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.

AP/Jeff Barnard / Private lands provide many opportunities for public recreation in Vermont.

Vermont offers a plethora of outdoor recreation opportunities and not all of those are on public land. A good deal of the hiking, fishing, snow shoeing and cross country skiing we do takes place on private property.

Toby Talbot / AP

Vermont's Legislature knows super majorities. The Republicans held one in the House and Senate for over 100 years from the mid-1800s through the mid-20thCentury. At times during that span, the House had over 200 Republicans and the Senate didn't have a single Democrat. More recently, the Democrats have enjoyed the uber-advantage. So how big a deal is having a supermajority?

Kirk Carapezza / VPR

Today Vermont Edition is broadcasting live from a little alcove in the Statehouse. It's the opening of Vermont's legislative session, and what happens at the statehouse has far reaching effects. As the politicians, lobbyists, reporters and gadflies come pouring into Montpelier today, we'll be there too to make sure you know what's in store this upcoming session.

AP/Toby Talbot

Roughly seventy percent of the homes in Vermont have already been installed with smart meters which will let consumers (and utility companies) monitor their power usage on a daily basis. With a smart meter, consumers will be able to tell how much power they used doing laundry,or cooking dinner, rather than just finding out how much they used per month,in a bill.

VPR/Ric Cengeri / Part of the Race: Are We So Different? exhibit at ECHO

When you identify yourself by race, what do you think that's based on? A cultural definition? Or a scientific one? Does race even exist?

UVM Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics John Burke discusses why science now questions whether race is really an accurate way of identifying people. And Molly Loomis describes the current exhibit on race at ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center and how it has fostered a wider discussion in the community.

A survey from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department assesses Vermonter's opinions on a variety of issues. We're talking about the results.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press

Courtesy of Macmillan/Gary Matthews / Author Louise Penny

Quebec author Louise Penny has now completed eight of her Chief Inspector Armand Gamache murder mysteries. The series follows the exploits of the sincere Surete du Quebec officer as he solves murders throughout the province, including in the small, secluded Eastern Township village of Three Pines. 

She discusses her latest book, The Beautiful Mystery, the next chapter in the Gamache series and details of her first book becoming a CBC movie.

AP/Musadeq Sadeq

In a way, haiku poems are the original 'tweets'. They're short distillations of impressions, observations and insights.

As we close out 2012, we're looking for your summary of the year in haiku form.

Just as there was plenty to tweet about in 2012, there is much that lends itself to haiku. Politics, the weather, sports, and personal trials and triumphs are rich with haiku possibilities.Vermont Poet Geof Hewitt and poet and VPR jazz host Reuben Jackson join us to talk about haiku and power of poetry.

Read Me A Story

Dec 27, 2012
AP Photo

Those of you who opened Christmas gifts yesterday may have had the treat of receiving a book or two. And for kids especially, a new book can be a treasure-an entre into a new world full of bright colors and magical experiences.

Today's Vermont Edition is dedicated to children's literature, and we have four stories to bring you of writers, illustrators and devotees of those early books that can spark a life-long love of reading.

Courtesy of the Boutin family. / One year after Isabella's transplant, the Boutins released lanterns to honor the 16-year-old donor who gave Isabella a new

Courtney and Steve Boutin live in Fletcher. In 2009, they were ready to welcome their third daughter to the family. Addie was 6, Lily was 4 and Isabella was born in July of that year at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington. In the three and half years since, the Boutins have learned what it's like to have a child with a rare and deadly disease, Urea Cycle Disorder, and how to survive the experience with a strong family intact. Courtney and Steve Boutin recently came to the VPR studio to tell Vermont Edition the story of how a liver transplant saved their toddler's life.

Flickr/ Marcio Cabral de Moura / The Burlington Earth Clock

In the middle of winter, in the darkest days of the year,people have always celebrated the light. This Friday is the winter solstice:the day the sun stands still. Celebrating the solstice is not just for Druids and Wiccans. Many people mark the return of the light in their own way.

We'll learn about the plants of the winter solstice from Leonard Perry, horticulturalist at the University of Vermont. We'll also learn about the history of Christmas in early America from Stephen Nissenbaum, author of the Battlefor Christmas.

AP/Jason DeCrow / Mourners arrive at a funeral service for 6-year-old Noah Pozner, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Fairfield, Conn. Pozner was killed

Circumpolar Vermont

Dec 18, 2012
Sage Van Wing / Flickr

Outside of Alaska,people don't often think of the U.S.as an arctic nation. In fact we are one of only 8 members of the Arctic Council. As glaciers melt and temperatures change, the study of arctic regions is becoming more popular.

AP/Matt Rourke

We crack open the toy box of old with Chris Bensch, Chief Curator at the Strong National Museum of Play, to understand how toys and games became such an integral part of our culture and why children find solace in toys and play. We also check in with a company in Vermont that makes paper toys and flip books.

Also on the program, as they place their vote with the Electoral College, we check in with Windsor State Representative Kevin Christie, one of Vermont's three electors.

AP/Toby Talbot / A trash hauler drives to the Moretown landfill on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 in Montpelier, Vt.

Horrendous stench. That's how neighbors of the Moretown landfill describe the odor that has been wafting onto their property.Officials at the Agency of Natural Resources have given the landfill owners an ultimatum: clean up, or shut down.

The Moretown site is one of only two landfills in the state.Justin Johnson, the Deputy Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources, and Tony Klein, chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, discuss how the state deals with its solid waste, and what will happen to the Moretown landfill.


The numbers align perfectly today, so it's the ideal time to delve into what's happening in the world of mathematics. We'll hear about or bifolds, phylo genetics and Math-O-Vision as we discuss practical applications of math.

Middlebury College Associate Professor Emily Proctor discusses the shape of space, Williams College Associate Professor Satyan Devadoss looks at the close personal relationship between math and biology and Dartmouth College Math Department Chair Dan Rockmore tells us about a new math-based competition for high school students.

PRNewsFoto/Pratt And Whitney / Gus Speth in 2008, when he served as Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Gus Speth is widely known as a leader in national environmental policy circles. He founded the Natural Resources Defense Council, advised presidents Carter and Clinton and was dean of Yale's environmental studies department. But Speth recently moved to Vermont and turned his eye to a different problem: a political and economic system that he says is broken. His new book is America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy, in which he outlines how the United States can address social, economic and environmental crises only through massive systemic change.

AP Photo/Toby Talbot / U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., left, views a sleeping dorm with Executive Director Kim Woolaver at the Good Samaritan Haven,

AP/Toby Talbot

The Department of Mental Health has experienced a series of setbacks recently. Commissioner Patrick Flood has resigned and the department's medical director just announced that he will also step down in a month. These departures are complicating the progress of an interim state hospital.

These departures come as news of emergency room stays for mental health patients are on the rise again. For someone going through a psychotic break, a hospital's emergency room is not the best place for treatment. And it puts a tremendous strain on the emergency departments' personnel.


The Department of Motor Vehicles has spent roughly $18 million on a new computer system thatdoesn't work. The courts have spent at least $1.7 million on their own computer system. It doesn't work either. Why have there been so many failures in the state's efforts to modernize its technology systems? We'll talk to John Dooley, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and DMV Commissioner Robert Ide. We'll also talk to Commissioner of the Department of Information and the state's Chief Information Officer Richard Boes to find out what we can learn from these mistakes.