Katherine Rowan

 Katherine Rowan
Research Team

Professor and Associate Chair
Department of Communication
George Mason University


Katherine Rowan is an expert in the areas of science and risk communication, and she is specifically interested in effective methods for earning trust and explaining complex science. Her most cited work has appeared in journals such as Health Communication, Risk Analysis, Communication Education, and Journal of Applied Communication Research and in edited volumes such as Communicating Uncertainty by Friedman, Dunwoody, and Rogers. Kathy was a professor at Purdue University before joining Mason’s faculty. She has spoken about effective communication of science to audiences at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Academy of Sciences, and to staff of the U.S. Congress.


BA (1975), George Mason University
MA (1978), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
PhD (1985), Purdue University

Selected Publications: 

Rowan, K. E. (2009). Risk. In W. Eadie (Ed.) 21st Century Communication:  A reference handbook (pp.405-414). Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage.

Maibach, E. W., Peterson, T. R., & Rowan, K. E. (2009). (Eds.). Action strategies for communicating climate change [Special issue]. Science Communication, 30, (3).

Rowan, K. E., Botan, C. H., Kreps, G. L., Samoilenko, S., & Farnsworth, K. (2009). Risk communication education for local emergency managers:  Using the CAUSE Model for research, education, and outreach (pp.168-191). In R. L. Heath & H. D. O'Hair (Eds.). Handbook of Crisis and Risk Communication. New York:  Taylor & Francis.

Rowan, K. E. (2004). Risk and crisis communication: Earning trust and productive partnering with media and public during emergencies. Washington, DC: Consortium of Social Science Associations.

Rowan, K. E. (2003). Informing and explaining skills: Theory and research on informative communication. In J. O. Greene & B. R. Burleson (Eds.), The handbook of communication and social interaction skills (pp. 403-438). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Rowan, K. E., Sparks, L., Pecchioni, L., Villagran, M. (2003). The “CAUSE” model: A research-supported guide for physicians communicating cancer risk. Health Communication: Special Issue on Cancer Communication, 15,239-252.

Trumbo, C. W., & Rowan, K. E. (Eds.). (2000). Global climate change and the public [Special issue]. Public Understanding of Science, 9 (3).

Curriculum Vitae: