the 75th annual photography salon and talk with the photographer who seeks to capture the spirit of the fair in his new book.  We visit a food stand that's been serving pie and beef burgers to hungry fairgoers for 65 years, and witness the awarding of a blue ribbon for mechanical innovation on the farm.  We'll milk a cow, learn about Herbert Hoover and listen to some bluegrass.  It's all

Kurt Ullrich / University of Iowa Press

A new photography book sets out to capture what the author describes as, "the joy of the Iowa State Fair."  It's Kurt Ullrich's first book, and IPR's Katherine Perkins traveled to Jackson County to find out what inspired this fresh look at an event that's 160-years-old.

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia

Seven potential GOP Presidential candidates are making their way to Iowa this week and next.  Host Ben Kieffer sizes up the hopefuls for the 2016 Iowa caucuses with University of Iowa Associate Professor of Political Science Tim Hagle, and Donna Hoffman, Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Northern Iowa.  We know, the caucuses are still far away, but likely contenders are already here.  And like the holiday shopping season, it seems the Presidential vetting season is coming earlier and earlier.

Sebastian Stabinger / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

If your tree is looking a little tired with the leaves curling up and falling off, or the needles on your pine turning brown, it could be a disease. 

Barack Obama / Flickr

Several Republicans, including Iowa’s Congressman Steve King, have called for President Obama’s impeachment.

The mission of Iowa's university libraries hasn't changed, but how they fulfill that mission has.

Katherine Perkins / IPR

The Clean Air Act was most recently amended in 1990, with overwhelming bipartisan support.  Is that kind of sweeping environmental policy possible today? 

Clagett Farm CSA / Wikimedia, Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution License

Farmers' markets are hopping, CSA boxes are full to bursting, and gardens all over the state are starting to produce, but sometimes a bumper crop can be hard to handle. 

Carol M. Highsmith / Library of Congress

While some say this year's Supreme Court session was conservative, others have characterized it as consistent.

See-ming Lee / Wikimedia Commons

According to research by the Gallup organization, North Dakotans are happier than Iowans. Or rather, they have a higher state of well-being.

Katherine Perkins / Iowa Public Radio

Most people have probably taken a bag of aluminum cans to a redemption center to collect the nickel deposit.  You walk in, get them counted and collect your money.  But, what happens next?  IPR’s Katherine Perkins recently visited The Can Shed in Cedar Rapids to take a tour with owner and operator Troy Willard.  Willard says they process 1.5-million containers per week at the facility… and cans are their bread and butter.  Turns out, a lot happens after you dump that bag of cans onto the counter.

Library of Congress

During prohibition, there were people all over the United States making and selling spirits, but the people in Templeton, Iowa who were making fine whiskey were not your run of the mill bootleggers.  Host Charity Nebbe digs in to the remarkable history of Templeton Rye with Bryce Bauer, author of Gentlemen Bootleggers: The True Story of Templeton Rye, Prohibition, and a Small Town in Cahoots and historian Tim Walch.  They talk about why Iowa went dry five years before the rest of the country and how this small town set


We often like to think of states in terms of red and blue, and people in terms of Democrats, Republicans and Independents.  But, the Pew Research Center finds our politics offers many more shades of gray.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with a Pew researcher about their latest political typology study and what hints it might provide for the upcoming midterm elections.  Are you a "Young Outsider," or a "Hard Pressed Skeptic?"  You can take the quiz

Jim Pease

With their long elegant necks, spindly legs and otherworldly calls, an encounter with one of Iowa's herons can take your breath away.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Wildlife Biologist Jim Pease about his summer spent paddling many of Iowa's waterways.  On those trips he has gotten up close with Great Blue Herons, Green Herons and Egrets, some of Iowa's most impressive waterbirds.  We learn about their mating, nesting and feeding habits.