After logging in with the login link in the top right, click here to upload your Capstone

Capstone Projects

Alpine Ecosystems on Ski Area Summits in the Northeast: A Best Management Practices Manual

Mon, 12/01/2014 - 15:19
Abstract: Over the past half a century, anthropogenic climate change has triggered temperatures in the northeastern United States to rise. This increase has led to decreased winter precipitation and a longer annual growing season. Species found in upland/montane habitats on the southern edge of their range limits are particularly threatened by these changes. Warmer temperatures have allowed larger woody plants to advance up mountain slopes, entering the habitat of these fragile species. In the next decade, we will witness a complete disappearance of alpine flora from several locations across the northeast including Whiteface in New York, Sugarloaf in Maine and Mount Mansfield in Vermont. Managers of ski resorts can therefore play an important role in promoting the continued persistence of high-altitude flora and fauna through carefully considered management decisions can also serve to promote the reputation of the ski industry as stewards of mountaintop ecosystems. Doing so will allow for continued study of the species that exist within these communities, the protection of biodiversity, and increased revenue for the resort itself through elevated public image and mountain-top tourism. To help begin these conservation efforts, we have created a best management practice (BMP) manual to guide ski area managers in making these developments. It includes techniques for sustainable slope, soil, vegetation and wildlife management, erosion control, artificial snow production, and ski slope construction and design. Also included are marketing techniques and an overview of the economic viability of the practices outlined in this manual.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Forestry, Natural Resources Management and Policy
Year: 2014
Authors: Pali Gelsomini, Dylan Randall

Possible Limiting Soil Macro-Nutrients of Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) Growth in an Adirondack Hardwood Stand

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 08:46
Abstract: Sugar maple (Acer Saccharum) has been in decline for the past few decades. Several studies have been done throughout parts of Canada and New England to determine what is limiting sugar maple growth. By mimicking one of these studies, I conducted a fertility study to show correlations between soil fertility and three different measures of tree growth. I selected 40 dominant sugar maple trees in a hardwood stand in the Adirondack Park in northern New York to sample. I collected two increment cores from each tree, measured the DBH and calculated basal area at each tree. I also collected mineral soil from the base of each tree that was sampled and tested its chemical properties and macronutrients that are most related to growth. I found weaker correlations between soil fertility and growth than my parent study had found. This may be because I didn’t have enough variation in my samples, measured growth or fertility in a way that wasn’t the most accurate, soil characteristics may not be limiting, or some soil characteristics may be co-limiting growth.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Natural Resources Management and Policy
Year: 2014
File Attachments: Capstone Report
Authors: Kevin Kenealy

Challenges Associated with Conservation Easements In the Adirondack Park and Recommendations for Improving the Process

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 13:11
Abstract: With conservation easements only becoming popular in the past 40 years, they are at the developmental stage where weaknesses start to become apparent as land starts to change hands from one generation to the next. It is important to find and correct these barriers to ensure these same problems do not occur in the next 40 years. My focus was performing research within the Adirondack State Park of New York. I utilized Semi-Structured Interviews (SSI) along with SSI guides to collect my data while using a sampling technique referred to as a snowball sampling approach. I interviewed two different categories of conservation easement personal. 1. Land owner/manager with conservation easement on property 2.Agency Workers from The Nature Conservancy and the New York State Department of Environmental. I then used emergent themes to reveal the discrepancies or weaknesses in current conservation easements along with their common strengths. From there I used (S.W.O.T) Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis to provide recommendations for policy revising.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Natural Resources Management and Policy
Year: 2014
File Attachments: Capstone Final Draft.docx
Authors: Timothy Kempf

Python Scripting an ArcGIS Add-in for Wildlife Telemetry Data Processing

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 15:46
Abstract: There are currently no modern open source alternatives to commercial radio telemetry processing software. I developed a python add-in for ArcGIS which allows for interactive editing of telemetry data. The add-in was tested for functionality, accuracy and usability. Functionality was tested according to how closely it adhered to the original software requirements specification. Accuracy was tested by generating telemetry data from known animal locations and comparing the estimated locations to the actual locations. Usability was tested through speak aloud user tests. User data was collected on completion status, time of completion, and number usability issues found. The intended functionality goals were met and exceeded. Accuracy was less than expected with an average inaccuracy distance of 202 meters and approximately 10% of the bearing groups were unable to generate a centroid. During user testing, a total of 33 usability issues were discovered that hindered use of the software and on average it took a student 18 minutes to process one data set without prior exposure to the add-in. Qualitative observations from the user tests could be a launching point for GIS usability studies. In addition, the core modules could be modified and expanded into a separate application with dependency on Quantum-GIS or Geographic Analysis Support System (GRASS).
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Natural Resources Management and Policy
Year: 2014
File Attachments: Kacir_2014.docx
Authors: Robert Kacir

Is Green Construction Economically Feasible

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 14:12
Abstract: Green construction is a valuable part of our developing world. Building green will help reduce the negative effects of pollution in our atmosphere. It will also help reduce electrical uses throughout the household and allow you to have a reduction in costs to paying electrical bills. Too many, this process is considered to be expensive to build this way. Products that green homes are made of are considered to be expensive. The materials for energy production are also considered expensive. Too address this, a survey was conducted to see the views of individuals and what they believe it costs to have a green home. The survey also asked if people would consider having a green home if they had the option. It is proven having a green home will reduce the costs of a home eventually leading to paying nothing for maintaining a house called a payback period. To build green will mean to pay less over time and maybe eventually lead to getting paid. There are also many government incentives for building green. The government can invest in this building so you may afford a green building. It is well advised to be educated in all aspects of building green such as the tax incentives, payback periods, environmental effects, and how to approach this.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Natural Resources Management and Policy
Year: 2014
File Attachments: final Capstone Draft.docx
Authors: Daniel Hourihan, Zachary Mein

The effects of plate size on the consumer’s perception of being full.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 07:59
Abstract: Currently, there has been a drastic change in the amount people eat. With the introduction of fast food restaurants catering to people’s quick lifestyles, much of portion size has been distorted and this is known as portion distortion. Along with increasing portion sizes, there has also been an increase in plate size (Wasink, 2007). However, it is not known how and to what extent the size of the plate affects or influences the consumer’s perception of being full. The purpose of this descriptive study is to determine how and to what extent the size of a plate affects or influences the consumer’s perception of being full. Data will be collected through the use of observation. The menu will consist of a five day cycle menu. The venue that this research will be collected in is at the Ganzi lab in Cantwell on Paul Smith’s College campus. The tasting will be of one menu item off of the cycle menu and served to a small group of Paul Smith’s College students and faculty. The results collected will be collected through scorecards and then be analyzed to determine how and to what extent plate size effects or influences the consumer’s perception of being full. This is significant in the culinary industry because this increase in plate size has the potential influence on an increase in consumer’s portion size.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: FINAL CAPSTONE.docx
Authors: Iris Lioy

Family Restaurants offering Healthier choices

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 08:15
Abstract: The purpose of the study is determined what small restaurants or their equivalent can do to have a healthier menu. To achieve this study I will do surveys and tasting to gather basic info about what foods people will order from family style restaurants if given a healthier choice. The info will be used in making of the tasting meal for about 8-10 people. This study will not be about counting nutritional info. The info will be important to family restaurants or their equivalent because people are looking for more healthy options for them self’s and their families and it can help them with the making of a new menu. The study over all will answer if can take regular family restaurant style menu items and make them healthier versions that people will enjoy.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Capstone edited.doc
Authors: Ellis Snipes

Molecular cooking

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 08:25
Abstract: Molecular cooking is a style of cooking that uses new ingredients and scientific tools and methods in order to produce a different or better quality product. Many famous chefs have been inspired by this new style. The purpose of this study is to determine whether or not foods which are prepared using molecular cooking techniques are acceptable alternatives to foods which are prepared using traditional cooking techniques found in most restaurants. In order to determine this, participants in the study were given two plates of food cooked using molecular cooking techniques. The participants were also given score cards to rate different aspects of the food including taste, texture and flavor. The scorecards were then analyzed and used to determine whether or not this style of cooking was indeed an acceptable alternative.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: capstone portfolio.docx
Authors: Ryan Babcock

Getting Kids to Eat Healthy by the Use of Color

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 08:36
Abstract: Understanding what natural colors of food fourth grade children prefer and by doing this School Food Service Directors can better encourage their students to eat healthier. It’s not completely understood what natural colors children prefer to see in their school lunches. By understanding what natural colors of food that they prefer school Food Service Directors can use this information to encourage students in healthier eating habits in their schools. The purpose of this study is to determine how and to what extent colors and plating designs elements affects the eating habits of children. This quantitative exploratory study will seek to find what natural colors preteen children prefer versus what they currently are taking during school meals. The participants will be Mrs. McCormick’s fourth grade class in the Petrova Elementary School in the Saranac Lake School District. Food Service Directors of schools will be able to use these results to help make their students eat healthier and continue to stay in pace with the Federal School Lunch Program guidelines.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
Authors: Tim Pettit Jr

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.
Access: No
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