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

Capstone Projects

Restoring a top predator in Indonesia and Malaysia, the Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 13:58
Abstract: The Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi) is a semi-arboreal species of feline that is found in Indonesia and Malaysia. Sunda clouded leopard populations are in decline because of increasing deforestation. This specie’s diet consists of bearded pig (Sus barbatus), sumbar deer (Rusa unicolor), mouse deer (Tragulus spp.), porcupine (Hystrix sumatrae), and muntjacs (Muntiacus spp.) among others. Deforestation is having a large effect on the habitat available for the Sunda clouded leopard. Along with the habitat decline, there have been declines in the numbers of prey species due to poaching, creating a low food abundance for this species. These both are creating major conservation concerns for the Sunda clouded leopard in Sumatra, Indonesia and Borneo, Malaysia. The goal of this management plan will be to increase the population of the Sunda clouded leopard to a sustainable level and decrease habitat loss by 10% across Indonesia and Malaysia. For success, three objectives are needed, including: 1) publish 3 peer reviewed papers for the Sunda clouded leopard over the next 20 years, 2) increase the population size by 10% over the next 35 years, and 3) increase the suitable dipterocarp habitat by 10% over the next 25 years. Actions will include conducting scientific studies to gain knowledge of the Sunda clouded leopard. There will also be law enforcement and regulations added for the habitat along with many species that are found in this region. There will be an expected increase in the population of Sunda clouded leopard in order to reach a sustainable level in Sumatra, Indonesia and Borneo, Malaysia.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2019
File Attachments: Final management plan.pdf
Authors: Robert Kahlstrom

Management plan for brown hyena (Hyaena brunnea) populations in South Africa

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 12:25
Abstract: Brown hyena, Hyaena brunnea, is a species that is found throughout the southern portion of Africa, including South Africa. The population of brown hyenas in South Africa has continuously been decreasing and is currently around 1,000 individuals. This drop in the population size has caused the brown hyena to be considered vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. The main conservation issues the amount of funding going towards hyena’s conservation is low. Also, the ecosystems that the brown hyena prefer live in have been turned into farmlands throughout South Africa. Another concern is the poaching of the species illegally, mainly to try and protect the farmers’ livestock. The goal of this management plan is to increase and maintain a sustainable population of brown hyenas in South Africa. The objectives of the management plan are to decrease the number of negative interactions with brown hyenas, implement educational programs, increase tourism that focuses on hyenas, increase the population of prey species, and to increase the amount of protected land throughout South Africa. To decrease the negative interactions between the brown hyena and humans, hyena-proofed fencing will be distributed to all farmers to protect their livestock. Implementing educational programs will include the residents of South Africa, rather than just the students, so that everyone gets an understanding of the importance of brown hyenas. An increase in ecotourism will be accomplished by creating tours that just focus on the hyenas in the area and increasing the number of prey species will start with captive breeding of selective species. The increase in protected land will start to create more land that there are more protections for the brown hyena, so they are hunted or poached. If these actions are implemented there will be an increase in the population and they will be able to reach a sustainable number, but if nothing is done, then the population will continuously decrease until it reaches extinction.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2019
Authors: David Gilleo

Management on a Protected Landscape: Black-Throated Blue Warblers (Setophaga caerulescens) in the Adirondack Park, NY 2019 - 2069

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 11:28
Abstract: Black-throated blue warblers (Setophaga caerulescens) are a neotropical migrant passerine that specializes in breeding within interior forest habitats, with dense lower strata. Since the Breeding Bird Survey began in 1966, there has been over a 1.5% decline in sightings of this species along survey routes. In recent years, it has been found that access to secondary growth during the post-fledging period is essential to physiological health for migration. In the Adirondack Park of New York, a protected forest, there is a severe deficit of early successional habitats, especially adjacent to large tracts of mature forest. Compounding on this, there is resounding public conflict in relation to forest operations. This management plan aims to increase black-throated blue warbler encounters on BBS survey routes by at least 1% yearly on average, or by 50% over 50 years. To increase populations directly, new early successional habitat, and understory nesting cover will be developed using a variety of forestry techniques. We will increase early successional habitat by 10% by 2034, 20% by 2049, and 30% by 2069. Understory cover is planned to be increased by 5% by 2034, 15% by 2049, and 20% by 2069. Public education will be increased by presenting residents and visitors to the Adirondacks with free opportunities to learn about how natural resources are managed. Public opinion will be monitored alongside this education to study how public approval of forestry relates to environmental education. By the end of this 50-year management cycle, it is expected that black-throated blue warblers, along with several other species, will benefit greatly from these management actions. In addition, the general public will have a greater understanding, and therefore support of scientific wildlife management, including all tools that are used.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2019
Authors: Bradley R. Geroux

Management Plan of White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) Populations in Massachusetts (2019-2079)

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 09:15
Abstract: The Atlantic white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), hereafter known as white shark, is an understudied predatory species. The white shark is a species that is actively hunted for its jaws and fins. Not much natural history or basic information is known about the white shark. The goal of this management plan is to further understand the natural history of the white shark within the next 60 years. Objectives of this goal will be to carry out various surveys, and studies on the Atlantic white shark to understand habitat preferences, population sizes, fecundity, and food preferences. Actions will be to do mark-recapture studies, as well as aerial photo surveys. Another goal is to determine if the increasing gray seal population on the coast of Massachusetts is the main reason the populations of white sharks have increased in Massachusetts over the last 10 years. This will be done by taking the aerial surveys of populations of gray seals over a five-year study to determine if the population is increasing, decreasing, or stable. Then surveying the number of seals that are depredated on. It will also be determined by stomach contents if white sharks depredate any other species to determine if gray seals are the main food source for a white shark. Once the main food source is determined, researchers will be able to further manage the white shark. Outcomes of the management will be to understand the natural history of the Atlantic white shark and can more effectively manage for the population of white sharks in Massachusetts.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2019
Authors: Bre-Ann Flouton Johnson

Thirty-year Wild Yak (Bos mutus) Management Plan for the Chang Tang Reserve, China

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 09:10
Abstract: Wild yaks (Bos mutus) are the largest of thirteen ungulate species existing on the Tibetan Plateau in China. They are non-selective grazers and ruminants, which allows them to travel in herds of up to thousands of individuals and survive on relatively low-quality forage. Conservation issues of primary concern include resource competition with domestic ungulates, hybridization, poaching, trading, and the potential impacts of climate change (i.e. lower average snowfall and longer ice-free period). The shifting climate allows pastoralists to establish permanent residences and keep larger livestock herds, which reduces available habitat for wild yaks. This management plan aims to restore wild yak populations within the Chang Tang Reserve to the 1995 estimate of 15,000 mature individuals to allow local subsistence culture to proceed. Objectives to reach this goal include increasing the population of annually fertile females by 50% in fifteen years, increasing connectivity between the Reserve and other fragmented portions of wild yaks’ distribution in China by 25% within ten years, and increasing landowner cooperation in wild yak conservation efforts by at least 75% within ten years. To increase the population of annually fertile females, at least five peer-reviewed articles focused on population dynamics and stage-based resource requirements will be published. These will require aerial surveys and fecal analyses. Furthermore, a mixture of optimally nutritious food plants will be planted in high elevation plots. Corridors with suitable habitat will be established between existing fragments to increase habitat connectivity. Surveying locals will help managers to identify uncertainties and to understand public awareness and perceptions of conservation need. Educational forums with supplementary materials will be provided to ensure locals are equipped to cooperate and to mitigate potential management issues, such as domestic-wildlife interaction. Locals of all ages will be provided education to establish positive perspectives of wild yaks and management practices, thus increasing cooperation. The management actions could increase yak populations above the Reserve’s carrying capacity (̴ 85,000) but allowing subsistence use will keep populations below this threshold.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2019
File Attachments: ManagementPlan_WildYak.pdf
Authors: Audrey P. Emerson

Management Plan for Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) Populations in Georgia from 2019-2049

Sat, 04/27/2019 - 14:29
Abstract: Gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) are known for their elephantine hind feet and flattened, shovel-like forelimbs adapted for digging burrows. Burrows offer shelter from heat, fires, and predators, and serve as refugia for more than 350 other species including, the gopher frog (Lithobates capito), eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus), burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) and the endangered indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi). For this reason, gopher tortoises are considered a keystone species. Gopher tortoises are distributed throughout South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi in the southeastern United States. Gopher tortoises are commonly found in upland habitats with well-drained sandy soils and diverse groundcover lacking understory hardwoods. Their diet consists of grass-like herbaceous plants, fruits and flowers such as prickly pear cactus (Opuntia), wild grape (Vitis vinifera), legumes (Fabaceae), dandelions (Taraxacum), and grass-leaved golden asters (Chrysopsis graminifolia). Ecological concerns threatening gopher tortoise populations include deforestation, habitat fragmentation, and disease. Sociocultural and economic threats to gopher tortoises include human consumption, illegal pet trade and habitat development. All these issues have been documented in Florida, where most research for this species has been conducted. The scope of this management plan focuses in Georgia where these threats are relevant and create concerns to gopher tortoise populations. The goal of this management plan is to increase and stabilize gopher tortoise populations in Georgia from 2019-2049. Objectives of this goal include: increase adult gopher tortoise survivorship by 6% in thirty years, increase gopher tortoise hatchling survivorship by 10% in thirty years and increase and preserve gopher tortoise habitat, by 20% in twenty years throughout the state of Georgia. Actions focus on promoting the increased survivorship of hatchling and adult gopher tortoises, and increasing habitat needed for their survival. Emphasis is placed on reducing adult road mortality, anthropogenic transmission of upper-respiratory tract disease (URTD), nest protection, implementing headstarting programs to reduce hatchling predation, and using conservation easements and periodic fire to increase longleaf pine habitat. If gopher tortoise populations continue to decline the ecosystem in which they inhabit will collapse due to their role as a keystone species. With proper management this species can have stable and sizable populations for the state of Georgia.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2019
Authors: Courtney Cronk

Lower St. Regis Lake Survey: A Comparative Study of Fish Population Structure and Function over Time

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 14:24
Abstract: Lake surveys are performed on bodies of water to provide a health analysis of fish populations over time. Lake surveys can be conducted in a variety of ways to attain specific data. Lower St. Regis Lake was surveyed to determine the fish community composition and to understand fish population traits. Using fyke nets placed at six predetermined locations for 24 hours, as well as fishing, we collected data for age, length (mm), weight (g), and parasites present. Data was analyzed in the lab using Excel to form graphs and tables to demonstrate our findings. Catch rates were lower compared to years before and comparing our data to New York State Department of Conservation data found that our length-at-age data was lower for the six-species sampled. Pumpkinseed and yellow perch were the only two species to have over twenty fish sampled. Decreased air temperatures brought in by a cold front during the week of our sampling may have been a reason for our lower number of fish caught. Mesh size is also a bias while using these nets as smaller fish can escape, and predatory fish can prey on smaller fish while in the net. Some species of fish such as black crappie may be more susceptible to capture due to its habit of associating with structure.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Biology, Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Fisheries and Wildlife Science, Natural Resources Conservation and Management
Year: 2018
File Attachments: Capstone_Final.docx
Authors: Deacon Chapin, Jared Chlus, Louis Daversa, Jon Herrman, Robert Visicaro

A Taste of Paul Smith's & The Adirondacks

Sun, 12/09/2018 - 15:50
Abstract: Using what we have learned over the last four years our task was to put on a themed Capstone Dinner. This dinner was experiential and progressive, guests were transported to different parts of the Paul Smiths College campus for each course of the dinner. The focus of this Capstone was to capture the essence of the Adirondacks to portray it through a five course meal. I first looked to the woods for help building inspiration for each dish. Along with the dinner, comes many other tasks from ordering to costing.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2018
Authors: Sean Conroy

Mycophagy of the Adirondacks

Sat, 12/08/2018 - 11:26
Abstract: Throughout the course of mushroom history, they have gained multiple reputations, being known as a food source or a deadly fungus. According to Tori Avey, she believes that “Over the years reckless mushroom hunters have thrown caution to the wind with fatal results, giving food safe mushrooms a bad reputation. Which resulted in two very different categories of people mycophiles, those who love mushrooms and mycophobes those who fear mushrooms.” (Avey,T) Mycophagy is the practice of consuming fungus collected in the wild, also known as eating foraged mushrooms. Mushrooms are grouped into the vegetable category within the local grocery stores, but they are not a vegetable mushrooms are a type of edible, poisonous, psychedelic, and medicinal fungus with over 400 different species. Many Mycophiles believe we are currently, in the beginning of a myco-revolution many people are now interested in the wide range of gourmet wild mushrooms “The name “mushroom” has been given to over 38,000 varieties of fungus that possess the same threadlike roots and cap.” (Avey,T)
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2018
Authors: Selena C. Hay

A Taste of Local Goat Cheese

Sat, 12/08/2018 - 11:22
Abstract: This capstone features the variety of goat cheeses in each of the courses!
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2018
Authors: Julia Ho(: