Faculty Details
Dr. Sara Newman

Dr. Sara Newman
Assistant Professor of Public Health

Areas of Expertise

  • Sociocultural Aspects of Public Health
  • Public Health and Public Lands
  • Qualitative Health Research
  • Health and Nature
  • Mixed Methods


  • PhD, University of Colorado Denver, Health and Behavioral Sciences, 2018
  • MSPH, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Social and Behavioral Interventions, 2011
  • BA, Biology and Anthropology, University of Denver, 2007


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Dr. Sara Newman is available to comment on topics related to areas of interest or expertise. If you need further assistance, contact Public Affairs at 970-247-7401 or by email.

About Dr. Sara Newman

Sara Newman is an assistant professor of Public Health at Fort Lewis College. Sara's research is centered at the intersection of public lands and public health and focuses on increasing the accessibility of healthy places for diverse populations. Sara has extensive education and research experience in social sciences (anthropology, sociology, and geography) as applied to public health. She has worked in a variety of research contexts including studies in hospital settings to ethnographic field research and has expertise in qualitative health research design, implementation, and evaluation. Her master's work was focused on improving access to healthy foods in American Indian contexts in the Southwest, and her undergraduate research examined obesity prevention in Thailand. Sara is a third generation ranger with the National Park Service, a lifelong Coloradoan and enjoys visiting small National Parks with her husband. 

Selected Publications

Newman, S., Herrmann, D. C., Naaman, K. B., Means, W. T., Tysor, D. A., Berman, R. J., Walter, A. A., Robledo, M. V. & Oliphant, E. L. (2018). "Social and Integrative Approaches to Health in Zion National Park." The George Wright Forum, 35(2). (Accepted, Non-Refereed)

Taff, D., Costigan, H., Newman, P., Mowen, A., Smyth, J., Newman, S. 2017 "Civil War Buff to Just Buff: Examining Communication Strategies to Influence Physical Activity Behaviors in Gettysburg National Military Park." Recreation, Parks, and Tourism in Public Health Journal. 1.1 

Newman, S., Cheng, T., Ghahate, D., Bobleau, J., Sandy, P., Faber, T. Shah, V.S., "Assessing Knowledge and Attitudes of Diabetes in Zuni Indians using a Culture-Centered Approach." PLos ONE, 9(6): e99614

Shah, V.S., Ghahate, D.M., Bobelu, J., Sandy, P, Newman, S., Helitzer, D., Faber, T., Zager, P. 2014 "Identifying Barriers to Healthcare to Reduce Health Disparity in Zuni Indians Using Focus Group Conducted by Community Health Workers."  Clinical and Translational Science, 7: 6-11.  

Garver W.S; Newman S., Gonzales-Pacheco, D.M., Castillo, J.J., Jelinek, D., Heidenreich, R.A., Orlando, R.A. 2013. "The Genetics of Childhood Obesity and Interaction Dietary Macronutrients." Genes and Nutrition, 8, 271-287. 

Noormohamed A, Jackson A, Lee SH, Newman S., Gittelsohn J. 2012. "Factors Influencing Ordering Practices at Baltimore City Carryouts: Qualitative Research to Inform an Obesity Prevention Intervention." Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 51(6), 481-491.

Lee, S.H., Rowan, M., Powell, L.M., Newman, S., Klassen, A.N., Frick, K.D., Anderson, J. & Gittelsohn, J. 2010. "Characteristics of Prepared Food Sources in Low-Income Neighborhoods of Baltimore City." Ecology of Food Nutrition 49(6), 409-415. 

Newman S., Clemmer R, & Yhoung-are, J. 2008. "Food, lifestyle and fitness: obesity in central Thailand." The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 22:866.11. 

Presentations and conferences

Newman, S.; 2018, "Front and Back, Fit and Fat: Exploring Authenticity Discourses in Nature-Based Tourism in an Alaskan National Park," Presentation to American Association of Geographers, New Orleans LA

Barnard, J., Newman, S., Nickels, S., McLeod, J, 2018, "Pediatric Patient and Family Caregiver Experiences of Pain Following Spine Surgery: Preventable Harms, Presentation to Academy Health," Seattle, WA

Newman, S.; 2017, "Engaging Multiple Discourses to Produce Health in Parks; an Ethnographic Case Study of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park," Presentation to American Association of Geographers, Boston, MA 

Newman, S.; 2017, "Construction of Nature and Health: Perceived Health Benefits of Engaging with Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park," Presentation, The George Wright Society, Norfolk, WV 

Newman, S.; 2016, "Differing Views of Wellbeing and Perceived Health Benefits Associated with Engagement with a Small National Park in Southeast Alaska," Poster, Society for Applied Anthropology, Vancouver, BC. 

Newman, S.; Byram, J.K., Brigss, M., Gauchupin, F., Johnson, C., Kaufman, A., Larson, R. 2012, "Creating a Statewide and Regional Internal Review Board (IRB) to Facilitate Community-UNM Health Sciences Center Engagement," Poster. Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs Conference, Denver, CO.

Shah, V., Chen, T., Ghahate, D., Bobelu, J., Sandy, P., Bobelu, A., Newman, S., Zager, P. 2011, "Community Based Participatory Approach to Interrelated Epidemics of Obesity, Diabetes and Kidney Disease in the Zuni Pueblo," Poster. American Society of Nephrology Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA. 

Pardilla, M., Gittelsohn, J., Newman, S., Platero, H., Cruz, C., Renfro, P., Holman, L., Rowan, M., Gadhoke, P., Christansen, K. 2011, "Use of Community Workshops to Develop a Culturally Tailored Obesity and Diabetes Intervention Program for American Indian Communities," Poster. Navajo Nation Human Research Review Board Research Conference, Window Rock, AZ

Grants and awards

Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Award
Arctic Social Science Program 
National Science Foundation 

Dissertation Completion Award
Health and Behavioral Sciences Department
University of Colorado Denver

National Park Service Research Implementation Award
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

Young Researcher Award
University of New Mexico Health Science Center

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