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About Heather M. Olsen

Dr. Heather Olsen is a professor in Leisure Service Division and the Graduate Coordinator for the Leisure, Youth, and Human Service Division.  Dr. Olsen also serves as the Director for the Center for Playground Safety (  Along with teaching classes and coordinating the LYHS graduate program, her work includes providing education and training to early childcare programs, elementary schools, afterschool programs, and park departments.
Heather has been associated with the development of children's outdoor playgrounds and educating the public about playground maintenance, supervision, and age appropriateness. She has given presentations throughout the country about the creation of safe and quality outdoor environments for children and has written many articles on safe and inclusive playgrounds.  Her research interests include supervision, children's outdoor environments, professional development for adult learners, and playgrounds.


Present Professor; Health, Recreation, and Community Services, University of Northern Iowa Department of Health, Recreation, and Community Services
Grant Recipient, Iowa Department of Education, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Consumer Product Safety (multiple grants), University of Northern Iowa External Funding


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Contact Information

University of Northern Iowa
Human Performance Center 105
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0618

Office: HPC 105
Phone: (319) 273-6173


Advisor to Student Work (1)

Articles (23)

Presentations (1)