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Jane Lindholm

Jane Lindholm

Host and Executive Producer, But Why and special projects

Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for the station. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public Radio program Vermont Edition.

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 accolades, including several Murrow, PRNDI and GRACIE awards. 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 business 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 and her reporting has aired on NPR, APM and the CBC. Her hobbies include photography, running, beekeeping and wandering the woods and fields of New England. She lives in Monkton.

  • The FDA has now authorized the COVID vaccine for kids 6 months through 4 years of age. And while infants are probably not asking their parents a lot of questions about the news, older kids in that age group may have questions, including why they have to get yet more shots.
  • The Washington Mystics of the WNBA join us in this episode to answer all of your questions about the sport of basketball and what it’s like to be a professional athlete. How many basketballs does the team have? Who invented basketball? Why do people think sports are just for boys? Do you get hated on for being a girl in professional sports? How do injuries impact professional careers? And do you have to be tall to play hoops?
  • For the past 50 years, visitors to the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C. have been able to observe giant pandas. It’s one of the few places in the United States to see these black and white bears. For our latest episode we took a field trip to the zoo to visit the three pandas currently living there and answer panda questions with zookeeper Mariel Lally. We tackle: Why do animals live in the zoo? Why are pandas black and white? Do pandas hibernate? How can we save the pandas? And check out our social media pages for lots of pictures!
  • When there's mass violence in the news, especially when it involves children, it can be really hard to know how to speak to your kids about what is going on. In this special episode FOR ADULTS, we talk with a child psychologist about some recommended ways to approach these conversations. We first released this episode in 2016, and are heartbroken and angry that it remains so relevant.
  • What is climate change? What is causing climate change? How do you cool down the earth? How is climate change affecting the oceans? Kids are hearing about climate change and they have lots of questions. In this episode we explain the science of climate change and look at how humans will adapt to a rapidly warming planet. We speak with Dr. Claudia Benitez-Nelson, oceanographer at the University of South Carolina and Dr. Jola Ajibade, a geographer at Portland State University. This certainly isn’t a comprehensive look at the issue, but it’s a good way to start a conversation about this issue for families and teachers.
  • Why do flowers bloom? How do flowers grow? Why are flowers different colors? Why do people find flowers beautiful? How are seeds made? Why do plants grow from seeds? Why do we put seeds in the garden? We’re answering your questions about seeds and flowers with garden writer Charlie Nardozzi and Hannes Dempewolf from The Crop Trust. Find more answers to plant questions in two of our older episodes: How Do Big Plants Grow From Such Small Seeds? and Are Seeds Alive?
  • Every legislative session, eighth graders from around Vermont apply to be legislative pages. Some of them pages have shared essays with VPR about what it’s like to serve under the golden dome.
  • Why are some people right-handed and some are left-handed? And what’s up with some people being ambidextrous (equally good with both hands)? Why, in the past, did some people try to make left-handed people use their right hands? We talk with Chris McManus, professor and author of the book Right Hand, Left Hand: The Origins of Asymmetry in Brains, Bodies, Atoms, and Cultures. We’ll even find out how common left-handedness (or left-pawedness) is in other animals!
  • But Why is pleased to announce a new book series co-authored by Jane Lindholm and Melody Bodette. From the team behind the wildly popular But Why podcast comes Are Llamas Ticklish? and Do Fish Breathe Underwater? The books will be published on June 28, 2022 by Penguin Random House.
  • Why do pigs snort? And why do we call their snorts “oink” in English? We’re taking our exploration of animal noises in two directions today. First we’ll learn about why we use different words to describe animal noises, depending on what language we’re speaking. And then we’ll examine what animals are actually saying when they oink or tweet or moo! Our guests are Arika Okrent and bioacoustic researcher Elodie Briefer, of the University of Copenhagen. Other questions we tackle in this episode: Do cows make different amounts of “moos” to say different words? Why do ducks make loud noises? Why do roosters cockadoodle-do in the morning? PLUS, so many kids sent us animal noises in different languages and we’ll hear them all!