Dr. Andrew Mowen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management at The Pennsylvania State University. He began his career as the Research Manager for Cleveland Metroparks. Since his appointment to Penn State, he has focused his research on assessing the role of community parks in shaping individual and community health. Dr. Mowen spearheaded a National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) study that examined health partnership practices within the field and is currently the Principal Investigator of the 2014-2018 Pennsylvania Outdoor Recreation Plan.
More recently, Dr. Mowen completed a study that examined changes to the built park environment and how these renovations correspond with improved visitor experiences, perceptions of park quality, physical activity, and health. In addition to this research, he has co-authored a white paper for the United States National Physical Activity Plan, a research synthesis on Parks, Playgrounds and Active Living for Active Living Research, and a state-of-knowledge summary on The Benefits of Physical Activity Provided by Park and Recreation Services for NRPA.
Dr. Mowen has collaborated with a wide variety of public and non-profit agencies including the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the National Park Service, the Fairfax County Park Authority, the Trust for Public Land, Active Living Research, Playworld Systems, Inc., the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, and the William Penn Foundation. His research and viewpoints are published in the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, Leisure Sciences, Park and Recreation Business, Preventive Medicine, the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Along with his duties as chair of the Park, Recreation, Fitness, and Sport Sector, he is also an active member of the NRPA Research Advisory Committee and a board member for the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation.