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Capstone Projects

Effectiveness of Diabetes Prevention Programs

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 09:32
Abstract: This capstone researches educational methods used in programs (seminars or demonstrations) that target Type 2 Diabetics In order to determine the effectiveness meaning, do attendees find education programs to be helpful and effective, and are attendees following the program after completion of the seminar and/or Diabetic Prevention Programs. This research will assist in determining if educational programs like those studied for this capstone are effective in achieving the goals and objectives discussed in the literature review. Demonstrations already exist that educate individuals living with Type 2 Diabetes, some programs are only a few hours long while others last a year or more. The purpose of this capstone is to determine if educational methods used in Diabetic Prevention Programs are perceived as effective by attendees of the programs. Primary research will come via survey responses from individuals that have already attended a Diabetes Prevention Program.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
Authors: Rebecca Haley

Sustainable Foie Gras: A study of sustainable and ethical methods in raising geese and ducks for foie gras

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 17:14
Abstract: Foie gras has been a culinary delicacy worldwide for thousands of years and is currently in danger due to controversy surrounding the methods which are used to produce it. Conventional waterfowl care methods are gradually being deemed inhumane and unethical at farms worldwide and as a result bans and laws against foie gras production are being formed. Foie gras is the fatty enlarged liver of a duck or goose, conventionally created by means of “gavage” or force feeding the birds by placing a funnel into the bird’s mouth two to four times per day and pouring corn directly into the throat. Alternatively, one unique farm in Spain plants a garden full of edible goods for the birds and when the cold season arrives the birds naturally choose to force feed themselves. The end result is a foie gras that has won blind taste tests in France against major conventional producers. This method is not known to be used anywhere else in the world, but is being experimented with on a farm in Pocantico Hills, NY (South-Eastern New York) at the Stone Barns Center. If successfully executed, this method could be implemented on any farm as an alternative to conventional methods.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Capstone.doc
Authors: Dana Gagne

Hernandez Taqueria and Grocery: A feasibility study on the profitability and demand of a new business in Eonosburg Falls, Vermont.

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 21:01
Abstract: In recent years, there has been a rapid increase of consumption of Mexican food; in addition it is also becoming more popular for home preparation. Preserving regional authenticity, as well as seeking to preserve Mexican cultural integrity, are increasingly important trends in the restaurant and retail supermarket industries. Furthermore, there are a large and growing group of people in the Franklin area of Vermont willing to purchase authentic, traditional and unique products as well as food of Mexico. Hernandez Taqueria and Grocery will be a casual food and retail store for those seeking Mexican food. It will offer a selection of authentic Mexican groceries, as well as a place to sit down and enjoy a hot traditional meal, making it an experience you would otherwise find only in Mexico itself. This feasibility study will serve as a template for others seeking to open a similar business, as well as show whether or not it is feasible to open Hernandez Taqueria and Grocery in Enosburg Falls, Vermont. Through a survey the target market will be identified and a projected income statement will be prepared to figure out if expenses will be covered and if profits will be generated.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Hernandez_FinalCapstone.doc
Authors: Cynthia Hernandez

Customer Loyalty at the ‘American Diner’: A study of the ‘American diner’ experience and factors that influence customer retention.

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 21:18
Abstract: When families are satisfied with their ‘American diner’ experience, it’s more likely they will become loyal guests. The typical ‘American diner’ seeks to determine what influences families to become loyal guests. The purpose of this study is to see what factors are influential to persuading the target market, middle-income families, into loyal guests when presented with the ‘American diner’ experience. This will be a loyalty and market analysis that seeks to determine the correlation between middle-income families and the typical ‘American diner’ experience. Data will be collected through the method of a survey. Surveys will be disbursed electronically to families that have ever experienced the typical ‘American diner’ experience. The data will be collected, organized, and analyzed to determine what factors influence customer retention at the typical ‘American diner,’ and what characteristics define the typical ‘American diner’ experience. This study will provide a firm understanding of what about the ‘American diner’ experience influences repeat guests and some advice for those who would like to eventually own or operate their own diner.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: O'Brien_FinalCapstone
Authors: Dana O'Brien

Alternative Management Methods for Acid Deposition in Lakes

Fri, 04/26/2013 - 18:09
Abstract: Acid deposition has been causing the acidification of lakes in the Northeast United States for decades. The result is lake ecosystems with abnormally low pH that stresses the organisms that live there. Management plans in place in the Adirondack Park have been working to remediate acidified lakes for the past few decades. Limestone (CaCO3) has been the generally accepted method for managing these lakes, in an attempt restore the lakes pre-impacted conditions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of liming in reversing the effects of acidification, and to identify effective alternatives. Five alternatives were tested against limestone: Sodium carbonate (Na2CO3), Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), Sodium acetate (CH3COONa), Magnesium carbonate (MgCO3), and Potassium carbonate (K2CO3). Double End-Point Titration tests were performed on all of the compounds, using both distilled water and lake water, to determine the relative alkalinity of each compound. Alkalinity is the measure of the ability of a solution to neutralize acid, also known as its "buffering capacity." Lake water was used in the titration tests in an attempt to mimic in-situ testing. The results of the titrations showed limestone proving to be the most effective in the lake water tests, with Magnesium carbonate and Potassium carbonate ranked closely behind. While limestone has proven to be an effective management method, its reliability is dependent upon the characteristics of the lake catchment, making it important to continue to look for alternative solutions.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Environmental Sciences
Year: 2013
Authors: Derek Scott

An Educational Assessment of a Nature Center

Wed, 12/04/2013 - 15:18
Abstract: Currently, there is a strong focus on public environmental education. However, it is not known how environmental education programs relate to the New York State Curricula or to the North American Association for Environmental Education’s (NAAEE) education goals for school-aged children. The purpose of this qualitative, relationship study is to determine how and to what extent a nature center’s educational programs relate to New York State Curricula and the North American Association for Environmental Education’s education goals for school aged children. Data will be collected through a content analysis approach. The information gathered from the content analysis will then be compared against each other to see where there are gaps in the nature center’s educational goals and how they might ameliorate them. This information can be used by the nature center to format their educational programs in a way that is more conducive with both the New York State Curricula and the NAAEE educational goals.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Environmental Studies
Year: 2013
Authors: Jacqueline McCabe

Paul Smith's College & International Learning: A Small Scale Assessment of Student Perceived Personal & Academic Gains

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 22:16
Abstract: Many students who participate in a study abroad experience during their college or university career experience positive gains on personal and academic levels. This growth can be gained directly from the sojourn while it is taking place, and/or upon individual reflection of the experience once the student returns home. Currently, Paul Smith’s College (PSC) students are able to participate in a variety of international experiences, including short-term (minimum of ten days) tours, faculty-led service learning practicums and semester-long study abroad programs, personally organized by individual students. Since there has been no central Paul Smith's College entity that examines how students may be making gains from these experiences, there exists an unmet need to discover how students believe they have benefited from study abroad. This study used grounded theory methodology and mixed qualitative research methods to investigate whether PSC students benefited personally and academically from their individual international learning experiences. This research has revealed the majority of students interviewed believed themselves to have been positively affected on both levels. These students are also more open to continuing traveling, either for personal enjoyment or career advancement. This perceived growth occurred despite, and perhaps, as a result of having experienced culture shock during their sojourns or upon their return to the U.S.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Environmental Studies
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Mckenney_FinalCapstone.docx
Authors: Sarah McKenney

The Response of Captive Gray Wolves (Canis lupus) to Agonistic Howl Recordings

Thu, 12/05/2013 - 18:58
Abstract: Gray wolves (Canis lupus) are a highly social carnivore that communicates through olfactory and acoustic signals, maintaining their social bonds and hierarchy with body language and touch. Long distance (i.e. howling) and olfactory communication are important in maintaining territory boundaries and mitigating interpack conflict or strife. The study area is a private, not-for-profit wolf conservation and education center in southern New York in the northeast United States. The goal of this study was to determine the overall change in behavior of wolves when faced with a long distance form of communication conveying an aggressive message. I hypothesized that wolves will respond with more activity during and after the howl recordings. An ethogram was adapted from Quandt, but upon personal observation, was altered as additional behaviors were observed. Instantaneous focal sampling was used during data collection at an interval of 15 seconds to sample two gray wolf siblings. The behaviors between wolves were not significantly different from each other (chi square = 0.86, critical value = 14.07, df = 6). This information has many management implications such as determining home range of packs, pack size, and could serve as a possible tool for deterring predation on livestock.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Write-Up.docx
Authors: Erin Brinton

Perception of the Color Blue in North American River Otters, Lontra canadensis

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 11:41
Abstract: Color vision is essential to many animal species, playing major roles in activities such as foraging and mate selection. Most animal phyla have 4 cones that aid in color vision, while mammals typically only have 2. This study aimed to provide evidence of the blue-range color vision in North American river otters, Lontra canadensis, by behavioral testing 4 captive otters. The subjects (2 male and 2 female adults) were tested individually over a period of 42 weeks. Each otter was presented with 3 cards, with choices between 2 white control cards and a blue test card (n = 1213). In later tests, all subjects were presented with 1 white control card, 1 blue test card, and 1 gray card (n = 417). All subjects distinguished the blue test card from the white control cards but only 1 subject differentiated the color blue from a grayscale correspondent (One-proportion z-test, p = 0.011). A bias based on card location was present only in 1 subject in the blue-white phase of testing (One-proportion z-test, p = 0.201) and in 3 subjects in the blue-grey phase of testing. The cause of this bias was unknown. The ability of 1 subject to reliably select the test card (One-proportion z-test, p = 0.011), provided some evidence that L. canadensis perceive the color blue.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
Authors: Chelsie LaFountain

Poaching: Does The Local Economy Influence Poaching in New Hampshire

Wed, 04/24/2013 - 17:35
Abstract: Because one of the most commonly cited reasons for poaching is to feed one’s family, I investigated whether economic indicators (unemployment, poverty, median household income) affected poaching in New Hampshire on the county level for years 2005-2011. Economic indicator data was collected through the US Census while poaching data was collected from NH Fish and Game. Violations per capita was calculated by dividing the number of violations in each county by the population of the respective county. As the amount of rural area may influence poaching rate, huntable/fishable area in each county (total county area minus residential and transportation area) was calculated as a metric of ruralness. First, in an effort, to determine which economic indicators to use, I sought to determine if the three economic indicators correlated with each other. Because poverty level correlated with household median income, poverty was excluded from the regression analysis. A multiple regression was conducted with unemployment, household median income, and available huntable fishable area as predictors of violations per capita. Due to Coos being an outlier in each of the categories of interest, Coos was excluded from the statistical analysis. Unemployment (coeff = -0.0048752, p = 0.016), household median income (coeff = -0.0000002, p = 0.008), and huntable and fishable area (coeff = 0.0009837, p = 0.029) were significant factors in predicting violations per capita in NH. Although unemployment, household median income, and huntable fishable area can be possible predictors of poaching, other variables may also influence poaching.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Capstone Paper Final.docx
Authors: Joshua Curtis