Monty Christiansen is retired from Penn State University with Emeritus status, where he taught park and recreation facility planning and management from 1969 to 2001. Christiansen was a landscape architect for the National Park Service, the St. Louis County (MO) Parks and Recreation Department, and the Michigan design firm of Philip Flores & Associates. He specialized in recreation area/facility planning and management for the thirty-six years and playground safety for the past fifteen years
He is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional and Certified Playground Safety Inspector. He holds both undergraduate and terminal professional degrees in landscape architecture from Iowa State University. He is a graduate of three National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) professional management schools: the Maintenance Management School, the Revenue Sources Management School, and the Safety Management School.
is the editor of Play It Safe, An Anthology of Playground Safety ( 1992,
revised 1994 and 1996, also translated into Chinese). He is also the editor of Points
About Playgrounds - A Compilation of Significant Information (1993,
revision to be published in 2001). His
correspondence course in park planning and evaluation was judged to be the best
in the United States in 1985. His
book Vandalism Control Management, originally written as a monograph
under contract to the National Park Service, was published in the U.S. and Great
Britain in 1983. He is the author of the Park Planning Handbook (published
in the U.S. and Great Britain in 1977 and also translated into Portuguese),
which has been a standard text in
the field. In addition to these
publications, Christiansen has written numerous journal articles and presented
numerous professional papers in the areas of park planning and management.
chaired the 1995 and 1999 International Playground Safety Conferences and edited
the Proceedings for each.
has consulted for the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the
federal Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and
numerous agencies throughout the
United States, Argentina, Jamaica, Turks & Caicos, Singapore, Hong Kong,
Japan, and New Zealand. He is
a member of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) and served on
the Writing Committee for the first U.S. Standard for Public Playgrounds.
He has been appointed twice to the Pennsylvania Citizens' Recreation and
Parks Advisory Committee for preparation of the statewide outdoor recreation
Christiansen has been an invited speaker nationally and internationally on the topics of park planning, playground safety, vandalism control, and aquatic facility development. In addition to his international consulting, he has presented professional papers in England, Finland, Scotland, Taiwan, Australia, and Singapore.
He has served as President of the National Society for Park Resources (NSPR) and was twice elected to the NSPR Board of Directors. He is a founding member of the National Playground Safety Institute (NPSI) and served as the Chair of the NPSI Executive Committee. He is a former President of the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society (PRPS) and is currently Treasurer of the International Play Association IIPA) and a member of the International Federation of Park and Recreation Administration (IFPRA).
Christiansen has won numerous awards, including the NRPA National Distinguished Professional Award for outstanding contributions to the profession, the NSPR Founders' Award for Excellence, the Penn State University Lindbeck Award for Excellence in Teaching, and PRPS F.M. Coombs Award for highest professional achievement. He was designated a Fellow by the NRPA Mid-Atlantic Region and received the National University Continuing Education Association Distinguished Award for his correspondence course in park planning. He was elected to the American Academy of Park and Recreation Administration and was the first recipient of the NPSI Distinguished Fellow Award for contributions to playground safety.
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