My research interests center around the communication of complex science to the public. Specifically, they include the systemic factors that affect the construction and effective translation of messages to engage the public in scientific issues. Effective messaging occurs at the intersection of message construction and the public beliefs, values, experiences, and the cultural cognitions that the audience brings to the process (rather than a simple deficit in science information). Additionally, messaging is affected by resources, institutional practices, and political processes in the public sphere. Given the recent rise in highly controversial science issues, the study of systematic factors affecting science messaging is an important and emerging area in research on science communication.
Joint Ph.D Mass Communication, Environment & Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.S. Community Counseling, Winona State University
B.A. Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Teaching Interests/Proposed Courses
Control of Vector-Borne Diseases
Senior Capstone in Science and Agricultural Communication - YDAE48000
Controversial Science & Media in the Public Sphere - YDAE49100
Science Communication - YDAE591000
The Psychology of the Science Audience (in development)
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Journalism 201: Introduction to Journalism
Integrated Environmental Studies Senior Capstone 600
Mass Media and Multicultural America
Recent Invited Conference Presentations:
The International Society for Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Failure to engage? National coverage of climate change risks to food and agriculture in the U.S. New Zealand, April 2018
Discovery Park, Big Ideas Challenge: Revolutionizing control of mosquito-borne infectious diseases
Purdue Climate Change Research Center, 2017 Seed Grant
Richard Kohl Early Career Teaching Award (departmental nominee)
Yoo, W., Kwon, M., Pfeiffer, L.J. (2013) Influence of communication on colorectal cancer screening Revisiting the Health Belief Model. Journal of Communication in Healthcare 6(1), 35-43.
Hiking (preferably in mountains), biking, snowshoeing, and kayaking.