• Community Sense of Place Community Sense of Place Tourism Impacts and Second Home Development: A Sustainable Approach
  • Climate, Weather, and Tourism Climate, Weather, and Tourism Tourism destinations and their individual tourism businesses are all vying for tourists at their respective locations.
  • Engagement and Community Engagement and Community In partnership with the Office of Engagement, Innovation, and Economic Development.
  • Rural Tourism Rural Tourism Sustaining rural America is one of today's pressing issues.
  • RESET RESET Race, Ethnicity, and Social Equity in Tourism
  • US Travel Care Code US Travel Care Code The United States Travel Care Code has been developed and is managed by the Center for Sustainable Tourism.
  • RETI RETI The Renewable Energy in Tourism Initiative
  • Tourism and Entrepreneurship Tourism and Entrepreneurship Developing the local tourism industry as part of an economic development strategy.

Affiliate Faculty

Faculty contribute to the interdisciplinary Center for Sustainability and Master of Science in Sustainable Tourism in many and varied ways reflecting the multidisciplinary interest on the campus in sustainable tourism and a generous willingness to engage in the research, teaching and outreach activities of the center.  Examples of these contributions include service on the MS-ST Faculty Graduate Committee, on thesis and non-thesis projects, on search committees, in recruiting and mentoring students, on external funding activities, on special projects and initiatives, in teaching core courses, on interdisciplinary research and publication efforts and on hosting visiting scholars, among others. Faculty affiliates are encouraged to cross over with other disciplines in research interests to the extent possible in order to become fully aware of, and take advantage of, the many interdisciplinary approaches and opportunities.

Return to All Affiliate Faculty

Donna Kain
Risk and Emergency Communication

Donna J. Kain

Associate Professor, Technical and Professional Discourse
Associate Chair, Department of English
2202 Bate Building
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858
Voice: 252-328-6023

Community Outreach Interests

My recent work focuses on risk and emergency communication in coastal areas, including tourist destinations, that are affected by severe weather conditions and potential problems related to environmental concerns such as climate change and oil spills. Effective communication helps communities prepare for and cope with emergencies, disasters, and environmental change such as sea level rise. I have also worked on communication issues related to the accessibility of built environments and the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act with the goal of improving information about the need for spaces that accommodate all people.

Research Interests

As a technical communicator and rhetorician, my research interests have always reflected in interest in the way that people communicate about and negotiate the challenges of inhabiting places and spaces. I'm primarily concerned with the dynamics of communication at the intersections of public and individual decision making, expert and non-expert interpretation of information, and the ways that the presentation of information helps or hinders understanding. I investigate cross-disciplinary negotiations of related texts and genres in various media and contexts.

Notable Publications

  • North Carolina Sea Grant. 2010. Long, Patrick, Kenneth Wilson, Rebecca Powers, Catherine Smith, Donna Kain, and Hao Huille. "Tourism Business Owners Perception of Drilled Oil Risks."  
  • Kain, Donna J., Catherine F. Smith, and Menno T. De Jong. 2010. Information Usability Testing as Audience and Context Analysis for Risk Communication.  In Usability of Complex Information Systems: Evaluation of User Interaction. Eds. Michael Albers and Brian Still. New York: CRC Press.  
  • Smith, Catherine F., Donna J. Kain. (2010) Making Sense of Hurricanes: Public Discourse and Perceived Risk of Extreme Weather. Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines 4.2: 180-196.  
  • Long, P., Hao, H., & Kain, D. With the Dexter Koehl Group, LLC. "Toolbox for crisis communications: Checklists and best practices." For the United Nations World Tourism Organization. 2010.
  • Kain, Donna J. (2007) Evaluating the Effectiveness of Storm-related Risk and Emergency Communication. Weather and Society Watch: A Publication of NCAR's Societal Impacts Program 1.4.


  • ENGL 5780: Advanced Writing for Business and industry. Emphasis on improving style and clarity, using data and research, designing documents and graphics displays of information.
  • ENGL 6715:Technical Communication. Emphasis on developing technical documents, including planning, drafting, editing, and testing.
  • ENGL 7765: Special Topics in Technical and Professional Communication: Risk Communication. Emphasis on effective risk communication in a range of contexts and genres.
  • ENGL 7766: Special Topics in New and Emerging Media: Theory and Practice of New Media. Emphasis on identifying purposes, audiences, and applications for various contexts.

Sustainable Tourism | Donna Kain

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