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Capstone Projects

Age and its Effects on Taste: Does age play a factor in tea preference?

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 13:23
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine if age was a factor with consumer’s taste buds between the flavors of neutral oolong tea, vegetative green tea, mild white tea and astringent black tea. The method used to retrieve this data was a tea tasting, pared with surveys. The results were compiled in a series of charts. This study was based on age to assist restaurateurs with making a decision of what tea to offer in their establishment. Tea drinkers were surveyed, as well as participated in a tea tasting to decide the answers to these questions.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
Authors: Kathryn Woehrle

Food Allergies: How might a chef's creative vision be influenced by mandated food allergy legislation?

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 12:57
Abstract: It is estimated that one in twenty-five Americans suffers from a food allergy. As a result Massachusetts State Legislation has set a precedent by creating food allergen training laws to ensure safe food handling practices. This study seeks to determine if and how mandated food allergy legislation might affect a chef’s creative vision. Data concerning food allergies will be collected from: professional chefs and restaurant customers who suffer from a food allergy in the form of a survey. The information will demonstrate if chefs are proactively adapting their restaurant menus before having to be reactive to government mandated regulations. This study will also raise awareness of the prevailing number of food allergies.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: GORSKI FINAL CAPSTONE.docx
Authors: Jeffrey Gorski

Self-Actualization through the use of food

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 12:19
Abstract: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a table consisting of human needs according to necessity; in order to reach a new level, needs of the previous level must be met first. Among the physiological needs located at the bottom of the pyramid, is food. Food can be controlled unlike other biological needs and therefore may play a crucial role in reaching the ultimate goal of self-actualization. The purpose of this capstone is to show how food can go beyond the need of hunger, and bring us to a self-actualizing moment. The surveys will be conducted to gather statistics and opinions of outdoor recreationists and other relevant professionals such as chefs and culinary students. The question that is going to be answered through this capstone is: Is food preparation and consumption an enriching and exciting enough experience to achieve self-actualization? The results should vary between the two populations, but the ultimate prediction is that food will be shown to be a major factor in the achievement of self-actualization. The significance of this study is to reach a new level of understanding about the importance of food to the human body, and show that food can bring that self-actualizing moment without meeting all the other needs of the pyramid beforehand.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
Authors: Stephanie Curtis

Cornopoly A Study of a Cost Effective and Corn-free Menu

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 11:50
Abstract: In the past ten years the price of corn has quadrupled as the result of the increasing demand for corn. Today, there are wide ranges of items being produced that include corn as an essential ingredient. This project looked into developing ways to help food service establishments to remain cost effective despite the increased price of corn and thus corn derived products. For this project we held a blind taste test meal to find consumer preference. During the meal we supplied questionnaires to collect data on preferences. We found that the price of corn had not reached a high enough point to force a change to non-corn derived products; however, we felt that through statistical forecasting, the price of corn would rise to a point that would not allow restaurants to remain cost effective.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: Final Capstone Paper.doc
Authors: Jeffrey Dineen, Matthew Cusimano

Perception Connection - Defining Local Food, and the Gap Between Chefs and Consumers

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 11:01
Abstract: With increasing numbers of restaurants using the word “local” on their menus, and consumers seeking out farmers markets and purveyors who label their products as local, it has become necessary to take a closer look at just what is being talked about. When a chef puts the word local next to his featured dish of the day, what does that mean to him? Conversely, what does a customer reading that menu expect to be getting on their plate? Currently, there are no government regulations for the use of the “local” description, unlike “organic” and “all-natural” foods. Since there are no legal expectations, it is at the discretion of the chefs to decide how they will market certain items, and in the minds of the consumers what they expect to be consuming based upon an image. This capstone will explore, through the use of surveys, distributed to both culinary professionals, and culinary consumers, what their expectations of a locally sourced food item are. The results of these queries will demonstrate whether there is a gap between the two facets. The project does not seek to establish a basis for regulation, but rather to explore the ideals of two symbiotic groups. The conclusions based upon what this project discovers will educate both chefs and consumers on commonly accepted standards in local food. It will also offer them the opportunity to evaluate any gaps between standards, and decide how they might approach using or buying “local” food. 
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: Capstone project.docx
Authors: Kelcey Rusch

Pop Up Restaurants: Are They Here to Stay? A Study of Consumer and Professional Awareness and Future Demand

Fri, 04/20/2012 - 13:23
Abstract: The focus of this study is to determine in the next 10 to 15 years if pop up restaurant will become a new permanent venue. This study provides information for professionals and people entering the restaurant industry for potential job opportunities. Pop ups are a style of restaurant that takes over a venue for a short period of time (48 hours to a week). This research is based on professional willingness to enter the pop up industry and research measuring consumer knowledge of pop ups and future demand. Research is based on surveys filled out by the general population, and surveys to restaurant professionals.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: Capstone.doc
Authors: De Anna Wasiewski

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

A Land Management Plan for the Gottemoeller Family Farm

Thu, 12/06/2012 - 09:58
Abstract: Private landowners own property that is used for a variety of purposes. A management plan can help them realize their goals. This management plan focuses on two main goals. One is to maximize the sustainable out put of black walnut and other quality hardwoods. The other is creation of quail habitat to increase the carrying capacity of bobwhite quail on the farm. Using aerial photos and field visits, the property was divided into ten different management units. Some units have a forestry focus and others have a quail habitat focus or both. A Wildlife Habitat Appraisal Guide was used to evaluate the existing habitat and to identify which elements need to be improved. Peer reviewed research and agency technical expertise were used to identify which practices will improve the limiting elements for quail habitat. A Forest Plan developed by a professional forester with the Missouri Department of Conservation was incorporated into the farm Management Plan.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Environmental Sciences
Year: 2012
Authors: Adam Gottemoeller

The Effect of Temperature and pH on the Growth of Variable-leaf Milfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum)

Tue, 12/04/2012 - 18:03
Abstract: A fundamental part of invasion biology is the prediction of the potential spread of nonindigenous species (NIS). This is due to the negative ecological, economic and human-health effects that NIS may cause. Variable-leaf Milfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum), a highly invasive NIS to the Northeast, is native to southern U.S. states from Florida to New Mexico, and has since spread to North Dakota and southwestern Quebec without becoming invasive to those areas. Variable-leaf milfoil is invasive to the Adirondacks in northern New York State and is spreading at a rapid pace. This study questions whether temperature and pH have an effect on the growth of Variable-leaf milfoil. In this laboratory experiment, the growth of 80 Variable-leaf Milfoil fragments was examined in warm (33.1275°C) and cold (23.135°C) temperatures, combined with 10 pH treatments. Fragments showed increased growth in cold water when compared to the warm temperature treatment, and no relationship was shown between temperature and pH treatment in relation to growth.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Environmental Sciences
Year: 2012
File Attachments: CapstoneDeliverable.docx
Authors: Claire Baker

Soil and Vegetation Characteristics of High Elevation Wetlands in the Adirondack Park

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 17:14
Abstract: Wetland ecosystems are finally being understood for their true importance. Wetlands in the past were misunderstood and thought to be disease carrying burdens on our way of life; however this mentality changed during the mid-19thcentury. These ecosystems are important for biodiversity and act as natural water purification systems. This study was undertaken to help understand, the high elevation wetland characteristics. Our goals were to analyze the soils and describe the vegetation in high elevation wetlands. The soil and vegetative surveys helped define the characteristics of these ecosystems and create a better understanding of them. The combination of vegetation species that are wetland indicators were found in each site, the soil pH, and nutrients show that each site had signs of being a wetland community.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Environmental Sciences, Forestry
Year: 2012
File Attachments: FINAL Capstone Report.doc
Authors: Brandon Ploss, Sean Ayotte