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Capstone Projects

A Maple Comparison By Tyler Sheridan

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 13:56
Abstract: Being in the northeast especially during this time of year allows you to witness some of the rarest and yet oldest tradition to the area, the time of year where the tree are struck and harvested for the sugary liquid as they begin to wake up for the spring and summer seasons. Sugaring season is in full swing running from the first thaw to the sprouting of tree buds, smoke stacks bellow from pockets of forest as farmers scramble to collect every drop while it still runs. With a tradition that dates back to the Northeast back to the time of Eastern settlers and Native America’s it’s only been of late that the production of syrup has come short to the consumer demand. Hence the introduction of artificial maple syrup, brands like: Aunt Jemima, Kellogg’s, and Log Cabin the market has been saturated with corn syrup imitation at a lower price point. This competition in the market has led to people come up with a preference to one over the other with equal group on both sides. However they all agree that one taste different than the other, does this make artificial maple syrup an imitator or a substitute. It is said that Maple Syrup is the only flavor that cannot be recreated in an artificial manner, which would give substance to the statements of the syrup tasting differently. I am curious to know if there truth behind the whole debate. To solve the question I will put three plates of breakfast themed dishes. Each course will feature two identical plates per course, one using real syrup, the other featuring artificial syrup, I will ask a panel of culinary and maple based experters to find out which plate they think has a better maple flavor and appropriate texture. All of this done without telling them which plate contains the real and which has the imitation. If the panel states that each plate has the same level of maple flavor than it would debunk the speculations of different tasting syrups. However If the panel states that the two plates taste differently than I could conclude the imitation has a different taste than the real.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2014
Authors: Tyler Sheridan

The five senses, and the roll of each during dining

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 14:54
Abstract: My vision for my capstone project, is to identify all five senses. Vision, smell, sound, sight, and taste, and highlight each one for a more harmonious dining experience. People often times only focus on the sense of taste and smell while eating. Some focus on vision, with flashy plating styles. But not often enough do people engage all five senses. Not often enough do people think about all the different aspects that tie into gastronomy. Everything from the way food is harvested or foraged to what a certain sound or smell reminds you of is what makes food/cooking one of the last remaining forms of art left in the world. And we need to embrace it. My vision for the first course would be to serve duck bacon, with a candied egg yolk on top of toasted baguette with maple espresso butter. The plate will come out with a hot stone and the bacon would be raw, so when the plate is presented the idea is to sear your own bacon. As a kid I used to love waking up to the sound and smell of sizzling bacon, so my focus for this course would be to bring the panel back to being at home and having mom cook you bacon. For my second course will have a small salad of pea shoots and arugula, dressed with olive oil and orange juice, served with goat cheese, hazelnut praline, orange balsamic vinegar, and herb smoke. The herb smoke is what will make this the “smell” course. With a food smoking gun, ill add lavender, citrus zest and herb stems for a floral scent that will remain on the pallet until the end of the course. My goal is to capture the smoke with clear glass bowls to place over the salad, add the smoke and allow the panel to take off the lid. When removed the smoke will settle up leaving the air smelling like lavender and herbs, enhancing the flavor of every component of the salad. The third course is almost like a pallet cleanser/ awakener (because the second course will be heavy on the mouth and nose.) But it also will enhance the next course. The concept would be the sense of touch/ feel. I remember as a kid going on vacation to Maine with my family and we would go out during low tide and collect oysters on the beach. They feel weird in your hand, and even weirder in your mouth, which makes it perfect for this course. The raw oyster will provide a slimy gelatinous mouth feel complimented by a sweet/spicy/sour kimchi style cabbage which will provide an umami sensation in your mouth and throat. My fourth course will be a butter poached mahi mahi, served with caramelized fennel, snap pea foam, blanched rainbow carrots and truffle oil. The sense I am trying to highlight in this dish is vision. Vision is not typically the first sense used during dining, and from my experiences food always tastes better when it’s thoughtfully plated, colorful, and exciting. So for this one there is no flash or fancy techniques, it’s just a simple & classic dish done right and plated beautifully. And my last course will be a pomegranate Cosmo sphere with fiori salt, and edible flowers. The taste sense, my inspiration for this one was from a dining experience I had at WD-50 in New York City. It was originally an intermezzo and it wasn’t a sphere, it was a sorbet, so I’ve taken this idea and I want to finish the meal with a colorful, sweet & salty pop of pomegranate that will cleanse the pallet and leave the mouth feeling bright and refreshed rather that drowned by fats and sugars (like most desserts.)
Access: No
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2014
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Kurt Boyea

Healthy Food Truck Menu, in a Festival Setting

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 15:57
Abstract: How could more nutrient dense food be served to a large number of people in a food truck, while maintaining a low cost to the customer and seller alike in an outdoor event setting? When in a music festival setting for example, there are a number of people that go without food, or eat very minimal meals that contain almost no nutritional value over the course of two to three days. Small snacks or one or two meals in two to three days can really take a toll on the body, especially in a party type of event like a music festival. One of the reasons for this is healthier food comes with a cost, the proposed menu is low cost, nutrient dense, flavor packed food that can be carried around easy by festival/ outdoor event goers. The research method used would be a survey to the panel about how much it means to them to have healthy foods or not, how much would this person be willing to spend for the healthier option, if they thought the tasting was a healthier option, and of course taste of the food. With a quick look at catering, and a great deal of information on the food truck trend, where it’s going, and what is being done. This is a chance to tie together the two of the fastest growing trends in the industry, food trucks and health food in a way that could be sold at an affordable cost to the customer, and still be cost effective to the vendor in an outdoor event setting.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2014
Authors: Logan Beem

The Vegan Experiment

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 16:43
Abstract: The vegan diet has a reputation as extremely light and unsatisfying “rabbit food.” In reality, eating a vegan diet can be satisfying to the palate and the belly. Health benefits of a vegan diet include reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other chronic ailments, plus weight reduction, increased energy, and better sleep patterns. However, Americans tend to believe that they cannot get proper nutrition without animal products. Studies have shown that proper nutrition can be achieved through a whole foods plant based diet. The meal I presented was designed for carnivores to test whether they missed animal products in the dishes served.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2014
Authors: Carrie Oderman

Evaluation of the First 10 Years of Long-Term Ecological Monitoring of Fishes and Physical Habitat with Regional Temperature and Precipitation Regimes in the Smitty Creek Watershed with Recommendations for Future Efforts

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 13:39
Abstract: Long-term ecological monitoring of freshwater ecosystems is a relatively recent trend in the scientific community. Trends in such monitoring data help fisheries biologists in determining best management practices to ensure the sustainability and longevity of these commonly used natural resources. Ten years of standard physical habitat and fish capture data has been collected from the Smitty Creek Watershed (upstate New York) from 2004 to 2013. The goals of this study were (I) to determine if there were significant changes in stream reach hydromorphology between 2004 and 2013 and (II) to detect any long-term trends between local precipitation and temperature regimes and fish catches in Smitty Creek. A one-way analysis of variance was conducted to determine significant changes in stream reach widths between 2004 and 2013. Total catches of the most common fishes found in the sampling reaches and age-0 brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) were related to yearly and monthly precipitation and temperature regimes using Pearson correlation matrices with a ~95% confidence interval. Correlation matrices were also used to assess species catches versus species to determine if certain species catches are related. All four mean stream reach widths increased to some extent from 2004 to 2013. Both Little Aldo Creek and Aldo Creek mean stream widths increased significantly, while Middle Smitty and Lower Smitty only increased marginally (Table 1). Smaller streams increased significantly more than larger ones; suggesting that smaller streams are more susceptible to hydro-geometrical changes during high flow events than larger streams. Over 60 statistically significant relationships were found between fish catches and various temperature and precipitation variables. The most intriguing findings were that overall brook trout catches and age-0 brook trout catches were highly negatively correlated with December lowest temperatures and highly positively correlated with January total precipitation. Suggesting that brook trout recruitment in the Smitty Creek Watershed is sensitive to winter precipitation and temperature regimes. Cold winters with high snowfall may stabilize these small streams, providing safe and suitable habitat for the early life history stages of brook trout. Overall, the results of this study provide a comprehensive analysis and outline of the major trends and relationships found in the Smitty Creek Watershed. In addition, it provides numerous recommendations for future research and analysis of these trends and relationships.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2014
Authors: Nathan T. Mills

Temporal Variation in Relative Abundance of Aquatic Macro-Invertebrates and its Implications for Water Quality Assessments

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 16:06
Abstract: Macro invertebrate sampling is widely used to assess the water quality of streams. Sampling can be performed throughout the year depending on the geographical location. In this study a repeated sampling of rivers and streams in the St. Lawrence River basin located in northern New York State was carried out to determine if seasonal changes affect aquatic invertebrate relative abundance within macro invertebrate communities. This relationship was compared to water quality assessments to determine the most accurate time for sampling. By assessing the changes in relative abundance of macro invertebrates we can determine if those changes affect the measures used to infer water quality. By comparing changes in the inferred water quality to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) assessments, an appropriate sampling window was determined. Kick sampling methods following the DEC’s protocols were used to collect aquatic invertebrates throughout the scale of eight months in six rivers throughout the northern Adirondacks. Currently the DEC recommendation for sampling is June through September. The findings of this study illustrate that June and July is not an appropriate time for sampling in the northern Adirondacks. The most stable time to sample for aquatic macro-invertebrates, according to the 2013 sampling events is August through October.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2014
File Attachments: Powells_Capstone.docx
Authors: Jason R. Powell

A Management Plan for Black Rhinos (Diceros bicornis) in South Africa

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 21:10
Abstract: The black rhinoceros population has decreased by more than 50% in recent decades. The cause for this has been the severe pressure of poaching for their horns. Asian and middle-eastern countries use rhino horn still today for medicinal and ceremonial purposes. There have been many attempts to protect the black rhino from poaching; however, no continuous plans have been implemented. The goal of this management plan is to create a legal market for the sale of rhino horn. By dealing with this economic issue on a larger scale, we can directly involve the foreign countries who desire rhino horn. This will be more cost effective than trying to track and catch poachers. Legally dehorning rhinos will create an ongoing and sustainable supply of rhino horn. By removing the economic need for poachers, we should see an increase and expansion of black rhino populations across Africa.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2014
File Attachments: black rhino management plan
Authors: Thaddeus E. Mapes

Snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) increase activity below the thermoneutral zone

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 21:43
Abstract: Species store body fat, enter states of torpor or hibernation, and avoid cold temperatures by tunneling beneath snow and creating dens in order to survive winter. Snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) do not employ these strategies. We hypothesized that hare will increase in foraging activity as ambient temperatures drop below their thermoneutral zone (-10°C) in order to fuel the increased metabolic rate associated with low ambient temperatures. Each hare was outfitted with an activity collar to determine when the hare was moving and when the hare was at rest, a stopwatch was used to time the duration of each activity bout, and temperature was taken at 3 points in the hour long observation period. Temperatures were averaged across each observation period and time of observation period was analyzed as hours before and after sunset. A break-point regression analysis determined at which temperature the slope of the line representing activity changed from no slope to a negative slope. A multivariate regression determined, at temperatures below and within the thermoneutral zone which factor, temperature or time of day, affected activity. When ambient temperatures were within hare thermoneutral zone temperature did not affect activity. While hares increased activity below the thermoneutral zone (break-point at -10.4°C, r^2=.6931, P<0.05, slope -132.52). -10.4°C represents a physiological threshold below which metabolic rate increases and hare activity is strongly tied to ambient temperature. The lack of energy-stores and the inefficiency of using movement to generate heat leads us to conclude that the increase in activity is associated with foraging.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2014
File Attachments: Capstone_4-27.docx
Authors: John Neddermeyer

Management Plan to Increase and Protect the Population of Bearded Vultures (Gypaetus barbatus) in the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 22:35
Abstract: Lammergeiers (Gypaetus barbatus) are a long-lived vulture species native to Europe, Asia, and Africa. They were highly persecuted in the 1800s and early 1900s to the point of near extinction. The only population in South Africa is comprised of roughly 500 individuals in the Drakensberg Mountains. Trophy hunting and secondary poisoning using baits imperils this population. They are also being driven further into the mountains because of human population and commercial expansion around the mountains, a growing destination for tourists. Lammergeiers are most vulnerable as chicks. My management goal is to protect and increase the population of lammergeiers living within the Drakensberg Mountains. By rescuing second hatched chicks from the nests and hand raising them before being released as juveniles we will ensure a higher chance of survival for them during their most sensitive life stages. This action coupled with the removal of poisoned baits in their habitat and stricter regulations preventing more bait placement will increase recruitment rates and adult survival. If successful, this plan would show an increase in population density within 5 years of its institution.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2014
File Attachments: Management_FINAL.docx
Authors: Leslie Fortier

Management of Endemic Hawaiian Honeycreepers (Drepanidinae)

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 00:37
Abstract: The islands of Hawaii have been heavily impacted by human use through the clearing of lowland forests, the introduction of mammalian predators and nonnative bird species, ungulates, and avian pox and avian malaria, all causing severe declines in avian species. Due to their isolated evolutionary history honeycreepers (Drepanidinae) had never been exposed to these threats. When introductions took place honeycreepers were hit very hard. Currently of the 31 historically known honeycreeper species 12 are presumed extinct, 15 are federally endangered and only 4 are not listed. My goal is to increase populations of honeycreepers and support sustainable populations into the future. I propose protection of current honeycreeper habitat and reforestation efforts where applicable, and a reduction in feral hog, goat, sheep, rat, mongoose and cat populations, and a reduction in mosquito vectors. To accomplish this I propose an integrative approach to mosquito control utilizing point source reduction and the use of biopesticides, the use of rodenticides to control rat and mongoose populations, trapping programs to reduce feral cats, and the culling of feral ungulates. If action is not taken, honeycreeper extinctions will continue to take place, and one of the greatest examples of life’s ability to diversify will be lost.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2014
File Attachments: Final submission.docx
Authors: John Neddermeyer