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Capstone Projects

Soil and Vegetation Characteristics of High Elevation Wetlands in the Adirondack Park

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 17:14
Abstract: Wetland ecosystems are finally being understood for their true importance. Wetlands in the past were misunderstood and thought to be disease carrying burdens on our way of life; however this mentality changed during the mid-19thcentury. These ecosystems are important for biodiversity and act as natural water purification systems. This study was undertaken to help understand, the high elevation wetland characteristics. Our goals were to analyze the soils and describe the vegetation in high elevation wetlands. The soil and vegetative surveys helped define the characteristics of these ecosystems and create a better understanding of them. The combination of vegetation species that are wetland indicators were found in each site, the soil pH, and nutrients show that each site had signs of being a wetland community.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Environmental Sciences, Forestry
Year: 2012
File Attachments: FINAL Capstone Report.doc
Authors: Brandon Ploss, Sean Ayotte

A MULTI-SCALE EVALUATION OF THE EFFECTS OF FOREST HARVESTING FOR WOODY BIOFUELS ON MAMMALIAN COMMUNITIES IN A NORTHERN HARDWOOD FOREST

Fri, 02/01/2013 - 16:19
Abstract: Forest harvesting and subsequent effects on forest structure have been shown to influence mammalian community assemblages and the abundance of individual species, however less attention has been paid to the implications of how harvested timber is used. This is particularly relevant in the Northern Forest, where a considerable portion of the forest harvesting is used to produce biofuels. Biofuels harvesting typically involves the process of whole-tree chipping which may lead to a dramatic reduction in the amount of woody material in the form of slash and coarse woody debris (CWD) left in harvested stands. The goal of our study was to assess the effects of biofuels harvesting on forest structure and subsequent effects on mammalian community structure and abundance. To address this goal, we focused on a ~35 Ha area of partially-harvested northern hardwood forest in the northern Adirondacks, New York. To sample mammals we used a combination of Sherman traps and track plates established at two scales across stands within this area. Our results showed that the response of small mammals to changes in forest structure is both species and scale specific. At the individual trap scale, CWD, slash, and understory cover were important drivers of the occurrence of individual species of small mammals. At the larger “grid” scale, small mammal relative abundance was driven by canopy cover and the density of woody stems. Our results indicate that the current harvesting practices used for biofuel production in the Adirondacks are unlikely to result in declines in abundance of common small mammal species. However, the retention of some slash post-harvest may be beneficial to some species, thus foresters may want to include slash retention when developing silvicultural prescriptions.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Environmental Sciences, Fisheries and Wildlife Science, Natural Resources Management and Policy
Year: 2012
Authors: Cody Laxton, Alisha Benack, Danielle Ball, Scott Collins, Sam Forlenza, Richard Franke, Stephanie Korzec, Alec Judge, Connor Langevin, Jonathan Vimislik, Elena Zito

Managing for increased productivity and size of an American kestrel (Falco sparverius) population in northern New York

Mon, 05/07/2012 - 12:58
Abstract: American kestrel (Falco sparverius) populations have recently declined across most of the eastern states. As a result, managers and concerned citizens alike have installed nest boxes across large areas to increase productivity. Mr. Mark Manske has run one of these nest box programs in northern New York, across parts of St. Lawrence and Franklin counties, over the past ten years. Through the combination of his research and other long term management plans, the ideal future plan was developed. The focus of the new plan is to boost efficiency of resources, ease of expansion and sustain a steady or increasing population of kestrels. GIS software was used to analyze each nest boxes’ characteristics in order to develop a model that may predict areas of possible high productivity. Surveys and public outreach are emphasized to create a broader supporting base and possibly acquire future partners for land use, volunteers and advertising. The continued monitoring of the northern New York kestrel population will ensure the presence of this vital species for generations to come.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Environmental Sciences, Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2012
File Attachments: Sauca_Final_Submision.docx
Authors: Tonnie Sauca Jr.

Bringing Families Back to the Drive-In

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 17:55
Abstract: Drive-in theaters have been in existence since 1933. However, within the past 30 years the number has been declining. Now there are indications that they have been making a comeback. The number of operating drive-in theaters went from 366 in 2011 to 368 this year according to drive-ins.com. This study seeks to determine how drive-in theater can appeal to families, and how they may best cultivate their comeback. The opinions of both families and drive-in theater owners will be gathered through the use of surveys. The results will be used to determine what steps drive-in theater owners will take to attract more families back to the drive-in theater also what features families would want available at the drive-in theater. The long term goal is help the family become a unit.
Access: No
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Eric Kowalik

From House to Home

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 20:59
Abstract: In 2011, baby boomers began reaching the age of retirement; a trend that will continue for the next twenty years. This generation is healthier, wealthier, and more educated than their predecessors, which presents an opportunity for the assisted living industry. Assisted living facilities offer more independence and fewer restrictions than nursing homes which is appealing to those who only need help completing daily tasks. The Adirondacks have potential to play a significant role as a retirement destination. The purpose of this study is to determine what brought baby boomers to assisted living facilities in the Adirondacks. Semi-structured surveys will be used to obtain the needed information. This information will ultimately help assisted living facilities in the Adirondack region market to future baby boomers.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: House to Home.doc
Authors: Mallory Kasey Fleishman

Healthy Spaces, Healing Places: An exploratory study of health and wellness terminology and traveler perceptions.

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 12:19
Abstract: Health and wellness tourism is driving destination development in the hotel industry yet little has been written on the perceptions of potential travelers on health and wellness as separate product and service offerings. Health and wellness properties in the United States often market their products and services interchangeably without acknowledging the difference between the health product experience and the wellness product experience. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore customer perceptions of the health travel product separate from the wellness travel product as compared to the accepted definition of Europe’s health and wellness market segments. A semi-structured survey was designed to measure and compare customer perceptions of the attributes of a health and wellness product and/or services experience and to define what health and wellness. The outcome of this study can be used by hospitality properties seeking to market more specifically to health or wellness at their property.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: BBOYCE_FINAL CAPSTONE.doc
Authors: Bethany Boyce

Vine to Table: A Study of Millennial Consumers' Quality Perception of Wine on Tap

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 13:11
Abstract: There is a trend present in the wine industry for restaurant and bar establishments to use wine kegs to serve their wines by the glass through a draft system accompanied by a growing consumption rate of wine drinkers in the millennial generation. Restaurant and bar establishments need to recognize the growing consumption of wines by the glass in the millennial generational cohort because they are the future of industry trends. This exploratory study sought to determine to what extent millennial consumers’ perception of the wine quality is affected by keg packaging. An online survey was administered to millennial consumers to help such establishments understand the acceptability of wine keg draft systems for their growing market demographic through statistical data that was collected.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: WALLACE FINAL CAPSTONE.doc
Authors: Alexis Wallace

“I’m a server, not a doctor. You’re allergic to what?” The need for expansion of food allergy training practices within the food service industry specifically focused on front of the house employees.

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 14:18
Abstract: The number of food allergy sufferers in the United States has dramatically increased in the last 15 years. It is estimated that approximately 15 million individuals in the United States have food related allergies; of that 15 million, an estimated 6 million are children. Due to the high percentage of customers with food related allergies, the restaurant industry has been forced to adjust to the needs of clientele to maintain a diverse customer base. This study seeks to determine if a food allergy training course should be instituted in the food service industry. Survey data will be gathered from restaurants in the Lake Placid/Saranac Lake region of New York to determine current training policies, level of knowledge, and communication procedures. Furthermore, the study will investigate if a food allergy training course is present at each restaurant surveyed. If not, the level of training staff have and overall knowledge regarding food allergies will also be examined. The results will then be compiled to generate a report of recommendations regarding the need for a food allergy training course and the information that should be considered within the course. The goal of this project is to ensure sufficient education for restaurant staff, providing exceptional service and safety for all clients.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: O'REILLY FINAL CAPSTONE.doc
Authors: Ashley O'Reilly

Beyond The Links: A Study of Golf Tourism Amenities

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 19:48
Abstract: Golf tourism is a continually growing trend within the golf industry. This capstone determined to what extent amenities play a factor in the choosing of destinations by golf tourists, this relational study will explain the possible relationship between amenities and choice of destination by golf tourists. The availability of amenities relates to tourist choices of vacation destination for golf tourists was determined by this capstone. Data was collected through online surveys distributed to golf tourists. The activity that this study included was surveying and data collection. The data that was collected returned in the form of scales which will make for easier data analysis. This study has yielded data that would be useful for many communities around the country that have a golf aspect to their economy. Some possible organizations that could use the data that this study attains would be organizations like chambers of commerce in areas with golf courses and golf tourists.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2012
File Attachments: JDILLON FINAL CAPSTONE.docx
Authors: John Dillon

Sports Tournaments: A Study of the Economic Impact on Hotels in Small Communities

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 21:58
Abstract: Sports tourism is an emerging tourism niche market recognized as having the capacity to draw visitors to a city or region. What is not known is whether or not this is a trend for small communities. The purpose of this qualitative exploratory study is to seek understanding of the unknown phenomenon of small scale tournament sports tourism events and their effect on hotels in small communities. Through surveys, data will be collected, analyzed, and coded under different categories of economic impact on hotels including average daily rate, revenue per available room, and additional costs incurred when hosting guests associated with sports tournaments. This study will be significant for hotels in small communities looking to host participants and observers of tournament sports tourism events.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2012
Authors: Emily O'Hara