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Capstone Projects

Tardigrade Abundance in Green Shield Lichens on Different Tree Species

Wed, 04/24/2013 - 18:43
Abstract: Many studies have been done on tardigrades, a microscopic, aquatic organism that feeds on plant cell fluid, bacteria, algae, protozoa, and other small invertebrates. Most of these studies have addressed their ability to survive extreme environments and not their preferred living habitats. Virtually no studies have been done investigating the ecology of tardigrades. This study focuses on which species of tardigrade live on a species of lichen (Common Greenshield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata) found on three species of trees; Red Maple (Acer rubrum), Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), and White Pine (Pinus strobus). Five trees of each species were chosen and five samples of the Common Greenshield Lichen were taken from all 25 trees during each of the fall and winter seasons. From every lichen sample processed, five slides were looked at, each containing two drops of the water that the lichen was suspended in for 2 hours. The samples were looked at underneath a compound microscope and a dichotomous key was used to identify tardigrades that were found. Due to the fact that liquid water is less available in winter, samples were taken during the fall and winter to look at the differences in species diversity and abundance. The greatest abundance of tardigrades was found on Red Maple, during both fall and winter. Black Cherry had the lowest abundance of tardigrades during both fall and winter. White Pine had an abundance less than that of Red Maple but greater than that of the Black Cherry. There were more tardigrades found on the lichen in fall than in winter. This implies that they find Red Maple a more suitable habitat than the Black Cherry and White Pine, may be related to acidity of the Black Cherry and White Pine being greater than that of Red Maple. Throughfall and stemflow on the trees may also contribute to habitat preference of the tardigrades.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Biology
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Capstone Report.docx
Authors: Heather Cooner

New York State Feral Hog (Sus scrofa) Management Plan: Species Eradication and Public Education

Thu, 04/25/2013 - 11:22
Abstract: Feral hogs, also referred to as feral swine, Eurasian or Russian wild boar, and wild pigs, are the same species Sus scofa. They are an aggressive invasive species introduced to the United States in the 1500s and have spread over most of the country in the last few decades (Gipson et al. 1998). Due to their unique life history feral hogs are a persevering ungulate species capable of causing extensive economical and ecological damage while causing a threat to human health and safety. They are considered one of the world’s worst invasive species (Lowe et al. 2000). Extinction of native species and loss of biodiversity due to this widely invasive species has been documented worldwide (Wolf and Conover 2003). This management plan describes the life history of feral hogs, the need for management in New York State, several action plans to address the need for management, and assessment protocol for each action plan. Also included in this plan is a grant request to fund the educational objectives in order to achieve more awareness and cooperation with the public, promoting higher probability of management success.
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Major: Biology
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Feral Hog Management Plan
Authors: William Schmieder Jr.

No Known Antidote: Quantification of a deadly toxin, tetrodotoxin, in red efts (Notopthalamus viridescens; Rafinesgue, 1820)

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 17:42
Abstract: Tetrodotoxin (TTX) in found in taxa worldwide including the eft life stage of the eastern newt (Notopthalamus virisdescens). Previous studies have shown that there is variability of TTX concentrations within efts and newts, and it is not known if the presence of TTX in these efts is common among populations. Our objective was to determine the distribution of TTX within the body N. viridescens efts. We hypothesized that the skin would have the highest concentrations of TTX as it is the area of the body that will likely come into contact with a predator. If certain regions of the skin come into contact with a predator more often than others, there may be significant differences in the dorsal, abdominal and pectoral regions of skin. Further, we hypothesized that the ova would have the second highest concentration of TTX as they are vital to reproduction yet vulnerable to predation. Through HPLC analysis we determined the concentrations of TTX within different tissues of N. viridescens efts including the: dorsal, pectoral, and abdominal skin; ovaries; testes; liver; pancreas; and alimentary canal. The concentrations of TTX between the different tissue types are not significantly different, nor were individuals significantly different in concentration of TTX from one another. Toxicity levels were high in comparison to other N. viridescens efts and more similar to the toxicity of highly toxic Taricha newts. The high toxicity of N. viridescens could be contributed to strong predation pressure by the slightly resistant garter snake (Thamnopsis sirtalis) and eastern hognose snake (Heterodon platirhinos).
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Major: Biology
Year: 2013
Authors: Kimberly M. Forrest

The effects of plate size on the consumer’s perception of being full.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 07:59
Abstract: Currently, there has been a drastic change in the amount people eat. With the introduction of fast food restaurants catering to people’s quick lifestyles, much of portion size has been distorted and this is known as portion distortion. Along with increasing portion sizes, there has also been an increase in plate size (Wasink, 2007). However, it is not known how and to what extent the size of the plate affects or influences the consumer’s perception of being full. The purpose of this descriptive study is to determine how and to what extent the size of a plate affects or influences the consumer’s perception of being full. Data will be collected through the use of observation. The menu will consist of a five day cycle menu. The venue that this research will be collected in is at the Ganzi lab in Cantwell on Paul Smith’s College campus. The tasting will be of one menu item off of the cycle menu and served to a small group of Paul Smith’s College students and faculty. The results collected will be collected through scorecards and then be analyzed to determine how and to what extent plate size effects or influences the consumer’s perception of being full. This is significant in the culinary industry because this increase in plate size has the potential influence on an increase in consumer’s portion size.
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Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: FINAL CAPSTONE.docx
Authors: Iris Lioy

Family Restaurants offering Healthier choices

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 08:15
Abstract: The purpose of the study is determined what small restaurants or their equivalent can do to have a healthier menu. To achieve this study I will do surveys and tasting to gather basic info about what foods people will order from family style restaurants if given a healthier choice. The info will be used in making of the tasting meal for about 8-10 people. This study will not be about counting nutritional info. The info will be important to family restaurants or their equivalent because people are looking for more healthy options for them self’s and their families and it can help them with the making of a new menu. The study over all will answer if can take regular family restaurant style menu items and make them healthier versions that people will enjoy.
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Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Capstone edited.doc
Authors: Ellis Snipes

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.
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Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
Authors: Rebecca Haley

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