Jane Lindholm

Host, Vermont Edition & But Why

Jane Lindholm hosts the award-winning Vermont Public Radio program Vermont Edition. She is also the host and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids.

Jane joined VPR in 2007 to expand Vermont Edition from a weekly pilot into the flagship daily newsmagazine it is today. She has been recognized with regional and national awards for interviewing and use of sound. In 2016 she started the nationally recognized But Why, which takes questions from kids all over the world and finds interesting people to answer them.

Before returning to her native Vermont, Jane served as director/producer for the national program Marketplace, based in Los Angeles. Jane began her journalism career in 2001, when she joined National Public Radio (NPR) as an Editorial/Production Assistant for Radio Expeditions, a co-production of NPR and the National Geographic Society. During her time at NPR, she also worked with NPR's Talk of the Nation and Weekend Edition Saturday.

Jane graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in Anthropology and has worked as writer and editor for Let’s Go Travel Guides. She has had her photojournalism picked up by the BBC World Service. Her hobbies include photography, nature writing and wandering the woods and fields of New England. She lives in Monkton.

Lots of red ladybugs with black spots hanging out on a rock.
istock / Neil Bowman

This week, we're getting out our bug nets and talking about dragonflies and ladybugs! Why do ladybugs have spots? How many different types of ladybugs are there? How do ladybugs crawl on the ceiling without falling down? Where do flies and ladybugs sleep? Why are dragonflies called dragonflies? Do dragonflies bite?  We're joined by Kent McFarland a research biologist at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies and co-host of the VPR podcast Outdoor Radio.

Hopper burn from a potato leaf hopper.
UVM Extension, courtesy

UVM agronomist Heather Darby says the growing season in Vermont started off cold and dry. Now it's hot and dry, with drought conditions affecting everything from haying to vegetable crops. Farmers also face pests like leafhoppers and their notorious "hopper burn" on crops - all of that on top of an uncertain economy brought on by a global pandemic. We check in for a summer agriculture update.

The exterior of the Vermont Humanities Council building.
Vermont Humanities

For years, Vermont Humanities has sponsored community readings of Frederick Douglass’ famed July 5, 1852 speech. But not this year. We talk to Executive Director Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup to find out why.

A loaded AR-15 rifle magazine on top of a loaded 9mm pistol magazine.
Althom / iStock

In 2018, Vermont lawmakers passed — at the behest of Gov. Phil Scott — multiple new gun control laws. Among them was a ban on the sale, possession or transfer of long gun magazines holding more than 10 rounds, and hand gun magazines holding more than 15.

Now that ban is being challenged before the Vermont Supreme Court. We talk with a reporter following the case and the arguments the court is hearing.

A chipmunk eating a peanut, leaving the mammal with a somewhat shocked expression.
Christiane Godin / iStock

If you’ve been spending any time hiking this summer, walking through the woods or even just driving along Vermont roads, you wouldn’t be alone in thinking: Are there chipmunks, like, everywhere this year?

We turn to a small mammal biologist for answers.

Juan Conde, a first-year medical student at UVM, speaks to reporters about how the DACA program allowed him to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down two major rulings in the last few weeks: one protecting LGBTQ employees from workplace discrimination, and another preserving DACA, a program that protects more than 600,000 so-called "DREAMers" from deportation. In this recorded conversation, we look at what the DACA ruling means for the country and how it personally affects one Vermont DACA recipient. 

Displayed cloth face masks in different colors.
Pam Cross, Courtesy

Since the beginning of COVID-19, we've received many questions about masks. This hour: we'll have a doctor on to answer your questions about the effectiveness of masks during a pandemic. We'll also hear about how a facial covering mandate is panning out in neighboring Massachusetts, and learn about the ways Vermonters and local businesses are supplying masks to their community members. 

A man in gold-rimmed glasses and a Malcolm X shirt stands outside a library.
Elodie Reed / VPR File

Protests erupted across the country over the killing of George Floyd in police custody on Memorial Day. Calls for justice and the overthrowing of systemic racism in the U.S. echoed from Burlington to Seattle. In this recorded conversation, we speak with Vermont poet and educator Rajnii Eddins about how he views this historic moment.

The rising sun shines over the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday morning, May 11, 2020.
Mark Sherman / Associated Press

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down two major rulings last week: one protecting LGBTQ employees from workplace discrimination, and another preserving DACA, a program that protects more than 600,000 so-called "DREAMers" from deportation. We look at what the rulings mean for the country and how these rulings are personally affecting some Vermonters. 

A yellow school bus with notes reading "we miss you" in the windows.
Abagael Giles / VPR

Kids are not immune to COVID-19, as we've seen in the recent outbreak centered in Winooski, where nearly half of the positive tests are in children. This hour: we'll spend some time looking at coronavirus and children with Dr. Breena Holmes, the director of maternal and child health for Vermont's Health Department. And Winooski's mayor Kristine Lott joins us as well.

Kyle Ambusk

For our final live program of the school year, But Why had a musical celebration!

John Minchillo / Associated Press

But Why held a live discussion about race and racism on Friday, June 19th. With so much discussion about racism and the police and Black Lives Matter protests taking place across the country, kids may be asking questions about what they're hearing on the news, witnessing in their communities, or experiencing in their own lives. The authors of the ABCs of Diversity, Y. Joy Harris-Smith and Carolyn Helsel will join us in this live episode to answer questions and help kids process their experiences.

A map of Vermont showing the response rates to the 2020 census by town and city.
U.S. Census Bureau, courtesy

Just over half of Vermont residents have responded to the 2020 census. Passing the halfway mark is an important milestone, but still leaves the Green Mountain State with one of the lowest response rates in the country for the once-a-decade head count. We look at why Vermont's lagging behind, how census takers are working to improve the count and how they're reaching hard-to-count groups amid a global pandemic.

Governor Scott's plan to use money from an expanded Internet Sales Tax to pay for a 7 million dollar increase in child care programs is being criticized by a number of lawmakers
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Gov. Scott allowed child care centers to reopen starting June 1,  but there has been some pushback from early childhood educators and parents concerned about the health and safety of children and teachers. This hour, we speak with the Department for Children and Families as well as some child care directors and teachers about the reopening of these centers.

The exterior of the Vermont Department of Health office in Burlington at 108 Cherry Street.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

As if COVID-19 wasn't enough to worry about this summer, mosquito- and tick-borne diseases are back on the radar. EEE, Lyme, Powassan: How can Vermonters protect themselves while also enjoying – socially distant – time in the great outdoors? This hour, it's our weekly update from Vermont's health department. We check in with Deputy Commissioner Tracy Dolan and take your questions.

Activist Tabitha Moore speaks with a megaphone to crowd
Michael O'Brien, courtesy

Protests erupted across the country over the killing of George Floyd in police custody on Memorial Day. Calls for justice and the overthrowing of systemic racism in the U.S. echoed from Burlington to Seattle. In this recorded conversation, we speak with two Vermont racial justice leaders about reform, activism and what white allies should and shouldn’t be doing. 

students raise hands in classroom
Sky Nesher / iStock.com

Protests erupted across the country over the killing of George Floyd in police custody on Memorial Day. Calls for justice and the overthrowing of systemic racism in the U.S. echoed from Burlington to Seattle. In this recorded conversation, Vermont educators offer insight and advice to parents about how to talk with their children about systemic racism and white privilege, and why it's important to do so.

Lifelong Addison County farmer Roger Layn waves to well-wishers as hundreds of people drove by his house to help him celebrate his 100th birthday.
Jane Lindholm / VPR

For most of us, having a birthday during a pandemic might mean postponing a party until next year. But when the birthday is your 100th, you deserve a celebration. And Monkton resident Roger Layn got a big one. Hundreds of people drove by his house to honk, wave and wish the well-known farmer a happy birthday on Saturday, June 6.

Vermont officials answer your questions on the return of indoor dining and end of quarantine restrictions for some out-of-state travelers.
shanelinkcom / iStock

As protests continue over the death of George Floyd, health experts warn of further spread of COVID-19. This hour, we hear how Vermont's health department is monitoring the situation on the ground. We also answer your questions on the state’s step-by-step reopening strategy, including the return of indoor dining and end of quarantine restrictions for some out-of-state travelers.

nosyrevy / istock

On Friday, June 12th we answered your question about trees and tree communication with scientists Alexia Constantinou and Katie McMahen of the Simard Lab at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Suzanne Simard's lab in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences studies connections and resilience in forests, with a special focus on what's going on below ground, in the soil.