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Capstone Projects

Cultural eutrophication of Lower Saint Regis Lake using diatoms and organic content as indicators of eutrophication.

Tue, 04/28/2020 - 12:06
Abstract: Cultural eutrophication can greatly affect water quality, leading to algae blooms and can affect fish communities. Throughout the history of Paul Smith’s Hotel and College, development along Lower St. Regis lake has led to increases in eutrophic conditions, which has detrimental effects on water quality. In this study, a sediment core from Lower St. Regis Lake was analyzed to determine when past eutrophication events occurred. This was accomplished using species counts of diatoms from every 1.0 cm of sediment. The relative abundance of diatom species such as Tabellaria flocculosa, Asterionella formosa, and Fragilaria crotonensis were used as indicators of more eutrophic conditions. Loss on ignition (LOI) was also used to measure the organic content in the sediment at increments of 0.5 cm. The higher percent lost on ignition indicates higher productivity in the lake and more eutrophic conditions. Some samples from the sediment core were also dated using lead-210 to create a timeline that could be compared to known dates of events occurring along the lake that could have affected the trophic status of Lower St. Regis Lake. There was a sudden spike in the relative abundance of F. crotonensis and an increase in organic content at a depth of 20 cm in the core, indicating that conditions became more eutrophic. Based on the lead-210 dates, this spike in F. crotonensis and organic content occurred between 1898 and 1908, when development around the lake was increasing and Paul Smith’s Hotel added indoor plumbing with poor wastewater treatment practices.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Biology
Year: 2020
File Attachments: Capstone_0.docx
Authors: Lydia Harvey

Vegetarian and Plant-Based Food

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:01
Abstract: Serving Vegetarian and Plant-Based food in a Restaurant
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2020
File Attachments: Finished Capstone .docx
Authors: Abigayle Brietzke

The Influence of Microtopography on the Spatial Distribution of Peatland Plants

Mon, 04/27/2020 - 13:01
Abstract: Microtopography in peatlands creates structural patterns within the environment that, if understood, could allow for more comprehensive wetland management and restoration plans to be constructed. The objectives of this study are to determine: 1) the spatial scale at which microtopography occurs on in Adirondack peatlands; 2) if hummock size changes in relation to the distance from the forested wetland edge; and 3) if individual plant species respond to, or vary, in relation to microtopography and abiotic factors. To determine the influence of microtopography on peatland plants, data were collected on the surface area and height distributions of hummocks, the distance between hummocks and the abiotic soil characteristics. Plant species richness, and percent cover data were collected on hummocks only. The spatial scale of microtopography was determined to be regularly distributed across the sampling area. There was no significant correlation between the distance from the coniferous-edge and the relative size of hummocks. Plant species richness was found to be higher on hummocks as opposed to hollows. Using a combination of correlation and multiple regression analysis we determined that leather leaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata), lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium), and common cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpa) were correlated to individual abiotic variables. The variability of the percent cover of leather leaf was explained by increasing surface area, lower soil temperatures, and lower pH; the variability of the percent cover of lowbush blueberry was explained by increasing oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) and lower pH; and the variability of the percent cover of common cranberry was explained by lower hummock height alone. Only three of the common plants identified were correlated with the abiotic variables measured. Further research should be done to continue to determine the primary influence of the elevational gradients on the plant species composition and to determine the resilience of these systems to changing climate.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Ecological Restoration
Year: 2020
Authors: Joshua T. Young

Financial and Marketing Research for Alumni Campground

Sat, 05/09/2020 - 11:52
Abstract: The purpose of this capstone was to look at the financial plan for the Alumni Campground and make suggestions for marketing. Through interviews, surveys, and other research on the campground, we were able to see who uses the campground and areas of improvement for the physical site and marketing. Our recommendations are to help the campground prosper in the future
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Conservation and Management
Year: 2020
File Attachments: Capstone Essay.docx
Authors: Margret Montag, Dallas Olsen

Short & Sweets Bakery

Mon, 12/02/2019 - 17:49
Abstract: For Capstone, we were to create a business plan for our future bakery. We were to establish a location for our future business, research the area and competition, design a menu, create a shift schedule and job descriptions, calculate expenses we would need to incur, and conduct an interview with an owner of a bakery that is similar to what we aspire our bakery to be one day. In addition, we were to choose a signature item which was featured in the A.P Smith's Bakery on campus for a week. Free samples were offered in return for completed surveys as a way for us to gather feedback about our product. The results, process, and problems that arose while preparing the signature item were then analyzed. Overall, Capstone allowed us to outline a plan of action that will help in our future endeavors to own a business.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Baking Arts and Service Management
Year: 2019
Authors: Amanda Kern

Scratch Baking vs. Premixed/Prepared Baking

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 16:55
Abstract: Can people tell the difference between completely scratch made baked goods, and those with premixed/prepared elements; and how does this play a role in decision making when opening and operating a small retail bakery business? This project was conducted to test premade dough and/or mixes against scratch recipes to see how any additional ingredients and preservatives may alter the final product. Both groups of baked goods were tested against one another and the differences in appearance, taste/texture, food cost, and labor cost were noted. A blind tasting was conducted to compare different samples of scratch baked and prepared item and feedback was gathered from participants for analysis. This was also to see if the participants could differentiate the two group of products without knowing the topic of the project. The profit margin was then calculated and analyzed to determine the use of the products selected in a retail bakery. Research was conducted on different components of opening and operating a small bakery business that could possibly be affected by choosing to use scratch baking vs. premixed/prepared elements. Using a combination of both may be an option. Research components also includes consistency, marketability and availability, in addition to food and labor costs.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Baking Arts and Service Management
Year: 2019
Authors: Skyler Lyons

A Taste Of Place: How Terroir Effects Maple Syrup

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 15:35
Abstract: Production of maple syrup starts within the tree, acer saccharum. These trees, more commonly known as sugar maples, produces maple sap. Maple sap is then, through the boiling process, transformed into Maple syrup. A study was then performed to see if one could taste the difference in Maple syrup. This test proves that there is a difference in maple syrup from different regions. Terroir of maple syrup is then compared to terroir of other things, such as wine, and shows how one would go about tasting and describing the taste of Maple Syrup.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Baking Arts and Service Management
Year: 2019
Authors: Charli Fowler

Can you tell the difference between Dietary Restricted desserts and their regular versions?

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 10:19
Abstract: Our question for Capstone was whether or not people could tell the difference between dietary restricted desserts and their regular versions. The restrictions we chose were Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Vegan, and Dairy Free. We physically tested and noted the differences in look, texture, taste, food cost, and labor. We conducted a blind taste test in the Old St. Regis open to the Faculty, Staff, and students of the PSC Community. People participating were able to see and taste and record their answers in a survey.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Baking Arts and Service Management
Year: 2019
Authors: Victoria Schickedanz & Emma Stoddard

Natural Versus Artificial Food Coloring and Flavoring

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 01:12
Abstract: Natural Versus Artificial Food Coloring and Flavoring- Sampling natural and artificial dyes and flavorings side by side, to see which was preferred and if people could tell the difference.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Baking Arts and Service Management
Year: 2019
Authors: Kenadhe Howell

Ancient Breads in a Modern World

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 16:09
Abstract: Is is possible to take ancient breads and bring them up to today's modern tastes. I took three ancient breads (a roman bread, a medieval bread, and a Viking bread) and attempted to make a savory and sweet version of each that were up to today's modern and contemporary tastes. As well a providing historical research on the breads from each time period, and the earliest history of breads.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Baking Arts and Service Management
Year: 2019
Authors: Jordan A. Perron