Sara Plourde

Digital Producer & Designer

Sara has been a part of the NHPR Digital team since 2011, when she began volunteering in New Media, later joining the Word of Mouth team as Associate Producer in Digital Media, and finally transitioning into the role of Digital Producer & Designer. 

Her work includes news and programming infographics, original stories reported on the web, photo blogs, video, and illustrated supplemental content. Sara also works on the fund drive & events teams, and designs underwriting art for NHPR business supporters.

Prior to joining NHPR, Sara worked as a books reviewer for Broken Pencil Magazine (Toronto, ON), theater designer, and high school teacher. Outside of work, she enjoys gaming, reading, and bookbinding.

Sara holds a Bachelor of Fine Art from New Hampshire Institute of Art, where she studied photography, printmaking, and digital media. She has works in NHIA's permanent collection and the Special Collections at Teti Library.

Ways to Connect

The towns in New Hampshire's White Mountains region have been must-stops on the campaign schedules of presidential candidates for decades. The region's sweeping views, quaint villages and history of resilience make it the ideal backdrop for those auditioning for the Oval Office. But what’s in it for the voters? And how engaged are they, away from the campaign stops and photo ops? NHPR's Natasha Haverty wanted to find out.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Recently, the multi-talented poet/artist/rock legend Patti Smith joined us to discuss her latest memoir, M Train, for our program Writers on a New England Stage. Before the show, we sat down with Patti in the greenroom of the Music Hall to talk about her writing process. The conversation is part of a series we call the 10 Minute Writer's Workshop.

What's harder to write - the first sentence or the last?

Sara Plourde / NHPR

As David McCullough says, "history in the hands of Stacy Schiff is invariably full of life, light, shadow, surprise, clarity of insight... Few writers combine as she does superb scholarship and an exceptional gift for language with amazing reach and agility of mind. "

Schiff, a Pulitizer Prize-winning author and historian, joined us at The Music Hall in Portsmouth for our program Writers on a New England Stage, to talk about her newest book, The Witches: Salem, 1692.

via 2 Teaspoons

Brussels sprouts - talk about a vegetable that gets a bad rap. This cold weather crop is perhaps only second to lima beans when it comes to un-earned disdain. In fact, many people who say they "hate" Brussels sprouts likely haven't eaten them for years, if they've ever eaten them at all.

H.A. Kimball

The way New Hampshire cares for people with mental illness and developmental disabilities has changed dramatically over the past 200 years.

The shifts in approach have been urged on by advances in drugs and science, legislative mandate, budget cuts, and the force of media and popular culture.

Just 25 years ago, New Hampshire was a national leader in caring for people with mental and physical disabilities. Today, the state ranks closer to the bottom, and New Hampshire is in the middle of a period of dramatic change.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign has successfully attracted thousands of enthusiastic volunteers and other supporters. The challenge now is to translate that enthusiasm into success at the polls in early-voting states like New Hampshire.

A recent story by NHPR reporter Sam Evans-Brown examined how Sanders' camp is trying to build an organization -- both in New Hampshire and nationally -- to harness that support once the voting starts. This chart provides a bird's-eye view of what that organization looks like to date.

Jack Rodolico for NHPR

A new state law aims to boost the number of children screened for lead poisoning. There's good reason New Hampshire is aiming for that goal.

Children aged 0-6 are the most likely to suffer permanent health and cognitive damage from lead exposure. Yet in 2013, New Hampshire tested a mere 16.5 percent of children in this age group for elevated blood lead levels. That's concerning because 62 percent of New Hampshire's houses were built before 1978 - the year the federal government cracked down on lead paint.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan’s veto of the Republican-backed state budget bill has dominated State House news in recent weeks. But Hassan’s veto pen has seen plenty of non-budget action this session, as well.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

You know summer is the perfect time for cookouts and campfires, but did you know that it's also the time to cut & split wood so it can season for winter? Do you know what to look for when you're foraging for firewood around your campsite? (Pro tip: look for long, green tinder for the perfect marshmallow roasters!)

Whether it's time to place an order or time to make s'mores, use our printable guide to firewood as a year-round reference.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

In recent months, tenants of Manchester's Mill West complex have been complaining of construction-related lead dust in their apartments. The building's developer, Brady Sullivan Properties, has faced scrutiny from state and municipal health agencies over the issue. Compiled from news reports, interviews with regulators, and tenant correspondence, the timeline below tracks the developments in this ongoing story.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

The House and Senate have officially passed a budget for the next two years – a plan that Governor Maggie Hassan promises to veto. Here’s a breakdown of how the governor’s budget proposal compares with the Legislature’s on a few of the major policy and funding points.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Negotiators in the House and Senate agreed to a compromise version of the next two-year budget earlier this week. Here's a summary of how the deal was reached.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

If you’re hoping to follow the money in the 2016 presidential primary race, you’ve got a tough task. The fundraising tools available to candidates and their supporters are perhaps more complicated now than in any previous campaign. You've got your political actions committees (or PACs), your super PACs, your exploratory committees, your run-of-the-mill candidate committees, and countless other groups throwing their 2 (billion) cents into the 2016 presidential race.

Once again, tick season is upon us, and the risk of tick bites and tick-borne infection is high.

Originally created in 2014, we have updated the graphic below to represent the latest statistics we have on confirmed cases of Lyme disease.

Read through to learn more about the life cycle of ticks, how they move and hide, the infections they can carry, and how to prevent being infected yourself.

Sara Plourde | Data: NH Dept. of Education, NH School Administrators Association

The number of New Hampshire public school districts offering full day kindergarten has been on the rise since 1999, when there were fewer than a dozen.

David Wilson/Imelda via Flickr CC

As with other health markers, N.H. consistently ranks high in measures of youth dental health and, overall, the state of children's teeth in New Hampshire is strong.

But in some of the state's least affluent areas, health outcomes are generally poor, and dental health is no exception. 

Sara Plourde for NHPR

There are many factors that affect the way a family with children lives. We've selected ten of these - factors which affect income, access to resources, and stability - and combined them to illustrate how families are doing at either end of the income spectrum.
This graphic illustrates how the top 25% and bottom 25% compare, and how the bottom 25% compares with the average of all New Hampshire families. 

Notes on the data:

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Every two years New Hampshire lawmakers are given the task of producing a budget for the state.  The aim is to craft one that best serves Granite State residents, spends within the state’s means as well as adheres to the party lines of those in the majority.

This session with a Democratic Governor and Republican controlled House and Senate – the budget process will fluctuate quite a bit before it is signed into law by June 30th.

VLACS By The Numbers

Dec 18, 2014
Sara Plourde / NHPR

Married banjo greats Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn recently visited us to perform live in Studio D for The Folk Show. Check out the video of their performance.

Taylor Quimby / NHPR

10:27 p.m.

For the third time, former Congressman Frank Guinta will face Carol Shea-Porter for New Hampshire's District 1 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Guinta won the Republican nomination in Tuesday's primary, taking 49 percent of the vote.

Dan Innis, former dean of the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire and co-owner of Portsmouth’s Ale House Inn, received 41 percent, while libertarian Brendan Kelly won 8 percent.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

As sustainable as Star Island's systems are, the folks at Star Island Corporation are working to make them even more efficient, making improvements that mean bringing less onto the island, sending less off, and making more use of what's there.

The graphic below outlines what comes onto the island - either naturally or shipped by boat - what gets sent off, and where everything goes in between.


NHPR Staff

With warming weather comes stormy weather - but why is that? If it's been a while since elementary school science class, catch up on the phenomena of summer thunderstorms and hail with this primer.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Have you ever wondered how toxic elements like arsenic get into your well water? Do you know how many of New Hampshire's bedrock wells contain more arsenic than the EPA recommends for safe, potable water? If your well was one of them, would you know how to treat it?

Read through the graphic below to learn more about arsenic and well water.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Increasingly, corrections officials are looking to statistics to inform their decisions around all aspects of prison practices. As NHPR's Emily Corwin recently reported, inmates’ gender and trauma statistics are helping inform the design of the state’s new women's prison in Concord.

Weddings trends come and go with the times, and today, vintage themes & items are all the rage, as young couples eschew the extravagant trappings of old for simpler ceremonies (if you don't believe us, head on over to Pinterest).

A vintage cake topper, however, is maybe not the way to go. Proceed with caution.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

With tick season in full swing - and this year being described as the worst in recent history - the risk of tick bites and tick-borne infection is high. Read through the graphic below to learn more about ticks, the infections they can carry, and how to prevent being infected yourself.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Under the federal Clery Act, colleges and universities are required to report crime statistics. This chart measures total reported forcible sexual offenses involving students, on and off-campus, at each New Hampshire school.

The numbers are not adjusted to account for enrollment, which would allow for a better comparison. For example, with a 2012 undergraduate enrollment of 12,565, UNH sees 1.67 incidences per capita - while, with an enrollment of 6,277, Dartmouth sees 3.82 per capita.

Research suggests as many 95 percent of campus rapes and sexual assaults go unreported.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

If it seems like, these days, everyone is talking about STEM - that now common acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math programs - it's because they are.

In this animated two-way, we take a look at what the push for STEM means for the state - from our public university system, to the State House, and through the business community - and for students.

Rockingham County Attorney James Reams filed a petition challenging his suspension by Attorney General Joseph A. Foster. Reams alleged his November 6, 2013 suspension was illegal and sought that the court order his reinstatement. A judge reinstated Reams on Thursday, April 10.

Read the full text here:

Reams v Foster, Et Al. Order 4/10/14