Professor, Director of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Program

Patricia A. Stokowski, PhD, is a Professor at the University of Vermont, and conducts research about social, cultural, and discursive aspects of outdoor recreation behavior, environmental interpretation, and tourism development in rural and resource dependent communities. Her current research focuses on the place-making processes of people in transitioning communities, the cultural meanings of landscapes, and social networks in tourism and natural resource management; her work applies an array of qualitative interpretive methods, especially discourse and narrative analysis.

Stokowski has conducted a longitudinal study of the development and impacts of gambling-based tourism in the former mining towns of Central City and Black Hawk, Colorado; results from her research were published in Riches and Regrets: Betting on Gambling in Two Colorado Mountain Towns (1996; University Press of Colorado) and in subsequent journal articles. She also wrote Leisure in Society: A Network Structural Perspective (1994, Mansell Press). From 2009 to 2013, Stokowski co-edited the journal Leisure Sciences with Walter Kuentzel. She was elected to the Academy of Leisure Sciences in 2009. In 2014, she was on sabbatical in Vienna, Austria, working at the Institute of Landscape Development, Recreation and Conservation Planning, at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU).

For pleasure, Stokowski is also a professional figure skating coach who trains ice dancers. A native of Massachusetts, she received her PhD from the University of Washington (1988), and MS (1978) and BS (1976) degrees from Michigan State University. Before moving to Vermont in 1998, she held faculty positions at Texas A&M University and the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Patricia Stokowski

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Instructional programs: Parks, Recreation and Tourism; Natural Resources
Research: Outdoor recreation behavior, parks, community tourism development, sense of place


  • 802 656-3093
Office Location:

313A Aiken Center