Affiliates and Brief Bios
Katie Abrams, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Professor Abrams' expertise is at the intersection of strategic communication and food system and natural resources issues. Most of her research focuses on three broad areas: food marketing communication models of influence, transparency and persuasive communication in the agriculture/food industry, and, most recently, risk communication regarding human-wildlife interactions. Additionally, her professional background in web and graphic design has influenced her interests in effects of visual communication. She has garnered about $1.3 million for her scholarship from the USDA and the National Park Service.
Ashley Anderson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Dr. Anderson's research examines the role of communication in how people form opinions about and engage with scientific and environmental issues. Some of her recent work examines communication around extreme weather events, such as flooding and heat waves, as it relates to opinion formation around climate change. She often studies these issues in the context of conversations that happen online. For instance, she has investigated how the phenomenon of user-generated comments connected to news media play a role in interpretation of news.
Joe Champ, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Professor Champ’s research focuses on the intersection of communication, culture, and the natural world. He has often collaborated with USDA Forest Service, the National Park Service, and the United States Geological Survey to study resource management issues faced by these agencies. Dr. Champ’s qualitative research approach focuses on interviewing, focus groups, and textual analysis. His theoretical approach is informed by material semiotics, actor-network theory, and pragmatism. Dr. Champ has a professional background in video-based media and has consulted over the years with USDA Forest Service on communication strategy, helping to manage a team of CSU undergraduate video and web producers working with the Rocky Mountain Research Station based in Fort Collins.
Marilee Long, Ph.D., Professor
Dr. Long's research interests are in health and science communication. In health communication, she studies the use of messages to encourage attitudinal and behavioral change. A current project examines how health care providers’ perceptions influence the way they communicate with patients about vaccines. Dr. Long is a member of the leadership team for CSU’s Partnership for Air Quality, Climate, and Health (PACH). PACH uses an interdisciplinary approach to address stakeholder-driven problems at the intersection of air quality, climate, and health. A current project investigates using citizen science to gather air-quality data and increase participants’ understanding of local air quality, climate, and health. She also has a long-term interest in the effects of media portrayals of science and scientists on people's attitudes toward science.
Gaya Sivakumar, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Dr. Sivakumar’s research interests are in the intersection of health communication and digital media. She studies how people learn from mediated information especially on topics of which they have no prior information or knowledge. Her recent work examines how chronically ill patients evaluate online health websites and how the quality of the information presented in such websites affects patient beliefs about the disease, their compliance intentions, and the trust they have in their doctors. Her work also examines how people make judgments about about the credibility of information they read online and how such judgments can impact their medical decision making.