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Capstone Projects

Forest Management Plan for A.P. Smith Rod and Gun Club

Fri, 05/06/2022 - 10:08
Abstract: New York is a popular destination for upland game hunting. American woodcock (Scolopax minor), ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) and snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) are all species that are highly sought after by hunters. This forest management plan, prepared by students at Paul Smith’s College in spring of 2022, aims to improve populations of these species on the Onchiota property. The reason for increasing game abundance on the property is to attract hunters which will legitimize the prospect of the A.P. Smith Rod and Gun Club. This plan is to be used in tandem with prior student projects which have outlined the steps necessary for the creation of a rod and gun club. Prior studies have projected infrastructure needs, possible membership numbers and costs of membership, operating costs of the club, and other uses of the property. Management of the forest for these three game species will also be advantageous to other animal species, including white-tailed deer, moose, and various songbirds. Truly, by managing for the target species there will be an increase in the health of the whole ecosystem. The property will also be able to serve in an educational capacity. It will serve as a demonstration of sound forest management for game species propagation. The scope of this management plan extends 35 years from 2022 to 2057.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Forestry
Year: 2022
Authors: Zachary Cowperthwait, Thomas Curiale, Maxwell Dentone, Donovan Hack, Micah Kelly, Shane Mabie, Dale Plant, Tyler Richardson, Robert Russell, Ryan Thomas, Daniel Tomlinson, and Brandon Snow

Onchiota Wetland Delineation Paul Smiths College Municipality of Franklin, Franklin County, New York

Fri, 05/06/2022 - 10:15
Abstract: This project is a wetland delineation of the Onchiota management unit of Paul Smith’s College property. This was performed to be integrated into the forest management plan for this unit. Wetland areas were determined using GIS analysis, then ground truthing was performed to calculate the accuracy of the proposed wetland areas. For the GIS analysis, LiDAR data was used to create a deterministic topographic wetland index to locate wetland areas and predict their boundaries. Ground truthing was performed by walking the boundary of each proposed wetland area. Comparison between the proposed and true wetland boundaries was used to calculate the accuracy of the GIS wetland delineation.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Forestry
Year: 2022
Authors: Scott Crum

Outdoor Classroom: Maintenance and Design

Mon, 05/02/2022 - 12:37
Abstract: Taking the classroom outside can have a wide variety of benefits for students' psychological and physical wellbeing. Paul Smith's College currently has one outdoor classroom on its campus as of the Spring 2022 semester to take advantage of these benefits. To expand outdoor learning for courses on Paul Smith's College Campus, we designed a second outdoor classroom. We received input from the Campus community through two survey we developed to discern the need for a second classroom, evaluate the existing classroom, evaluate the accommodations needed, and gain necessary information on other considerations for the design and location. Based on the survey results, using GIS to assess potential locations, and conducting interviews, we chose a site to focus on and developed a maintenance plan for the future management of both the existing and proposed classrooms.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Natural Resources Conservation and Management, Parks and Conservation Management, Sustainable Communities & Working Landscapes
Year: 2022
Authors: Shannon McPheeters
, Rebecca Durinick
, Nathanial Brangan
, Derek Thompson
, Annie DeHaven

Maintenance Plan and Prioritization of Paul Smith's College Back Country Infrastructure

Fri, 04/29/2022 - 15:13
Abstract: This paper consists of a maintenance plan and prioritization of 12 of the worst lean-tos on the Paul Smith’s College campus property. Each lean-to has its own maintenance plan starting with exact coordinates of each lean-to, a brief description of the lean-to that has where its located and how far it is from a specific area along with it's amenities and how far they are from the lean-to. Also, there is a list of issues as to what is wrong with the lean-to, a maintenance list of what needs to be repaired on the lean-to, materials that are needed that tells the reader exactly what they need and the price of those materials. Lastly, the approximate time frame to complete all the work. Each of the 12 lean-tos that are written about in this paper are already in a prioritization order starting with the worst condition lean-to Church Pond Lean-to and the rest of the lean-tos following.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Parks and Conservation Management
Year: 2022
Authors: Garrett Rowlands

Sustainably Developing A Tiny Home Community To Answer The Adirondack Housing Crisis

Mon, 05/02/2022 - 22:29
Abstract: The Adirondack Housing Crisis can be broken down into these root causes. The historical use of the Adirondack State Park as a secondary home location and vacation area and the overall lack of affordable small homes compared to average wages of residents. This paper aims to qualitatively analyze the usefulness of a tiny home village to solve the housing crisis facing the Adirondack park and it's residents.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Parks and Conservation Management
Year: 2022
Authors: Tyler J. Schlesier

Outdoor Classroom; Trail Design

Mon, 05/02/2022 - 23:03
Abstract: Paul Smith’s College needs another outdoor classroom to fulfill the needs of faculty and students for outdoor learning. By adding another outdoor classroom, more students and faculty will be able to have class outside. If mismanaged outdoor classrooms can result in the degradation of the nature the students are supposed to enjoy. Harming the natural landscape of the outdoor classroom is almost as if you’re damaging an outdoor classroom itself. My subject focus on the outdoor classroom design team was creating sustainable trails. Sustainable trails protect the environment, meet user needs and expectations, and require minimal maintenance. This required gathering data from students, faculty, possible sites, and our recommended site. Using this information I created a potential design plan for the trails that can be used by the preexisting and new outdoor classrooms.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Parks and Conservation Management
Year: 2022
Authors: Rebecca Durinick

Citizen Science: A Tool for Better Preserving Backcountry Infrastructure at Paul Smith’s College.

Mon, 05/02/2022 - 22:34
Abstract: The Adirondacks have been home to a many steward of its land. Paul Smith’s College prides itself in encouraging a culture which promotes this long-held ideology to preserve natural resources. It is a school which prides itself in its unique location as well as resources. One of these many resources is its extensive backcountry property and the plethora of structures located within it. Many of these structures are what’s known as lean-tos. Over the course of the 2022 Spring semester, the Parks and Recreation Capstone class surveyed and identified the conditions of 15/16 the school’s remaining lean-tos. A particularly outstanding issue with this however, was the resources and organization required of the school to collect this data. This research paper examines the positive values that the implementation of citizen science programs has had on a national level. Furthermore, my individual contribution to this class’s Capstone was the implementation of a volunteer fed databank exclusively used for the documenting of lean-tos in the Paul Smith’s College backcountry. The scope and intent of this project was to pass this resource on for further development and active use by Paul Smith’s College, related committees, and its backcountry maintenance initiatives.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Recreations, Adventure Travel and Ecotourism, Recreation, Adventure Education and Leisure Management, Parks, Recreation and Facilities Management, Parks and Conservation Management
Year: 2022
Authors: Matthew T. Huffman

Soil moisture levels’ impact on variation in microhabitat selection and distribution between shrub species along the riparian zones of the St. Regis River in Northern New York

Sat, 11/28/2020 - 15:42
Abstract: Willows (Salix spp.) are commonly found along riparian zones of northern latitude water bodies and are often used in riparian restoration and bank stabilization. However, not much is known about willows on a species level, especially among thee shrubby species native to North America. This study seeks to better understand the variation in the distribution of three willows (Salix bebbiana, S. discolor, and S. petiolaris) and two other shrub species (Alnus incana and Viburnum nudum) on a species level based on soil moisture. To reach this goal this study analyzes their distribution at several points along the shore of the St. Regis River. The study analyzed vertical distance from the river as a proxy for soil moisture, saturation volume as a proxy for porosity, and bulk density. It was found that soil moisture, as approximated by vertical distance was statistically significantly linked to the distribution of different shrub species. Porosity, bulk density, and distance along the river had no statistically significant relationship. The results supported the hypothesis that willows had the highest soil moisture requirements. The sample sizes were very small and only one willow, a S. petiolaris, was found in the study sites.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Forestry
Year: 2020
File Attachments: G.Davis_Capstone_final.docx
Authors: Gregory Davis

Youth Board of Directors: Developing a Sustainable Youth Leadership Program for UNESCO's Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Network

Fri, 12/11/2020 - 10:36
Abstract: The Man and Biosphere program has been successful but not without its challenges or gaps in capacity, specifically relating to youth involvement within the program. Youth-Adult Partnerships provide valuable growth opportunities for both adults and youth, along with benefits extending beyond the walls of an organization. Youth given agency and support provide significant gains for organizations and adults willing to make space for them in decision-making roles. This study recommends the creation of a Youth Board of Directors within the Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Network which will directly address programmatic mandates on youth involvement within the Man and Biosphere program, while simultaneously adding capacity to the biosphere.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Parks and Conservation Management
Year: 2020
File Attachments: Cuthell_Capstone_2020.docx
Authors: Samuel K. Cuthell

Paul Smith's College VIC Concert Venue

Fri, 05/15/2020 - 17:38
Abstract: The addition of a concert venue and camping facility at The Paul Smith’s College VIC will add another layer of community enjoyment. The surrounding area does not have a premier concert venue to provide musical enjoyment for visitors and members of the local community. In the College’s Strategic plan, it specifically mentions wanting to “Improve student success and retention through co-curricular activities focused on mind, body and spirit” In the same section it mentions also wanting to “improve campus utilization and net revenues during January and summer terms”. Implementing a concert venue at the VIC would accomplish both of those goals. We believe that this model fits in the strategic goals that the VIC is aiming to accomplish. Supporting the arts at the VIC will achieve visitor connection to musical arts, and connect visitors to other types of outdoor recreation at the VIC. The Paul Smith’s College mission statement and strategic plan includes ensuring facilities that meet the current and future needs of people, implementing strategies to use campus to support community building, contributing regional economics, and to be recognized as important. Specifically, the VIC’s mission statement is, “To connect outdoor recreation, experiential education, and the arts, naturally”. We believe that the addition of a musical venue of proper scale for the region would satisfy the goals of the VIC and our institution by connecting people to nature in a new way but also giving them a concert venue in an amazing setting. Ideally, they could spend the whole day recreating and then finish the day with a concert or performance of some other type such as comedy. With help from the VIC’s Facility Manager Andy Testo, and the Alumni Campground Coordinator Heather Tuttle we have developed the framework of a feasibility plan for future use of the current facilities as a music venue with a supporting campground facility.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Parks and Conservation Management
Year: 2020
Authors: James Rounds, Dan D'Apice