Melody Bodette

News Producer, Morning Edition

Melody is a News Producer for Morning Edition on VPR and a producer for But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids.

She was formerly VPR's deputy news director and a reporter covering Addison and Franklin counties. She began at VPR as a part-time production assistant and was promoted to full-time in 2007. She has also served as a news and editorial assistant for The Burlington Free Press. After graduating from Skidmore College, she spent a year in France working as a high school teaching assistant.

Melody grew up on a dairy farm in Addison County. She spends her free time gardening, cooking and being outside as much as possible.

Ways to Connect

Ants tend to live in large, specialized colonies where every individual has a job that benefits the whole community.
Cabezonification / iStock

Why do ants bite? Do both male and female ants have stingers? Do ants sleep? What do they do in the winter? In this episode we learn all about the fascinating world of ants with Brian Fisher, curator of entomology at the California Academy of Sciences. Fisher has identified about 1000 different species of ants!

Northern cardinals have distinctive colors and call to one another at dawn and dusk.
Tyler Pockette / courtesy

How fast can the fastest bird go (and what bird is it?) Why do birds have wings? How do they fly? Why are birds so colorful? And why do they sing at dawn and dusk? In the second part of our live show in April with Bird Diva Bridget Butler, we learn all about birds, and get some lessons in how to sing like our avian neighbors!

John Billingsley / VPR

How do owls eat? Why are owls nocturnal and how do they see in the dark? How do owls swivel their heads all the way around? Why do birds move their heads back and forth when they walk?

This episode was recorded live at The Mega Awesome Super Huge Wicked Fun Podcast Playdate in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Coprid / istock

Why is tape sticky? How do erasers erase? We'll tackle arts and crafts in this episode, answering not just those two questions but learning how to make paint out of rocks and spit!! Vermont artist and wildcrafter Nick Neddo joins us with some tips on how to create your own paint and art supplies.

Ethan Chandra has a condition called heterotaxy, and has gone through five heart surgeries before age 4.
Courtesy / The Chandra Family

After hearing our episode about hearts, 3yo Ethan Chandra, from Middlesex, NJ, wanted to share the story of his own heart. In this podcast extra, Ethan and his 5yo sister Zoe and their mother, Ali, talk about what it's been like for Ethan to live with a condition called heterotaxy.

BahadirTanriover / istock

How does your heart keep you alive? How does it pump blood? Why is blood so important? Why do children have heart surgeries? Why is a baby's heartbeat faster before it's born? Why does blood rush to your head when you're upside down? Why can you feel your heart in your head when you're lying still or under water?

In this episode of But Why, we're going talking about a very special muscle! It keeps us alive and it has its own special rhythm: the heart. Pediatric cardiologist Dr. Jane Crosson from Johns Hopkins Hospital answers questions about the heart.

Melody A / iStock

Why do we laugh? Why do you feel ticklish when someone tickles you? Why can't you tickle yourself? We learn about how humor develops with Gina Mireault of the Infant Laughter Project at Northern Vermont University.

But Why will be live at WBUR Boston's Mega Awesome Super Huge Wicked Fun Podcast Playdate Sunday, April 29! Here's how to come by and check us out!

The cows and equipment were auctioned off at Nordic Farms in Charlotte last week. The farm was the first in Vermont to get robotic milking equipment and hosts many agircultural research projects.
Melody Bodette / VPR

Dairy farms around Vermont are struggling amid low milk prices that are in some cases well below the cost of production. The result is that an increasing number of farms are starting to go out of business. Last week, the iconic Nordic Farms in Charlotte auctioned off its cows and machinery.

A Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student wears a March For Our Lives backpack
Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

A group of Randolph Union High School students is going beyond the borders of Vermont and traveling to Washington, D.C., to take part in the national "March For Our Lives" event on Saturday. 

Bill Mares stands in front of a wall with an image of the cover of the book "The Full Vermonty."
Melody Bodette / VPR

A Gallup poll following President Donald Trump's first six months in office found his lowest approval rating among all 50 states was in Vermont, at just 26 percent. It is very much within that context that author Bill Mares got together with cartoonist Jeff Danziger to produce a book of essays called The Full Vermonty: Vermont in the Age of Trump.

Dreams are endlessly fascinating. Psychiatrist David Kahn describes dreams as the way your brain thinks while you're asleep.
maroznc / iStock

Why do people dream? Why do people have nightmares? How do dreams happen? Can people who are blind can see in their dreams?

In this episode of But Why, we're answering dreamy questions with psychiatrist Dr. David Khan of Harvard Medical School.

Mark Reis / Team USA

The 2018 Winter Paralympics are under way in South Korea. These games follow the Olympics every four years and showcase the highest level competition for athletes with a variety of impairments in events that include alpine and cross country skiing, snowboarding, biathlon and ice hockey.

A headshot of author Chris Bohjalian and the cover of his new novel The Flight Attendant.
Victoria Blewer

The new novel The Flight Attendant is a page-turner thriller — and the 20th book by Vermont's own Chris Bohjalian.

Miro Weinberger at Nectar's in Burlington on the night of Town Meeting Day 2018.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger has won a third term in office, fending off challenges from two left-leaning candidates in independents Carina Driscoll and Infinite Culcleasure.

Getting enough sleep is really important for the development of your brain, muscles, and emotional health.
Victor Brave / iStock

Why do people need to sleep? How do we actually go to sleep? How does sleeping get rid of toxins in the brain? And how come when it's nighttime I don't want to go to sleep but when it's morning I don't want to wake up?! Those questions and more, all about sleep. We're joined by pediatric sleep psychologist Dr. Lisa Meltzer.

The exterior sign of Camp Hill Prison in Pennsylvania
Marc Levy / Associated Press

The state of Vermont is looking into options for the 200 inmates its housing out of state. Those prisoners have been in Camp Hill prison — a state-run facility in Pennsylvania since last year — due to a lack of space in Vermont's prisons.

Since their move to Pennsylvania, several prisoners have died. Now, it's come to light that a Vermont corrections official witnessed a Pennsylvania guard threaten Vermont inmates.

David Moats sits in front of a microphone at VPR's Norwich studio.
Betty Smith / VPR

Earlier this week, the Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times Argus newspapers eliminated the position of editorial editor. This ends the tenure of David Moats, who has been with the Herald since 1982. In 2001, he won a Pulitzer Prize for editorials he wrote in favor of same-sex civil unions in Vermont.

United States Olympic Winter Games bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor poses for a portrait at the 2017 Team USA Media Summit Monday, Sept. 25, 2017.
Rick Bowmer / AP

What are Olympic medals made of? Why does every country have a flag? The 2018 Winter Olympics are underway in PyeongChang, South Korea. We reached out to medal-winning Olympians Elana Meyers Taylor, Andrew Weibrecht and Hannah Kearney to reflect on what winning a medal represents. And we learn about flags with vexillologist Scot Guenter from San Jose State University.

An illustration of books on shelves.
iStock / marrishuanna

The Vermont Book Award is entering its fourth year and the prestigious honor for work of outstanding literary merit by Vermont authors has a new twist in 2018.

In the past, the nominations have been made by a committee of independent booksellers and publishers. But for the first time, this year's nominations can be submitted by the public.

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