Joshua Baur, PhD

Dr. Baur Profile Picture

Dr. Baur is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health and Recreation at San Jose State University. He is also the Coordinator for the Recreation degree (which includes concentrations in Recreation Management and Recreation Therapy). In addition to research and scholarship, he teaches courses in research and evaluation, and facility planning and management.

Baur completed his bachelor's degree in anthropology at the University of California, San Diego, focusing on cultural anthropology. He completed his Master of Science degree in environmental policy and behavior at the University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment. Baur completed his Ph.D. (Forest Resources) in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University, where his dissertation focused on the relationship between small scale urban green spaces and human wellbeing in Portland, Oregon.

Dr. Baur's research focuses on the relationship between humans and the natural environment. Baur's study of human ecology occurs primarily in the context of urban and developed settings, looking at recreation and leisure behavior of urban and city dwellers, and the relationship urban people have with the natural surroundings in and around developed areas. He explores how contact with nature impacts human and community health and wellness.

Baur has investigated the relationship city dwellers have with small scale (5 acres or less) city green spaces, public attitudes about city parks, the impacts time spent in nature settings has on physical and psychological wellbeing, the influence of green spaces on sense of community, and public attitudes and perceptions about urban forest ecosystem services. Baur is also looking at the social and ecological impacts of homelessness on national forest lands. Most recently, Dr. Baur has explored the impacts of nearby roadways on urban farmers in San Jose with the help of Ashley Estrada, a graduate student in the Department of Applied Anthropology.

Among other research areas Baur is developing, he is especially interested in exploring how time spent in natural spaces within developed areas impacts spiritual wellness, and the relationship between spiritual wellness, nature, and holistic health.