Adam Rainear, Ph.D.

An image of Dr. Rainear

Associate Professor
Graduate Coordinator

E-mail: Adam Rainear, Ph.D.

Office: Wayne Hall 231
Phone: 610-436-1533
Office Hours: Mon/Wed 11:00am-2:00pm

Google Scholar Profile

Adam M. Rainear (Ph.D., University of Connecticut, 2014) is an Associate Professor of Media and Culture and the Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Communication & Media, at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. His research utilizes technology – such as social media, robotics, and artificial intelligence - to understand how individuals access information and communicate about risks such as weather, climate, and environmental hazards. He is the co-editor of a forthcoming book entitled Evolving Journalism Research Methods: Applications, Trends, Analyses, to be published in the Routledge Research in Journalism Series. He currently serves as an Associate Editor for Weather, Climate, and Society, in addition to being a member of the editorial board for Communication Studies and the Journal of International Crisis & Risk Communication Research.

He often teaches courses in media campaigns, media literacy, and digital production, in addition to serving as the faculty advisor for WCUStudios, the campus television station.

Selected Publications

Boyle, M. P., & Rainear, A. M. (Forthcoming). Evolving Journalism Research Methods: Applications, Trends, Analyses. Research in Journalism Series. Routledge. Anticipated in 2025.

Rainear, A.M., & Lachlan, K.A. (2023). The Station Scientist: Examining the Impact of Race and Sex of Broadcast Meteorologists on Credibility, Trust, and Information Retention. Frontiers in Communication. DOI: 10.3389/fcomm.2022.1052277

Rainear, A.M., Spence, P.R., & Lachlan, K.A. (2023). Needs and Practices for AI-Mediated Messaging in Uncertain Circumstances. In S. Nah (Ed.), Research Handbook on Artificial Intelligence and Communication. Edward Elgar.

Lachlan, K. A., Gilbert, C., Hutter, E., Rainear, A. M., & Spence, P. R. (2022). Sex differences in informational needs and media dependencies during the 2018 California wildfires. Journal of Emergency Management (Weston, Mass.), 20(4), 341-350. DOI: 10.5055/jem.0588.

Rainear, A.M. & Christensen, J.L. (2022). Examining Pre-Existing Environmental Beliefs: Using a PSA to Investigate the Role of Self-Efficacy and Response Efficacy on Behavioral Intentions. Communication Studies. 73:2, 151-170, DOI: 10.1080/10510974.2022.2026426

Rainear, A.M., Jin, X., Edwards, A., Edwards, C., & Spence, P.R. (2021). A Robot, Meteorologist, and Amateur Forecaster Walk into a Bar: A Qualitative Exploration of a Weather Forecast Delivered via Social Robot. Communication Studies. 72:6, 1129-1145. DOI: 10.1080/10510974.2021.2011361

Rainear, A. M., Lachlan, K., & Xu, Z. (2021). Storms of a feather tweet together: An exploratory study examining Houston-area emergency management communication on Twitter in Hurricane Harvey. Journal of Emergency Management (Weston, Mass.), 20(1), 53-60. DOI: 10.5055/jem.0685

Spence, P.R., Edwards, C., Edwards, A., Rainear, A.M., & Jin, X. (2021). “They’re Always Wrong Anyway”: Exploring Differences of Credibility, Attraction, and Behavioral Intentions in Professional, Amateur, and Robotic-delivered Weather Forecasts. Communication Quarterly. 69:1, 67-86.

Rainear, A.M., & Lin, C.A. (2021). Communication Factors Influencing Flood-Risk Mitigation, Motivation, and Intention Among College Students. Weather, Climate, and Society. 13(1), 125-135. DOI: 10.1175/WCAS-D-20-0016.1

Xu, Z., Lachlan, K.A., Ellis, L., & Rainear, A.M. (2019). Understanding Public Opinion in Different Disaster Stages: A Case Study of Hurricane Irma. Internet Research. Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 695-709. DOI: 10.1108/INTR-12-2018-0517

Rainear, A.M., Lachlan, K.A., Oeldorf-Hirsch, A., & DeVoss, C.L. (2018). Tweeting in the Face of Uncertainty: Examining Content of State Emergency Management During Hurricane Joaquin. Communication Research Reports. 35:4, 325-334, DOI:10.1080/08824096.2018.1503945

Rainear, A.M., Lachlan, K.A., & Lin, C.A. (2017). What's in a #Name? An Experimental Study Examining Perceived Credibility and Impact of Winter Storm Names. Weather, Climate, & Society, 9(4), 815-822. DOI: 10.1175/WCAS-D-16-0037.1

Rainear, A.M., & Christensen, J.L. (2017). Protection Motivation Theory as an Explanatory Framework for Pro-Environmental Behavioral Intentions. Communication Research Reports, 34:3, 239-248. DOI: 10.1080/08824096.2017.1286472

Spence, P.R., Lachlan, K.A., & Rainear, A.M. (2016). Social media and crisis research: Data collection and directions. Computers in Human Behavior, 54, 667–672. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2015.08.045

Courses Taught

First-Year Experience (Exploratory Studies), FYE 100
Public Speaking, SPK 208
Introduction to Video Production, MDC 217
Media Writing for Broadcast and Public Relations, MDC 252
Media Literacy, MDC 253
Media and Culture, MDC 254
Media Campaigns, MDC 423
Strategic Media Content, COM 561
First-Year Experience (Exploratory Studies), FYE 100

Recent Media Coverage

Featured in “Heat waves are becoming more common, should we change their definition?” (Page A1) The Press of Atlantic City. August 29, 2021

Featured in “Plan to protect NJ from rising seas calls for massive flood gates and home raising.” (Page A1) The Press of Atlantic City. August 20, 2021.

Featured in “24 weather advisories to be discontinued by the National Weather Service.” The Press of Atlantic City. March 15, 2021.

Research featured in “Heat wave ‘Hugo?’ New coalition seeks to name hot weather like hurricanes.” The Washington Post. Capital Weather Gang. August 6, 2020.

Featured in “A storm with a name makes people more aware of danger - Is this correct” de Volkskrant (Dutch-language). February 28, 2020.

Featured on “Hurricane Messaging” Something in the Air Podcast. October 15, 2019.

Quoted in “Farmers' Almanac calls for 'Polar coaster' winter. Will it happen?” (Page A1) The Press of Atlantic City. August 30, 2019.

Professional Memberships

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Central States Communication Association (CSCA)
National Communication Association (NCA) 
International Communication Association (ICA)
American Meteorological Society (AMS)