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Capstone Projects

Determining Habitat Suitability for Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus) in Five Forest Harvest Method Plots on the Paul Smith’s Visitors Interpretation Center Land to Promote Long Term Suitable Habitat.

Sun, 04/28/2013 - 11:42
Abstract: Ruffed grouse (Bonansa umbellus) populations are in a steady decline due to the loss of early successional forests. Our study focused on the suitability of ruffed grouse habitat which is considered an area with adequate food and cover in. We used a habitat suitability index designed for ruffed grouse in Colorado that included average height of woody stems, percent conifers, density of mature yellow birch, and total equivalent stem density as the variables that indicate whether an area has suitable cover and food for ruffed grouse. Using the habitat suitability index we measured the vegetation in five forest harvest methods including: single tree selection, two-age cut, shelter-wood cut, clear-cut, and a control plot to determine if a habitat suitability index developed in Colorado can be used to assess habitat suitability for ruffed grouse in New York. These plots are located in the Adirondacks in Northern New York State at the Paul Smith’s College Visitors Interpretation Center (VIC). Our results suggested that 14 years after harvest a single tree selection harvest method has the highest overall habitat suitability (0.95) for ruffed grouse. This is different from other studies we found that indicated clear-cut was the most suitable forest harvest method for ruffed grouse. We also projected the change in habitat suitability for height of woody stems over time for the clear-cut based on the yearly growth rate of 0.656 feet. Based on our findings from the study we made recommendations to land owners and land managers to develop and promote short term and long term suitable habitat for ruffed grouse. These recommendations included using a variety of forestry practices that included: single tree selection, shelterwood, and clear-cut because ruffed grouse require a variety of different cover types and habitat over their lifetime.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science, Forestry
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Final_Draft.doc
Authors: Jeremy Anna, Jake Baulch

Draft Horse Sustainability Presentations: The effectiveness of presentations on draft animal power at the Adirondack Rural Skills and Homesteading Festival

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 12:53
Abstract: Paul Smith’s College has been putting on draft horse presentations for the public for many years but until now it was unknown how effective these were in education of the audience in topics of the interest. During the 2013 Adirondack Rural Skills and Homesteading Festival, a series of demonstrations and presentations were conducted for the public. Surveys of those in attendance have now given us information on how far people are traveling, what their prior experience is, what they want to learn, and how they want to learn it. From this information we wish to gauge attendees’ response to draft animals and their uses.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Forestry, Natural Resources Management and Policy, Recreations, Adventure Travel and Ecotourism
Year: 2013
Authors: Alexandria Barner, Jacob Shultz

Current State of the Black Ash Stand on Heaven Hill

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 01:06
Abstract: This study was conducted to assess the health and current state of the rare black ash (Fraxinus nigra) tree species on Heaven Hill property located in Lake Placid, New York. Little is known about black ash trees ecologically, it is mainly known solely for its cultural significance in basket making by the indigenous. Therefore, to learn more about the intricacies of black ash twenty fixed area plots were used to characterize the overstory in the 4 acre black ash stand. Diameter at Breast Height (DBH), crown class, crown condition, bark depth, and basket quality were measured. One black ash tree and one tree of another species were cored in each plot to analyze annual growth rings. Age of black ash trees was derived from the rings along with average ring growth per decade. Using the computer program, NED-2, basal area per acre (sq. ft) and stems per acre were calculated for the black stand. There was found to be a drop in stems per acre and basal area per acre after the seven inch diameter is met. Poor crown condition was found to be very low in black ash trees and even lower with an increase in DBH; 0% of the black ash trees between 11.5” and 17.5” DBH had Poor crown condition. Basket quality was assessed for each black ash tree and was based solely on physical features observed in the field. Basket quality for the stand was nine percent which represents the range in DBH classes from 5” to 15”. Only sixteen black ash trees were found to be potential basket quality trees.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Forestry
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Black_Ash.docx
Authors: Alexis Bancroft

Developing a Log Rule for Portable Sawmill Operators in Vermont

Fri, 04/26/2013 - 10:30
Abstract: Since the beginning of the 19th century, American lumbermen have been vexed by one of the unique questions of their trade; how do you estimate the yield of squared lumber to be cut from a round log? Since 1825, answers to this question have come in the form of log rules; a table or formula that estimates the yield of logs. These tables are in no way universal, and in some cases are crudely inaccurate. The shortcomings of these log rules have manifest differently in the various geographic locales and industry sectors where they are used. This study sought to identify such shortcomings as they pertain to a specific group of lumbermen; portable sawmill operators. These sawyers utilize modern bandsaw technology and have unique business practices, yet they estimate outputs based on century old log rules created for traditional sawmills. Through the use of semi-structured open ended interviews, technical and socioeconomic information was gathered from 7 sawyers in Vermont. Among other concerns, five of the sawyers expressed the need for a better way to estimate log yield. Based on their collective suggestions and technical approaches, a new log rule was created here to address sawyers’ needs.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Forestry
Year: 2013
File Attachments: CAPSTONE_HAIGH.pdf
Authors: Ben Haigh

Ritz-Carlton and the Campus Visit Experience

Wed, 12/04/2013 - 22:48
Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore to what extent the transfer of service from Ritz Carlton practices and the Hospitality Guest Cycle can be intergraded into higher education enrollment procedures, specifically the campus visit using Paul Smith’s College as a model. Research from this study can contribute support to transfer of service methods for similar higher education enrollment institutions by way of increasing student engagement throughout the experience. Methodology will include creating a rubric designed to break down the campus tour process into the four groups of the Guest Cycle that will compare with Ritz Carlton guidelines to observe performance levels followed by an analysis and further recommendations to Paul Smith’s College. A goal is to be able to clearly identify gaps in the campus visit procedures to allow for growth and new procedures to be put in place that positively reflect Ritz Carlton service standards and the Hospitality Guest Cycle. Information gathered in a rubric encompassing the Ritz Carlton Standards and the Hospitality Guest Cycle could be used by other small rural private colleges as a design for improvement.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2013
Authors: Siobhan Shea

Music Festival Management

Wed, 12/04/2013 - 21:59
Abstract: Abstract The purpose of this exploratory study is to determine the management skill set required for individuals seeking executive level management positions within the music festival industry. This study is being performed because of a lack of information specific to the music festival industry regarding important skill sets required to reach the executive level. A survey will be conducted with top level management in the music festival industry in order to determine which skills were most supportive in obtaining their top level positions. The specific management skills needed for the top level positions will be a combination of the opinion and personal experience of top level executives in the music festival industry. This study is applicable for individuals seeking to develop and refine the skills required in order to achieve an executive level position within the music festival industry.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Music Festival Management
Authors: Kristen Morse

TripAdvisor reviews as an indicator of Relais and Chateaux experience fulfillment

Wed, 12/04/2013 - 17:08
Abstract: Social media can influence positive and negative customer expectations. The purpose of this inductive, qualitative, relational study is to determine how and if top-rated TripAdvisor reviewers should be given merit for their input, and why others care, compared to industry standards of a Relais and Chateaux rated experience in northeast destinations. A content analysis of TripAdvisor and the hotel sites will be studied to see if the responses represent Relais & Chateaux standard experiences or an un-realistic response. Customer responses, company history, its location, amenity information, mission statement, price of lodging will be indirectly observed and compared to Relais and Chateaux standards. This study can be of use to determine the effectiveness of ordinary guests, not industry experts, ability to judge an experience based on what a hotel stands for in a positive or negative manor to its ability to deliver a type of experience and their meet customers’ expectations.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Social Madness
Authors: Brandon May

Rosemary Aroma: A study on the effect of rosemary aroma in stimulating alertness, improving concentration and increasing productivity in groups of people working in conference rooms.

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 21:46
Abstract: Rosemary aromatherapy has been found to positively affect the concentration and productivity when used on the individual scale. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of rosemary aroma on the groups scale, whereas, people worked together to accomplish brainstorming activities. In this group study, data was collected and quantified using a deductive (theory) approach. The study allowed a group of people to use the rosemary aromatherapy scent to stimulate alertness, improve concentration and increase productivity when working on the brainstorming activities. The group will be exposed to the aromas and give feedback on the effects. Using a general questionnaire each individual has elaborated on their opinions, feelings, emotions and memories of the experience. The data reveals how effective the aromatherapy was on enhancing the group’s ability to accomplish the tasks. The results of this study may further be developed into an offered amenity that conference centers can provide to potential guests.  
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: CAPSTONE.docx
Authors: Brianna Bentley

To Food Truck or Not: A Study of how effective it is to have a food truck as brand extension to create customer loyalty.

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 20:44
Abstract: Brick and mortar restaurant locations are opening food trucks to create a larger customer loyalty. When a customer visits a food truck and enjoys the food they are more likely to not only return to the truck, but also visit the brick and mortar location. The purpose of this quantitative study is to determine the effectiveness of having a food truck as a brand extension of a brick and mortar restaurant, to create customer loyalty. A semi-structured survey was designed to measure and compare customer perceptions of Lakeview Deli in Saranac Lake, NY having a food truck. The data that is collected will show if customers who go to Lakeview Deli are more likely to go to a food truck brand extension. The outcome of this study can be used by the owners of Lakeview Deli to determine if they would like to open a food truck to increase their customer loyalty. It can also be used by restaurant owners seeking to increase their customer loyalty. Current restaurant owners and current food truck owners will be able to see if having a brand extension food truck creates a stronger customer loyalty to the brand.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: CAPSTONE.doc
Authors: Chelsea Brodhead

A study of: The St. Lawrence and Franklin County Residents' perceptions of the economic impact of the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino on their region

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 20:34
Abstract: The results of the 2009 Taylor Study of the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino found that this tribal gaming establishment had positive economic impact on the St. Regis Mohawk Nation and the North Country counties of St. Lawrence and Franklin. This qualitative study will revisit the findings and seek to discover if the perception of the residents is as positive as the numbers assume. The purpose of this study is to determine how and to what extent the public perception compares to the findings of the 2009 Jonathan Taylor Study of the Economic Impact of the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino. This descriptive qualitative study will be conducted through surveys and semi-structured interviews. The residents’ responses to the surveys and interviews will reveal their perceptions and experiences of the economic benefits. The data will be coded using the Grounded Theory Method to find patterns in responses and perceptions. This information could also be valuable to the county governments to determine if they are informing these North Country residents of the contributions from the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino to their county budget.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Newman_FinalCapstone.doc
Authors: Molly Newman