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Preventing Farm Injury and Fatalities to At-Risk Youth in Rural Communities in the Southeast

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iot smart industry robot 4.0 agriculture concept,industrial agronomist,farmer using autonomous tractor with self driving technology , augmented mixed virtual reality to collect, access, analyze soil

Principal Investigator: Stacy K. Vincent
Co-PIs: Kang Namkoong, Joan M. Mazur
Funding Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, CDC; $1,356,806 (2016-2021)

Summary: Agriculture is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States and tractor overturn is the leading cause of farming-related injuries or deaths. Dr. Namkoong has developed a smartphone-based health communication application (eCROPS) to promote an agricultural safety campaign and prevent tractor operator deaths from overturns.

The mobile communication application was designed to enhance social interactions among campaign participants and the effectiveness of a combined approach of agricultural education, health education, and communication to address the significant public health issue in rural communities. Dr. Namkoong also developed virtual reality tractor safety contents for CROPS project (vrCROPS). The vrCROPS was designed as a service embedded in eCROPS to maximize its effectiveness in tractor safety education. Through immersive virtual reality experience, vrCROPS enhances risk perception about tractor-related accidents and self-efficacy on tractor safety behaviors. This project allows us to examine the potential of a virtual reality immersion system in occupational safety education.

How Forecasters Decide to Warn: Insights on Tornado Risk Communication from the Southeast U.S.

Storm hurricane tornado map realistic composition with weather forecast screen spiral cloud image and text vector illustration

Principal Investigators: Brooke Liu, Anita Atwell Seate
Funding Source: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START)

Summary: Tornados can have devastating consequences, and being able to warn the public about tornadic risk can save lives. Social scientists are prolific in their recommendations on how to “better warn” the public about tornadoes,  but they rarely work in partnership with operational forecasters. This begs the question of how applicable social  scientists’ recommendations are to the “real world.” The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) just  funded new research on how forecasters decide to warn about tornadoes. Associate Professor Brooke Liu and Assistant Professor Anita Atwell Seate will lead a two-year project, which includes interviews with forecasters, ethnographic observation, and a longitudinal survey. The project involves 20 telephone interviews with NOAA forecasters, two months of ethnographic observations at two National Weather Service offices in the Southeast U.S., a baseline cross-sectional survey, and a six-month longitudinal survey. Project website: How Forecasters Decide to Warn: Insights on Tornado Risk Communication from the Southeast U.S.


The Social-Mediated Crisis Communication Model

Lead Researcher: Brooke Liu

Summary: This is an ongoing project aimed at refining and expanding a theoretical model that provides guidelines for effectively integrating new media into crisis management.

Diet and healthy life concept background. The choice between fresh healthy food fruit and vegetables or unhealthy fast food and soda. Top view

Supporting the Health of Kentucky SNAP-Ed Participants through Engagement in Reshaping Local Policy, Systems and the Environment

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Diet and healthy life concept background. The choice between fresh healthy food fruit and vegetables or unhealthy fast food and soda. Top view

Principal Investigator: Daniel Kahl
Co-PIs: Kang Namkoong, Jarius Rossi, Jayoung Koo, Melissa Bond, Sarah Bowker, & Alison Diavis
Funding Source: Food and Nutrition Service, USDA; $450,591 (2015-2018)

Summary: This is a food and nutrition education project funded by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This project aims to promote healthy life choices in underserved populations. In this project, he has developed communication assessment tools to explore the connections between organizations, networks, and systems that often are not in communication with one another.

Product Recall illustration

Risk Communication During Food Recalls

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3D illustration of “PRODUCT RECALL” title flowing from a loudspeaker

Principal Investigator: Xiaoli Nan
Co-Investigators: Linda Verrill, Kelly Daily, Jarim Kim

Summary: Public health professionals have sought to understand the determinants of public perceptions related to food contamination risks in order to develop more effective means of communicating the risk of foodborne illnesses to consumers. In one study (N = 1,010), we investigated the impact of two risk characteristics—severity and intentionality—on risk perceptions and subsequent protective motivations. Results indicated that severity was an important driver of risk perceptions and it also interacted with intentionality such that when severity was low, an intentional act led to greater risk perceptions and protective motivations; when severity was high, intentionality had limited impact. These findings hold implications for effectively communicating food contamination risks.


Classroom Desk And Drawn Blackboard Of Chemistry Teaching Top Vi

Agricultural Biotechnology Education and Outreach

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Classroom desk and drawn blackboard of chemistry teaching with books and instruments. Chemical sciences education concept. Horizontal composition. Top view

Leader Investigator: Xiaoli Nan
Co-Investigators: Clare Narrod, Victoria Ledford
Funding Source: Food and Drug Administration through the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition; $40,000 (2018)

Summary: The Food and Drug Administration, in coordination with the Secretary of Agriculture, seeks to provide consumer outreach and education regarding agricultural biotechnology and biotechnology-derived food products and animal feed. The education and outreach is intended to be implemented through publication and distribution of science based educational information on the environmental, nutritional, food safety, economic, and humanitarian impacts of such biotechnology, food products, and feed. Through in-depth interviews with leading agricultural biotechnology consumer organizations, the research team is tasked to provide recommendations on dissemination strategies for reaching and providing information to various stakeholder groups. The research team develops strategies related to the “How,” “Where,” and “Why” of using particular information content, format, and channels.

A Man Is Using A Smartphone

Social Support and Social Media

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A man is using a smartphone with social media network notification icons in the city

Lead Researcher: Yuan Wang

Summary: This project explores how people obtain social support from social media usage, and how the process affects their subjective well-being.

Hand holding smartphone with fitness app concept on touchscreen. Modern flat vector icons of healthy lifestyle fitness and physical activity. Healthy lifestyle concept.

A Meta-Analysis on the Effectiveness of Mobile Devices to Promote Physical Activity

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Hand holding smartphone with fitness app concept on touchscreen. Modern flat vector icons of healthy lifestyle fitness and physical activity. Healthy lifestyle concept.

Lead Researcher: Yan Qin

Summary: This project involves systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the effectiveness of mobile devices to promote physical activity. Moderators such as use of behavioral change theories/techniques and targeted audience groups are also investigated in the study.

Sexual Health Diseases Women Awareness Concept

Sexual Health Content on College Student Health Websites

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Sexual Health Diseases Women Awareness Concept, a laptop showing “sexual health,” with glasses, a cup of tea and dessert aside

Lead Researcher: Samantha Stanley

Summary: This content analysis examines the prevalence of sexual health information on college student health websites.

Girl Power Equality Feminist Women's Right Concept

A Construal Level Perspective on Sex Positivity and Self/Other Appeals.

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Girl Power Equality Feminist Women’s Right Concept, five girls from different ethnic groups standing together, laying their hands on top of each other

Lead Researcher: Samantha Stanley

Summary: This project tests messages that vary in the extent to which they are sex positive and appeal to the health of oneself or one’s sexual partner.