Facebook Twitter

Meet the Faculty

Sonja A. Wilhelm Stanis

Sonja A. Wilhelm Stanis, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Parks, Recreation and Tourism
Graduate Emphasis Area Coordinator
  • Phone: 573-882-9524
  • E-mail: sonjaws@missouri.edu
  • Address: 105e Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building


  • Ph.D., 2008, University of Minnesota


  • Wilhelm Stanis' research is in the human dimensions of natural resource management with an emphasis in the social psychological as well as environmental factors that influence aspects of outdoor recreation. Specifically, her work examines motivations for and benefits of outdoor recreation, constraints to outdoor recreation, the role of parks and public lands in promoting physical activity and public health, and issues in outdoor recreation relating to diversity and youth.


  • Research methods in parks, recreation and tourism (PRT 8430)
  • Constructs of Leisure (PRT 8400)
  • Advanced recreation land management (PRT 4340/7340)
  • Planning and evaluating leisure environments (PRT 2111)

Recent Publications

  • Schultz, C.L., Sayers, S.P., Wilhelm Stanis, S.A., Thombs, L.A., Thomas, I.M., & Canfield, S.M. (in press). The impact of a signalized cross walk on traffic speed and street crossing behaviors of residents in an underserved neighborhood. Journal of Urban Health.
  • Parsons, A.A., Besenyi, G.M., Kaczynski, A.T., Wilhelm Stanis, S.A., Blake, C.E., Barr-Anderson, D.A. (2015). Investigating issues of environmental injustice in neighborhoods surrounding parks. Journal of Leisure Research, 47(2), 285-303.
  • Dinges, A.J. Webb, E.B., Vrtiska, M.P., Nilon, C.H., & Wilhelm Stanis, S.A. (2014). Migratory bird hunter opinions regarding future management strategies for controlling light goose populations. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 38 (4), 728-733.
  • Kaczynski, A.T., Besenyi, G.M., Wilhelm Stanis, S.A., Koohsari, M.J., Oestman, K.B., Bergstrom, R., Potwarka, L.R., & Reis, R.S. (2014). Are park proximity and park features related to park use and physical activity among adults? Variations by multiple socio-demographic characteristics. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 11, 146.
  • Sotomayor, S., Barbieri, C., Wilhelm Stanis, S.A., Aguilar, F., & Smith, J. (2014). Motivations for Recreating on Farmlands, Private Forests, and State or National Parks. Environmental Management, online first DOI 10.1007/s00267-014-0280-4
  • Wilhelm Stanis, S.A., Oftedal, A., & Schneider, I. (2014). Association of outdoor recreation availability with physical activity and weight status in Minnesota youth. Preventive Medicine, 60, 124-127.
  • Kaczynski, A.T., Wilhelm Stanis, S. & J. Aaron Hipp. (2014). Point-of-decision prompts for increasing park-based physical activity: a crowdsource analysis. Preventive Medicine, 69, 87-89.
  • Besenyi, G.M., Kaczynski, A.T., Wilhelm Stanis, S.A., Bergstrom, R.D., Lightner, J.S., & Hipp, J.A. (2014). Planning for health: A community-based spatial analysis of park availability and chronic disease across the lifespan. Health and Place, 27, 102-105.
  • Kaczynski, A.T., Koohsari, M.J., Wilhelm Stanis, S.A., Bergstrom, R., & Sugiyama, T. (2014). Association of street connectivity and road traffic speed with park usage and park-based physical activity. American Journal of Health Promotion, 28 (3), 197-203.
  • Westley, T., Kaczynski, A.T., Wilhelm Stanis, S., & Besenyi, G.M. (2013). Parental neighborhood safety perceptions and their children's health behaviors: Associations by child age, gender, and household income. Children, Youth and Environments, 23(3), 118-147.
  • Kaczynski, A.T., Wilhelm Stanis, S.A., Besenyi, G.M., & Child, S. (2013). Differences in youth and adult physical activity in park settings by gender and race/ethnicity. Preventing Chronic Disease, 10, 120276.
  • Budruk, M. & Wilhelm Stanis, S.A. (2013). Place attachment and recreation experience preference: A further exploration of the relationship. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 1-2, 51-61.
  • Bai, H., Wilhelm Stanis, S.A., Kaczynski, A.T., & Besenyi, G.M. (2013). Perceptions of Neighborhood Park Quality: Associations with Physical Activity and BMI. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 45(s1), 39-48.
  • Vaughan, K.B., Kaczynski, A.T., Wilhelm Stanis, S.A., Bergstrom, R., Besenyi, G.M., & Heinrich, K.M. (2013). Exploring the distribution of park availability, features, and quality across Kansas City, Missouri by income and race/ethnicity: An environmental justice investigation. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 45(s1), 28-38.
  • Besenyi, G.M., Kaczynski, A.T., Wilhelm Stanis, S.A., & Vaughan, K.B. (2013). Demographic variations in observed energy expenditure across park activity areas. Preventive Medicine, 56, 79-81.