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Capstone Projects

Renewable Energy: How it Affects Customer Loyalty

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 19:03
Abstract: Sustainability is a movement which involves many businesses adopting practices such as the use of renewable energy to create a move positive impact on their community, bottom line, and the planet. Due to a growing awareness of this recent movement; it is currently unknown if the use of renewable energy within a company has an effect on customer loyalty. The purpose of this study is to determine how and to what extent the use of renewable energy affects customer loyalty of ski resorts in Northeast America. This study is co-alignment analysis based on an inductive theory that seeks to discover how and to what extent renewable energy implementation affects the customer loyalty of guests at ski resorts in the Northeast. Data was collected through site visits and surveys and was analyzed to find a possible trend between customer loyalty and the use of renewable energy. If the use of renewable energy creates increased customer loyalty then ski resorts as well as other hospitality establishments and businesses would be more apt to adopt sustainable business practices. This study also lends itself to further research as far as the co-alignment between businesses in other industries as well as other sustainability initiatives.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2013
Authors: Colby J. Russell

Efficiency of Purchasing Practices

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 19:41
Abstract: Group purchasing is a process that small and large businesses use to purchase inventory. Small independent restaurants need larger inventory orders in order to compete with the purchasing leverage that cooperatives have. The purpose of the study is to determine the efficiency of current purchasing practices of small independent restaurant in comparison to cooperative purchasing practices for restaurants in Watertown, New York. The research provides a blend of qualitative semi-structured interviews and observations that focus on the attitudes and behaviors and a quantitative analysis of inventory lists of each business studied. Inventory analysis of each business will be pooled to formulate what products are purchased the most. Observations made from the semi- structured interviews will allow for a comparison of when products are purchased, what day of the week, and what supplier is favored. Contrasting the results of the study will allow for the researcher and businesses to identify more efficient purchasing efforts.
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Literary Rights: On
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2013
Authors: Meghan Sboro

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

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.
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Literary Rights: On
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: CAPSTONE.doc
Authors: Chelsea Brodhead

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

Effects of Food Plots on (1) White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Movement, (2) Antler Growth and (3) Potential Use by Other Wildlife on a Private 173 Acres in Davenport, NY

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 11:23
Abstract: In Davenport, New York, a 172.9 acre property is planning to undergo changes to suit a white-tailed deer management plan. This plan involves implementing four food plots of 4.25 acres, providing a year-long source of quality forage for the local deer herd, after initially clear-cutting 17 acres of forested land in spring 2012. Goals of food plot establishment are to supplement the value of the land as a hunting lease, increase viewing opportunities of deer, increase antler growth among bucks in the local deer herd, and to adequately supplement the diet of the local deer herd. This study focuses on the effects on (1) movement and (2) antler growth of white-tailed deer after the implementation of food plots on a forested property. Another component is the (3) potential for utilization of these food plots by other species of wildlife. Movement of deer will be assessed based on scat count, track count, and images of observed movement via trail cameras on travel routes. Deviation will be recorded from established travel routes, to new travel routes once the food plots have been implemented. The plot containing white clover showed the highest level of utility post-planting, followed by chicory, alfalfa and turnips.
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Literary Rights: Off
Major: Natural Resources Management and Policy
Year: 2013
Authors: Nicholas K. Zemlachenko

The role of terrestrial leaf litter inputs on drift of aquatic invertebrate shredders

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 13:34
Abstract: This study examined the effect of food availability on active drift entry of aquatic invertebrates by comparing drift density at low and high levels of terrestrial leaf litter input in Alder Brook. An emphasis was placed on the proportion of shredders collected during each sampling, who rely most on coarse particulate organic matter as a food source. In order to quantify food available in the stream channel, leaf packs were collected along three transects and weighed to determine dry biomass per stream area. Invertebrate drift samples were collected at high (leaf abscission) and low levels (late summer) of food abundance using three surber nets spaced evenly across the stream channel. Samples were taken at 3-hr intervals over a 24-hr sampling period. Out of eight sampling periods, drift density at low litter input was found to be greatest just after sunset and through the evening hours. Drift densities were significantly higher during 2 sampling periods and numerically higher for an additional 4 sampling periods. Shredders did not comprise the greatest proportion of the drift at low litter input, only accounting for 0.4% of total drifting invertebrates. The proportion of shredders increased to 36.2% at high litter input.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Natural Resources Management and Policy
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Final_Manuscript_Simek.docx
Authors: Zachary Simek

A COPAR Report of Ethnographic Inquiry Addressing Issues of Water Availability and Hygiene Mathare Valley, Nairobi, Kenya

Wed, 04/24/2013 - 21:30
Abstract: I conducted a cyclical ethnographic inquiry in the Mathare Valley informal settlement of Nairobi, Kenya, during the months of May and June 2012. My question was: How do Mathare residents interact with and access water and what are the technological and environmental restrictions limiting or preventing adequate water supply? The goal of this study was to create environmental and social change by improving access to water for consumption and bathing. As both a researcher and technical advisor, I adopted and used Community Oriented Participatory Action Research (COPAR). This research approach required my immersion into the Kenyan culture where I lived, ate and slept in the informal settlement of Mathare Valley, interviewing a total of 49 families on communal issues of water and hygiene. While in Mathare, I recorded quantitative and qualitative data comparing wet and dry seasons; distance to water sources; amount of water used; cost of water; and prevalence of disease (represented by potability) as well as issues regarding the Nairobi City Council, communal water availability, and hygienic conditions. A potential solution to water conservation and hygiene was construction of a bucket shower (several liter metal bucket with handle and valve to control water flow) to conserve bathing water reducing overall consumption. Through analysis of seven major, quantitatively and qualitatively determined themes, this paper presents anecdotal evidence in the context of empirical data through temporal revelation of thematic constraints. I found that during the dry season: family members in Mathare travel significantly farther to gather water, spending more money while consuming less water presenting complex issues among livelihoods within an informal settlement environment.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Natural Resources Management and Policy
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Anderson_Ian_Capstone.docx
Authors: Ian Anderson

Remote Sensing for Forest Change Detection in Afghanistan

Fri, 04/26/2013 - 08:41
Abstract: Abstract: Afghanistan’s forests are one of the country’s most important natural resources. Afghanistan has faced conflicts that have plagued the country for more than 25 years and resulted in rapid deforestation and environmental despoliation. Forested lands need to be preserved in order for Afghanistan to revamp social and economic livelihoods and control the environmental degradation. This study will analyze Landsat satellite imagery using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and ERDAS DeltaCue change detection software to assess forest deviations in Afghanistan between 1998 and 2010. Areas in Nangarhar Province identified significant change in vegetation cover in terms of both deforestation and reforestation. Deforestation occurred more frequently around the city edges of Jalalabad, whereas reforestation occurred farther from settlements. The Tasseled Cap process produced a final output change detection layer which represented the combined detection of all significant change between the three images. Determining where deforestation is occurring through Remote Sensing is a critical first step towards rehabilitating Afghanistan’s forest productivity.
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Literary Rights: On
Major: Natural Resources Management and Policy
Year: 2013
Authors: David Lattuca

A MULTI-SCALE EVALUATION OF THE EFFECTS OF FOREST HARVESTING FOR WOODY BIOFUELS ON MAMMALIAN COMMUNITIES IN A NORTHERN HARDWOOD FOREST

Fri, 02/01/2013 - 16:19
Abstract: Forest harvesting and subsequent effects on forest structure have been shown to influence mammalian community assemblages and the abundance of individual species, however less attention has been paid to the implications of how harvested timber is used. This is particularly relevant in the Northern Forest, where a considerable portion of the forest harvesting is used to produce biofuels. Biofuels harvesting typically involves the process of whole-tree chipping which may lead to a dramatic reduction in the amount of woody material in the form of slash and coarse woody debris (CWD) left in harvested stands. The goal of our study was to assess the effects of biofuels harvesting on forest structure and subsequent effects on mammalian community structure and abundance. To address this goal, we focused on a ~35 Ha area of partially-harvested northern hardwood forest in the northern Adirondacks, New York. To sample mammals we used a combination of Sherman traps and track plates established at two scales across stands within this area. Our results showed that the response of small mammals to changes in forest structure is both species and scale specific. At the individual trap scale, CWD, slash, and understory cover were important drivers of the occurrence of individual species of small mammals. At the larger “grid” scale, small mammal relative abundance was driven by canopy cover and the density of woody stems. Our results indicate that the current harvesting practices used for biofuel production in the Adirondacks are unlikely to result in declines in abundance of common small mammal species. However, the retention of some slash post-harvest may be beneficial to some species, thus foresters may want to include slash retention when developing silvicultural prescriptions.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Environmental Sciences, Fisheries and Wildlife Science, Natural Resources Management and Policy
Year: 2012
Authors: Cody Laxton, Alisha Benack, Danielle Ball, Scott Collins, Sam Forlenza, Richard Franke, Stephanie Korzec, Alec Judge, Connor Langevin, Jonathan Vimislik, Elena Zito