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Capstone Projects

No Known Antidote: Quantification of a deadly toxin, tetrodotoxin, in red efts (Notopthalamus viridescens; Rafinesgue, 1820)

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 17:42
Abstract: Tetrodotoxin (TTX) in found in taxa worldwide including the eft life stage of the eastern newt (Notopthalamus virisdescens). Previous studies have shown that there is variability of TTX concentrations within efts and newts, and it is not known if the presence of TTX in these efts is common among populations. Our objective was to determine the distribution of TTX within the body N. viridescens efts. We hypothesized that the skin would have the highest concentrations of TTX as it is the area of the body that will likely come into contact with a predator. If certain regions of the skin come into contact with a predator more often than others, there may be significant differences in the dorsal, abdominal and pectoral regions of skin. Further, we hypothesized that the ova would have the second highest concentration of TTX as they are vital to reproduction yet vulnerable to predation. Through HPLC analysis we determined the concentrations of TTX within different tissues of N. viridescens efts including the: dorsal, pectoral, and abdominal skin; ovaries; testes; liver; pancreas; and alimentary canal. The concentrations of TTX between the different tissue types are not significantly different, nor were individuals significantly different in concentration of TTX from one another. Toxicity levels were high in comparison to other N. viridescens efts and more similar to the toxicity of highly toxic Taricha newts. The high toxicity of N. viridescens could be contributed to strong predation pressure by the slightly resistant garter snake (Thamnopsis sirtalis) and eastern hognose snake (Heterodon platirhinos).
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Major: Biology
Year: 2013
Authors: Kimberly M. Forrest

Compaction of Hiking Trails Located in the Northeastern Area of the Adirondack State Park, New York

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 12:19
Abstract: With continued increases in outdoor recreation in the United States, the physical impact of that use needs to be monitored for its effects. The purpose of this study was to explore whether a relationship exists between traffic numbers and soil strength of trails in the High Peaks Region of New York’s Adirondack state park. Soil strength was used as a measure of compaction because of its ability to indicate certain aspects of soil physical properties like bulk density, and hydrological condition (Mirreh & Ketcheson,1972), which are also soil physical properties that are effected by compaction (Hanna & Al-Kaisi,2009). These physical properties are important factors which influence a soils ability to carry out its biotic and abiotic processes (Kozlowski,1999). Initially the relationship between average soil strength of trails and traffic was insignificant. Upon further analyzing the data we found a significant relationship between on-trail and off-trail soil strength and used this relationship to create on-trail residual soil strengths. This was done to remove the influence that off-trail soil strength was having on the traffic vs. soil strength relationship. With the on/off-trail relationship influence removed, the relationship between on-trail residual soil strength and traffic was significantly improved. Literature discussed showed how the soil strengths collected could be used to infer possible effects on the sites tested. Relations between soil strength and bulk density, root elongation, root penetration, and trail recovery were all reviewed to provide insight on the quality of the soil at sample sites.
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Major: Biology
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Karl Van Osch

New York State Feral Hog (Sus scrofa) Management Plan: Species Eradication and Public Education

Thu, 04/25/2013 - 11:22
Abstract: Feral hogs, also referred to as feral swine, Eurasian or Russian wild boar, and wild pigs, are the same species Sus scofa. They are an aggressive invasive species introduced to the United States in the 1500s and have spread over most of the country in the last few decades (Gipson et al. 1998). Due to their unique life history feral hogs are a persevering ungulate species capable of causing extensive economical and ecological damage while causing a threat to human health and safety. They are considered one of the world’s worst invasive species (Lowe et al. 2000). Extinction of native species and loss of biodiversity due to this widely invasive species has been documented worldwide (Wolf and Conover 2003). This management plan describes the life history of feral hogs, the need for management in New York State, several action plans to address the need for management, and assessment protocol for each action plan. Also included in this plan is a grant request to fund the educational objectives in order to achieve more awareness and cooperation with the public, promoting higher probability of management success.
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Major: Biology
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Feral Hog Management Plan
Authors: William Schmieder Jr.

Tardigrade Abundance in Green Shield Lichens on Different Tree Species

Wed, 04/24/2013 - 18:43
Abstract: Many studies have been done on tardigrades, a microscopic, aquatic organism that feeds on plant cell fluid, bacteria, algae, protozoa, and other small invertebrates. Most of these studies have addressed their ability to survive extreme environments and not their preferred living habitats. Virtually no studies have been done investigating the ecology of tardigrades. This study focuses on which species of tardigrade live on a species of lichen (Common Greenshield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata) found on three species of trees; Red Maple (Acer rubrum), Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), and White Pine (Pinus strobus). Five trees of each species were chosen and five samples of the Common Greenshield Lichen were taken from all 25 trees during each of the fall and winter seasons. From every lichen sample processed, five slides were looked at, each containing two drops of the water that the lichen was suspended in for 2 hours. The samples were looked at underneath a compound microscope and a dichotomous key was used to identify tardigrades that were found. Due to the fact that liquid water is less available in winter, samples were taken during the fall and winter to look at the differences in species diversity and abundance. The greatest abundance of tardigrades was found on Red Maple, during both fall and winter. Black Cherry had the lowest abundance of tardigrades during both fall and winter. White Pine had an abundance less than that of Red Maple but greater than that of the Black Cherry. There were more tardigrades found on the lichen in fall than in winter. This implies that they find Red Maple a more suitable habitat than the Black Cherry and White Pine, may be related to acidity of the Black Cherry and White Pine being greater than that of Red Maple. Throughfall and stemflow on the trees may also contribute to habitat preference of the tardigrades.
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Literary Rights: Off
Major: Biology
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Capstone Report.docx
Authors: Heather Cooner

A study of exclusive gluten-free catering

Mon, 12/09/2013 - 16:28
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to find out if it will be feasible for people without celiac disease to eat gluten-free food in a catering environment. This is a quantitative study that will show if non-celiac people are interested in eating gluten-free food. This research will be explored through experimental evaluation. The activities will involve a dinner that serves two different groups a gluten-free option and non-gluten free without telling the guest which dish is which. They will be asked to decide which food taste best and why. The data will be analyzed by a blind taste test. The finds will be represented by graphs and charts. The results of this study will help other researchers that want to know if people enjoy gluten-free food or not.
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Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
Authors: Ashena Molborn

Grass fed vs Grain fed

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 22:37
Abstract: The two beef products that are being tested in this study are grass fed and corn fed beef, two different ways of raising cattle. The grass fed beef is fed only grass through its entire life up until slaughtering, and corn fed beef is fed grass in the early stages of development and then fed organic grain products in order to fatten up the cows. .The purpose of the study is to find out if there is a flavor difference between grass fed beef and corn fed beef. So to gather the information for the study a blind taste test would be administered with a questionnaire. In which the questionnaire will ask if the beef products had a difference in flavor and if so to describe it. This significance of this study is to determine if there is a flavor difference between the two beef products on a professional level.
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Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
Authors: Brian tucker

Healthy Fast Food Options

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 20:37
Abstract: Fast food started in America in 1912 serving only hamburgers, French fries, and soda in one size. Fast food has now expanded into even more food items; 5 different burgers, endless toppings, and even bigger portions. While there is a health food trend in our midst, fast food restaurants have not been keeping up with this trend. The purpose of this study is to find the consensus on the idea of healthy fast food options. To find this answer a method involving a taste testing of a healthy fast food option will be given. After the tasting a scorecard will be filled out. This research will have potential significance to fast food restaurants and their consumers. Fast food establishments can find ways to change their menu to suit the needs of their customers who consume the most. Consumers will see that there are more options that can be made besides the usual fast food burger. This research will be a descriptive study; it will describe the consensus on the idea of healthy fast food options. The research location will be at Paul Smith’s College.
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Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
Authors: Deanna Judson

A Study of: Maple

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 14:12
Abstract: Maple is truly an ingredient that stands alone. There are many versatile products in the world; however maple truly has no boundaries. When thinking of maple, one tends to only think of it as a topping. Drizzling on top of pancakes or French toast is one of maples most popular uses. So many more culinary adventures are taking place with maple. It’s almost become old news that not only can maple be used in all sweet inventions. Savory dishes have started to crop up with the presence of maple. Essentially maple has already been used every which way and over again.
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Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
Authors: Nathaniel J Tiedemann

Local Market Eats

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 09:51
Abstract: The push for local food and knowledge on where food comes from has greatly shaped the restaurant industry. Local products have the potential to provide the restaurant and its community with many benefits. The purpose of this capstone is to discover the easy ability to shape an entire menu with what is available at one’s local market and to see if customer’s appreciate the local food, see more value in the plate knowing the food is local, and asking generally how much they would pay for a tasting plate
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Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
Authors: Joshua J BUchanen

Sous Vide Cooking

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 08:49
Abstract: In the present time, Chefs in restaurants that serve all types of cuisines are looking for different and new ways to manipulate flavors and textures. Some Chefs have found that the sous vide cooking technique is a great way to do just that. Most cuisines are fairly easy to change for the better, but Italian is more difficult since the dishes are typically the same in every Italian restaurant. The purpose of this qualitative, exploratory study is to determine how the sous vide cooking technique can be used in high end Italian cuisine to make the flavors superior to traditional ways of cooking. Data will be collected through a taste testing with product evaluation sheets. The evaluations collected will be thoroughly analyzed to determine which way of cooking is preferred by the culinary and baking students, and also the Chefs at Paul Smith’s College. The result of this study will give Chefs that are cooking Italian cuisine a new way to manipulate the flavors and textures for the better.
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Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Sabrina Tessitore