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Capstone Projects

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.
Access: Yes
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Major: Biology
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Capstone Report.docx
Authors: Heather Cooner

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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Literary Rights: Off
Major: Biology
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Feral Hog Management Plan
Authors: William Schmieder Jr.

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

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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Literary Rights: Off
Major: Biology
Year: 2013
Authors: Kimberly M. Forrest

The Conservation and Management of Wolverine (Gulo gulo) Populations in Northern Idaho to Help Prevent Human Caused Extirpation from the Contiguous United States

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 11:21
Abstract: Wolverines (Gulo gulo) were once a thriving species in the North Western United States, but large scale trapping and poison programs in the early 1900s lead to the species near extinction. Since then, populations in the United States have been struggling to maintain a strong presence in Idaho. Its current listing as threatened on the Endangered Species Act prohibits hunting and trapping, but more management is needed to sustain populations. Human development and recreation activities have caused wolverines to disperse from its nature range. Using habitat preservation techniques on current and historical wolverine habitat, increase availability and connectivity will improve dispersal. Close relationship with state officials will provide protection regarding land use, recreation, hunting, trapping and harassment. Public education will teach residents ways they can help prevent wolverine populations from further decline. Extensive research and population monitoring are needed due to the currently declining populations and the low fecundity of the species.
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Literary Rights: On
Major: Biology, Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
Authors: Danielle E. Ball

Wellness Spas: A market analysis of the services a wellness spa could offer to middle class community members in a small New England town.

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 21:50
Abstract: Wellness spas, traditionally offered as a high end luxury model, are transitioning into a service available to all classes. There are services, within a certain price bracket, a wellness spa could offer to middle class community members of a small New England town. To be successful though, proprietors will need to better understand what services would be of interest to community members of a town like Keene, New Hampshire. The purpose of this study was to determine what wellness spa services would be of interest to those community members. Community members who qualify were given surveys to determine which services they would be most likely to use. The data was summarized to determine the most successful services according to the participants. This data can help indicate if there is a market in the area, and what the community members would be interested and not interested in.
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Literary Rights: On
Major: Business Management and Entrepreneurial Studies, Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2013
Authors: Danielle Taylor

What Women Want

Sat, 04/20/2013 - 10:50
Abstract: Traveling business women are becoming more popular in the business world and hotel’s need to know how to accommodate them properly. The purpose of this study is to understand how to satisfy traveling business women through the security in a hotel. “What Women Want” is a descriptive quantitative study that seeks to address the question: How does satisfaction relate to the security of a hotel for traveling business women in metropolitan hotels? The data for this research will be collected through a series of questionnaires that will be emailed to alumnae of Paul Smiths College who travel to metropolitan hotels to determine what security features they look for when choosing a hotel. The data from the questionnaires will be used to help metropolitan hotels better satisfy their female business traveler’s expectations through the hotel security to build their customer loyalty.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: What Women Want
Authors: Heather Knox

Gay Marriage Etiquette: A study of the implications of LGBT marriage events for event planners

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 09:55
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to determine if lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) wedding customs are changing the way event planners are planning weddings compared to traditional heterosexual weddings. “Gay Marriage Etiquette” is a qualitative, inductive, comparative analysis that seeks to address the question, “How are LGBT marriage customs going to affect the way event planners plan and set up weddings?” Data will be collected from an online survey distributed to event planners working in gay marriage legal states and the results will determine if event planners feel they are finding they must make changes in the way they prepare weddings of LGBT couples in comparison to the weddings of traditional heterosexual couples. This study will be significant to the event planning industry with the helping to understand how to market to the LGBT demographic.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Town_FinalCapstone.docx
Authors: Britny Town

Destination Attachment: Connecting and Learning in New Orleans

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 11:47
Abstract: Educational experiences have the potential to connect the participant to a destination and its people. Food plays a large part in perception of the destination. Learning about food and actively engaging in its creation can be a unique experience. Destination attachment leads to loyalty and repeat visits. The purpose of this study was to investigate how and to what extent the leisure traveler can develop destination attachment in result of participating in educational cooking experiences at a specific destination. This qualitative, inductive relationship study explored how and to what extent offering cultural cooking classes to the leisure traveler at a destination relates to destination attachment. Data was collected through an online survey distributed to class participants. Opinions about the educational cooking experience were collected and analyzed to gauge if the cooking experience had any effect on destination attachment. Destination institutions will be interested in this data if they are looking into offering cultural educational cooking experiences.
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Literary Rights: On
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Elise Wallner

Women Baby Boomers and Hospitality Marketing of Resorts: A study of the hospitality industry marketing resorts to women of the baby boomer generation

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 11:53
Abstract: With baby boomer women surfacing as a consumer powerhouse, it is important for resorts to successfully market to them. Hospitality marketers need to know what aspects of marketing of resorts appeal to women of the baby boomer generation to gain this demographic. The purpose of this qualitative, deductive, descriptive study is to determine what aspects of hospitality marketing of resorts appeal to women of the baby boomer generation. The marketing world has changed drastically due to aspects like social media. A survey of the literature will assess the importance of this market segments and the range of marketing techniques that can be used to influence them. By conducting interviews with marketing professionals, it will be shown what marketing tactics are currently being used to connect with women of the baby boomer generation. This will allow other marketing professionals to use these tactics to gain the enormous spending power of baby boomer women.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2013
Authors: Elizabeth Salamendra