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Capstone Projects

Forest Habitat Management for Creating Self Sustaining Populations of Ruffed Grouse on Tug Hill Plateau.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 16:38
Abstract: The ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) is a perhaps the most popular game bird in the northeast. According to locals, the populations of ruffed grouse in the Tug Hill Plateau region located in upstate New York have been on a steady downhill trend over the past several years. This study was focused on habitat, and meant to gain insight on what current habitat exists on Tug Hill Plateau. Two separate study areas were utilized during this project. The first was named the River Road Covert study area, and is part of the Lookout State Forest, located in Lewis county New York. The second was named the Montague Covert study area, and is located in Montague New York, on parker road 10 miles from Montague Inn. Within each study area habitats were classified by cover type. Using fixed plot habitat survey methods, and aerial photo interpretation each study area was subdivided into first quadrants and then stands. A transect style flush count was then implemented in each study area in order to determine which stand possessed the specific cover type most preferred by local populations of ruffed grouse. During the flush count, a more specific data collection pertaining to habitat was taken in areas where grouse were flushed, and consideration was given to the time of year the survey took place in regards to the seasonal habitat preferences of this species. The purpose of this study is to identify what habitats within each study area were most highly favored by grouse, and which habitats were less likely to be utilized given their current condition. After completion of the data analysis researched recommendations were made as to how to manage the less favorable areas for the scarce early successional habitat which ruffed grouse were found to typically associate with.  
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Forestry
Year: 2011
File Attachments: Capstone Report , Appendix A , Appendix B
Authors: Keith F McDonald

Searching for the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) in an Un-Infested Area While Interpreting the Effects of Educational Outreach to the Private Landowner

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 16:04
Abstract: Nonnative invasive insect pests can alter the habitat and transform the ecosystems they have invaded, leading to ecological and economical problems. The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive insect that constricts nutrient and water transport in the cambium of ash trees. The EAB has no known eradication method to stop its potential spread across the landscape. The purpose of this study is twofold: 1) to educate the landowner about EAB and 2) to look for EAB in an un-infested area. Survey questionnaires were given before and after the study. The pre-study questions measured landowners’ background knowledge of EAB. The post-project questions gave insight to how the study helped the landowner learn more. A sentinel (girdled) tree survey was conducted at each of four study sites with two purple sticky traps installed and monitored bi-weekly. No emerald ash borers were found, but the public outreach component was successful. Landowners play an important role in being aware of invasive species and alerting natural resource professionals. The landowners gained knowledge about EAB. EAB outreach helped give land management advice to landowners, pertaining to the threat of EAB. The landowners felt confident in helping inform other members of the public and help identify EAB infestations. Keywords: Emerald ash borer (EAB), public outreach, Questionnaire, Sentinel/Girdled tree, purple sticky trap, Identifying Emerald ash borer, Questions Analysis, Educate the landowner, invasive, nonnative, pest
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Forestry
Year: 2011
File Attachments: capstone_final_proj.docx
Authors: Richard A. Silvestro

Effects of Forest Cover Type on Carbon Sequestration Rates

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 14:42
Abstract: Climate change and mitigation of climate change are common dilemmas faced by the majority of people within the United States. At the heart of climate mitigation techniques are forestry practices aimed to promote increased carbon sequestration. Forests are effective at sequestering carbon because they act as carbon sinks for the majority of their life. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect that Northeastern forest cover types have on the rate of carbon sequestration. This was done by examining the major forest cover types: northern hardwoods, mixed woods, and conifer forest cover types within Vermont and New Hampshire. This study entailed timber sampling to determine the amount of above ground carbon, increment boring to determine growth rates, soil samples to calculate subsurface carbon, and forest floor samples to determine accumulated carbon in the forest floor. During the study it was found that the conifer stands exhibited the highest rate of carbon sequestration, attributed greatly to the high growth rates and high stocking densities that characterized these stands. In addition, the majority of carbon within all the stands was found to be within the forest soils, which indicates particular attention should be given to this area when managing for carbon sequestration. In conclusion, some suggested management techniques for increasing carbon sequestration rates could include extending the rotation age to capitalize on the entire accelerated growth stage of the trees, and promoting multiple age classes within the stands which would allow for less intensive harvest regimes.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Forestry
Year: 2011
Authors: Charles Dana Hazen

An Investigation of Soil Nutrient Concentrations and its Relations to the Possible Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) Decline in the Paul Smith’s College Sugar Bush

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 11:50
Abstract: Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) is an abundant tree specie that can be found almost everywhere in New England. Sugar maples can be used as timber logs, but they are primarily a great source for producing maple syrup. These trees are a vast source of income for a lot of people. Paul Smith’s College annually produces range from $25,000-$30,000 from the syrup production at their sugar bush. There are currently 1400 taps out in the sugar bush. The purpose of this study is to determine if sugar maples are on a decline in the Paul Smith’s College Sugar Bush. There have been many tests and studies done on variables that affect sugar maple growth. Many different variables such as the effects of climate, nutrient concentrations, light, ozone, oxidative stress, elevated CO2, precipitation, other trees, invasive species and mycorrhizal fungi were studied to determine how they affect soil nutrient concentrations, which ultimately affects the ability of sugar maple to survive and thrive. These studies have shown that sugar maples in New England are on a steady decline. All of the studies I have found have focused on the big picture in regard to sugar maple decline, and none on the local level, like the Paul Smith’s College Sugar Bush. The purpose of my study is to determine whether or not the sugar maples in the sugar bush are on a decline and if they are will that information influence the college’s management plan for its sugar bush. This project collected and developed data that helped determine whether sugar maples in the sugar bush are on a decline. With this new information the college will be able to determine what they would like to do with the sugar bush in the future years to come.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Forestry
Year: 2011
Authors: Mark Bouquin

Removal of Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii) in a Hardwood Forest in Northwest Connecticut

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 09:57
Abstract: Japanese barberry is an invasive shrub that has overtaken and invaded the forest land of New England. Once established, Japanese barberry grows into dense populations that affect forest regeneration, and availability of different nutrients in the soil. This study focused on determining the most time efficient way to remove Japanese barberry from an area. The amount of time it took to complete each removal method was compared with how effective each method was. The effectiveness of each method was based upon how many stems were removed, and how many stems sprouted after a treatment occurred. Four methods were used which included; root severing, cutting stems, burning stems and a herbicide foliar application. It was found that digging stems took a large amount of time, while stem cutting and burning took a moderate amount of time, and the use of herbicide took a small amount of time. It was found that root severing was the least effective method, producing a high amount of new stems and taking the longest time. Herbicide treatment of stems was the most effective method, producing no new stems after treatment and taking a short amount of time to complete. Out of all the methods, two methods had equal expenses. This study has determined the most efficient and least effective way to remove Japanese barberry from a typical New England hardwood stand.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Forestry
Year: 2011
File Attachments: Capstone Paper.docx
Authors: Douglas Palmer

Paul Smith's College Bed and Breakfast

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:25
Abstract: Paul Smith's College hosts numerous events, conferences, and open houses throughout the years that bring people to the area for an extended period of time. Currently, there is a house on campus with a fantastic lakeside view that is no longer being occupied. Bed and Breakfasts consist of several different departments: food and beverage, housekeeping, bookkeeping, management, tours, and various other occupations. Converting this house into a Bed and Breakfast would be an immense asset to the school. Opening this Bed and Breakfast would potentially be a benefit for Paul Smith's College, the students, and future guests. This study will determine if it is possible for Paul Smith's College to open and operate a Bed and Breakfast on campus, and if there will be enough of a guest interest for it to be successful. The opinions of potential guests will be measured by surveys and interviews, and will take a look at some competing properties and how they market to their customers. The consensus will be used to determine what Paul Smith's should do to market, advertise, and appeal to its clientele.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2011
File Attachments: Final Capstone.docx
Authors: Megan Frank

Self-Ordering Systems in Casual Dining Restaurants

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:24
Abstract: Communicational technologies in restaurants have been a growing and changing trend in the hospitality industry since the early 90's. The impact of self-ordering technologies in restaurants has caused customer value, satisfaction and productivity to change. The baby boomers and millennials are a few age demographics affected by these systems in restaurants. It is important to determine how willing baby boomers and millennials are in accepting self- ordering systems in casual style restaurants such as, AppleBees, TGI Fridays or Olive Garden. This data will be collected through surveys, along with the use of social media. The opinions will help to determine if these customers are willing to take the step towards a more technology- based restaurant industry.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2011
File Attachments: Laura James FINAL CAPSTONE
Authors: Laura James

The VIC as a Teaching Aid

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 21:18
Abstract: Paul Smith’s College has recently acquired ownership of the Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) and its land. Paul Smith’s College offers many academic programs that closely align with events and learning opportunities at the VIC. The size of the student body and availability of learning resources are growing every year at Paul Smith’s College. The Facilities, Planning and Environmental Management class at Paul Smith College is an example of one class that is incorporating the VIC into their course. One of the group projects which students are completing in the classroom is a mock design of a kitchen and café in the existing main building of the VIC for everyday use as well as for events. This case study will determine if Paul Smith’s College’s hospitality students and professors are interested in utilizing the VIC as learning and working experience in their curriculum. The case study will also determine where in the curriculum the hospitality students and the professors see the VIC being incorporated. I will survey Paul Smith’s professors and students to see whether the VIC could be a beneficial learning tool for students, as possible hands on working experience.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2011
File Attachments: CAPSTONE FINAL COPY.doc
Authors: Kristopher P. Klinkbeil Jr.

Wording Behind the Menu

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 20:14
Abstract: When it comes to menu designing there are many reviewers that range from the average person to a professional menu designer. When you are deciding to have your own restaurant you should choose what type of restaurant you want to be. A menu for a fine dining restaurant should have different words for the descriptions of the menu items compared to a causal restaurant or family restaurant. Many customers for a fine dining restaurant want the menu to have certain words on the menu such as local, organic or “fancier” words. Many restaurant guests are willing to pay for fine dining as long as it is good, the words you use on the menu can help make the dish sound good. There are some rules and guidelines that can help a restaurant owner make a successful menu based on the restaurant type. If a certain rule or guide line is not followed correctly then the restaurant and menu will be criticized by the reviewers. This study seeks to determine if the Taste Bistro at the Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid, New York has a menu that is worded to fit the type of restaurant the owners and the restaurant manager believe it is.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2011
Authors: Lindsay Mitchell

Paul Smith's College Role: Should Paul Smith's College Provide a Culture Class For Students Studying Abroad?

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 18:15
Abstract: Successful college studying abroad experiences can be greatly enhanced if students take a few preparatory steps before leaving the United States. This study seeks to enhance the study abroad experience of Paul Smith's College students by exploring secondary research related to study abroad experiences and by conducting primary research of students’ study abroad experiences. The results of this study will serve as a justification for production of a guide for Paul Smith’s College students as they prepare for study abroad experiences. Results indicate that students prefer an orientation course prior their study abroad experience, as they feel this will help them get the most out of their time immersed in another culture.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2011
File Attachments: Final.docx
Authors: Keali Lerch