Associate Professor

About

Biography

Professor Abrams' expertise is at the intersection of strategic communication and environmental and food issues. She is particularly interested in message design and strategy and their roles in behavior change and the social marketing framework. Since 2014, she's had the privilege of leading four large, applied social marketing projects on behalf of the National Park Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Working with dozens of CSU students and local collaborators, the research has demonstrated new ways in which social marketing approaches can increase wildlife-friendly behavior among visitors to Hawaii and 10 national parks across the U.S. This award-winning work is published in top academic journals and has been featured in major media outlets, including NPR and USA Today.

Watch a short video highlighting some of this work with CSU and University of Hawaii-Hilo students in 2021.

Currently, she's working with Dr. Ashley Anderson by applying her expertise in audience research, strategic communication and social marketing, and campaign evaluation on an interdisciplinary EPA project to encourage higher risk communities to incorporate air quality information into their daily decision-making to protect their health.

More broadly, she advises students with interests in public relations, advertising, and institutional communication, as well as those with interests specific to communication regarding conservation, food, agriculture, or health. She uses survey, experimental, in-depth interview, focus group, and direct observation methods in her research.

If you are interested in social marketing or strategic communication and behavior change for conservation or nutrition-related behaviors, I would love to talk about your fit with our undergraduate or graduate programs!

Prior to joining the department in August 2013, she was a faculty member in advertising and agricultural communication at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. Her interests in conservation, agriculture, and health come from her degrees in agricultural communication from Purdue University (B.S.) and the University of Florida (M.S., Ph. D.). Her professional experience is in web and graphic design and marketing and messaging research.

Fall 2023 Office Hours (schedule in person, Zoom, or phone meeting) (most Mon/Wed 10am-noon)

Publications

Abrams, K., Molder, A., Nankey, P., & Leong, K. (2023). Encouraging respectful wildlife viewing among tourists: Roles for social marketing, regulatory information, symbolic barriers, and enforcement. Social Marketing Quarterly, 29(1). https://doi.org/10.1177/15245004231153085

Abrams, K., Bice, C., & Dietsch, A. (2023, May). Social marketing as a strategy to enhance wildlife protection: Four field studies in U.S. national park campgrounds. International Communication Association Conference, Toronto, Canada.

Abrams, K. M., Leong, K., Melena, S., & Teel, T. (2020). Encouraging safe wildlife viewing in national parks: Effects of a communication campaign on visitors’ behavior. Environmental Communication14(2), 255-270. https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2019.1649291

Abrams, K., Bonser, C., & McCord, A. (2020). Exploring science communication effectiveness in the U.S. federal government research process: A case study with the us livestock producers' antimicrobial use research. Journal of Applied Communications, 104(4). https://doi.org/10.4148/1051-0834.2343

Abrams, K., & Soukup, C. (2017). Matching local food messages to consumer motivators: An experiment comparing the effects of differently framed messagesJournal of Applied Communications, 101(4).

Courses

  • JTC 792 Conservation Marketing

    Syllabus

    Study an emerging field of research and practice with roots in the well-established social marketing framework. This course will cover the social marketing framework in-depth as it applies to helping people to engage in conservation behavior with a special focus on the role of strategic communication. Course will include practical and academic applications of conservation marketing. Students benefit from having a strong foundation in quantitative research methods before taking this class.

  • JTC 419 Food and Natural Resources Issue Comm

    Syllabus

    Examines how people consume and process information and communication about food and natural resources issues.

  • JTC 664 Quantitative Research Methods

    Syllabus

    Dives into core concepts and details of executing quantitative methods research to address communication and media research questions.

  • JTC 350

    Syllabus

    Theory and practice of public relations, how public relations operates in organizations, its impact on publics and its functions in society. Covers the professional development of the field; concepts, issues, and principles in the practice; and models and theories guiding the practice.