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Linda Pfeiffer

Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication 

  • Assistant Professor Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication
Lilly Room 3-228
915 W State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054

Faculty Profile
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
 Undergraduate Courses

Senior Capstone in Science and Agricultural Communication - YDAE48000
Controversial Science & Media in the Public Sphere - YDAE49100
Graduate Courses
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 

Other Interests
Hiking (preferably in mountains), biking, snowshoeing, and kayaking.

Awards & Honors

(2018) ASEC Outstanding Early Career Teaching Award. Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication.

(2017) ASEC Outstanding Early Career Teaching Award_2017. Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication.

Selected Publications

Heft, W., Pfeiffer, L. J., & Rosenthal, P. (2017). Visualizing Ergonomic Data of Industrial Work Processes: A Design Study. 274-282. doi:10.5220/0006175202740282

Heidt, M., Pfeiffer, L. J., Bischof, A., & Rosenthal, P. (2014). Tangible Disparity - Different Notions of the Material as Catalyst of Interdisciplinary Communication. 8510, 199-206.

Pfeiffer, L., & Bisi-Amosun, O. (2018). No Climate Change Attributions? Public Experiences and Actions Concerning Long-term Weather Patterns. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Ballmer, E. (2018). Failure to engage: Analysis of climate risks to food and agriculture in the American press. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Forbes, B., & Pfeiffer, L. (2017). ISSUES 360™: Students learn how to engage the public on controversial topics. NACTA, 61(S1). Retrieved from

Bracke, M., & Pfeiffer, L. (in press). Issues 360: A Co-curricular Approach to Information Literacy, Critical Thinking, and Civil Discourse in the Sciences. In Learning beyond the classroom: Engaging Students in Information Literacy through Co-Curricular Activities.

Merzdorf, J., Pfeiffer, L. J., & Forbes, B. (2019). Heated Discussion: Climate Journalism in a Polarized Era. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Pfeiffer, L. (n.d.). Maximizing Media Ecologies to Engage the Public in Public Opinion: Regional Study in Environmental Health Information Flow. International Environmental Communications Association (IECA).

Pfeiffer, L. (2013). Influence of communication on colorectal cancer screening: Revisiting the Health Belief Model. Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 6(1), 35-43.

Brizgys, L. A., Brady, C. M., Heleski, C. R., & Pfeiffer, L. J. (in press). The Role of Mindset and Locus of Control on the Welfare of Working Horses in Central and Latin American Communities. Asia for Animals Conference.

Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication, 615 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA, (765) 494-8423

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