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.

Three people holding signs.
Elodie Reed / VPR

Protests erupted across the country over the killing of George Floyd in police custody one week ago. Calls for justice and the overthrowing of systemic racism in the U.S. echoed from Burlington to Seattle. In this hour, we talk about race, racism and anti-racism in Vermont,  and ways Vermonters can support change amid a national crisis. 

Vermont governor Phil Scott stands at a podium in front of several micrphones.
Screenshot / ORCA Media

On Friday, June 5th at 1:00 p.m. Vermont Governor Phil Scott will join But Why Live on Vermont Public Radio for a special kid press conference. First, VPR reporter Peter Hirschfeld will guide us through what a press conference is and how journalists think about what questions to ask. Then Governor Scott will join us for the rest of the hour to field questions from cub reporters.

Katherine Welles / Thinkstock

Tourism brings in over $2 billion of revenue to Vermont, and COVID-19 has made it very difficult for out-of-state tourists to visit Vermont hot spots. This hour, we talk with the Department of Tourism and Marketing about how summer tourism will look in Vermont, and if this will help make up for the loss in out-of-state tourism revenue. 

Police speaking on the radio station during the health alert, Covid-19 pandemic
Ignacio Martin Martin / iStock

Law enforcement is adapting to a new reality amid the coronavirus, one that poses unique risks for officers and the public. This hour, we talk with police chiefs and officers across Vermont about policing during the pandemic, how agencies are keeping officers, civilians and suspects safe from COVID-19, and whether changes around enforcement and arrests could carry into the post-pandemic future.

Baris-Ozer / istock

But Why took your questions live on-air on Friday, May 29!  We'll be learned about words and language with linguist John McWhorter. Adults and older kids might know him from the Lexicon Valley podcast, or from one of our very early episodes of But Why!

Kate Biberdorf is known as Kate the Chemist and she does science experiments for kids.
Dustin Meyer

What is slime and how do you make it? What makes glue sticky? Why does mixing diet coke and Mentos make an explosion? How does glow in the dark stuff glow without batteries?

A tunnel of trees with bright foliage looking toward a building with a brick and white facade.
John Billingsley / VPR

COVID-19 has driven New England’s higher education sector into financial "survival mode." Now colleges and universities must adapt or risk major — if not catastrophic — loss from the crisis. Join us for an America Amplified special from the New England News Collaborative. We'll bring together voices from across the region, and we want to hear yours.

Gov. Phil Scott stands at a podium next to a screen
Screenshot / ORCA Media

Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday unveiled a $400 million economic recovery package for the state, a plan that uses a large portion of the $1.25 billion in federal Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars coming to Vermont. But the package has to be approved by the state Legislature before any of the proposals take effect. We talk about what this could mean for industries like dairy, tourism, hospitality and more. 

John Raoux / AP

But Why answered your questions live on-air on Friday, May 22!

We talked  about space exploration with Jim Green, chief scientist at NASA. We also learned about NASA's mission to return to the moon and answered your space exploration questions.

Vermont's shortage of primary care doctors will soon get worse because a number of them will retire in the next few years.
shironosov / iStock

While people seem to be avoiding doctor's offices and urgent care facilities due to COVID-19, getting regular check ups, vaccines and medical care are still recommended by doctors and state health officials. This hour, we talk with doctors and specialists about keeping up routine health care and the return of elective procedures. 

THPstock / iStock

But Why answered your questions live on air on Friday, May 15.

We talked about poetry and writing with Poetry Guy Ted Scheu, Rajnii Eddins, and heard your poems!  Get your pencils ready; we included some fun writing exercises as well. We also heard from Iris Robert of the Young Writer's Project who has her own podcast called Line Break.

A blue-spotted salamander poses for its close-up.
Kiley Briggs / Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas

From snakes to salamanders and frogs, Vermont is home to many amphibians and reptiles. This hour, we talk with a herpetologist to find out how scaly and slimy critters are doing this spring, and get an update from the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas. 

A student studies alone in a large array of empty chairs in a classrom.
Philippe Bout / Unsplash

The spring semester has been challenging for all students, and graduating high school seniors have dealt with canceled events and virtual graduation ceremonies. But for those who are — or were — planning on going to college in the fall, many questions remain: Can they afford school if family circumstances have changed? Will campuses be open? Will their school still be there? We talk with students, school counselors and colleges about their plans for the fall semester.

Outside view of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Ken Gallager / WikiCommons

As the Scott administration gradually eases restrictions in Vermont, we talk to Deputy Health Commissioner Tracy Dolan about precautions to prevent further spread of COVID-19. We also learn about a Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center program, which is investigating convalescent blood plasma -- the plasma of recovered COVID-19 patents -- as a possible treatment for the disease.

gtlv / iStock

Where is the border between sky and space? That's what 5-year-old Matthias of Durham, New Hampshire wants to know. Alesandra, 3 of Bella Vista, Arkansas wants to know why we can't hold air. We're joined by anthropologist Hugh Raffles, a professor at The New School, and by astronomer John O'Meara, chief scientist at the Keck Observatory. And we have special scoring by cellist Zoë Keating.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Tim Ashe join "Vermont Edition" to discuss what was and wasn't accomplished in the recent legislative session.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR FILE

The legislative session will likely be extended into the summer, and there are still many things still waiting for the Vermont House and Senate to finish. On that list are the state budget, coronavirus relief bills and priorities from the pre-COVID-19 era. This hour, we talk with the Senate and House leaders about their plans moving forward.

Zocha-K / iStock

But Why is doing live radio shows during the spring of 2020, taking live questions from kids all over the country. On May 8th, we talked about bats and beavers! In the first part of the hour, Barry Genzlinger of Vermont Bat Center joined us. In the second part of the hour, wildlife biologist Kim Royar of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department helped us learn about beavers.

A butcher wearing an apron and red gloves lowers a large cut of raw beef resting on a big knife.
Pasha Gulian / Unsplash

Large slaughterhouses across the country are being closed due to coronavirus outbreaks and illness, straining the U.S. meat supply. A presidential executive order has even kept some plants open amid the outbreak. But surging demand for locally-grown meat in Vermont is butting up against a regional processing system that's already maxed out. We talk about local meat supply, demand and changing values.

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

As Vermont loosens restrictions on work and movement in a step-by-step manner, state health officials are gearing up for an expected increase in COVID-19 cases by beefing up testing and tracing capacity. If they stay on top of new cases, they hope to be able to keep the spread to a minimum.

This hour,  we get a health  information update and take a deeper dive into the state's approach to testing and contact tracing.

A doctor's hand reaches through a computer screen to put a stethoscope to a patient's heart at the other side of the telemedicine call.
pe-art / iStock

The coronavirus has highlighted our growing reliance on our computers, IT systems and broadband to navigate life, work and school under very unusual circumstances. But it's also underscored the lack of high speed broadband throughout the state.

One way to see both the increasing reliance on computers, and Vermont's broadband disparities, is the use of telemedicine during the pandemic. VPR's senior political reporter Bob Kinzel shared his findings with Vermont Edition.