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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.
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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.

Compaction of Hiking Trails Located in the Northeastern Area of the Adirondack State Park, New York

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 12:19
Abstract: With continued increases in outdoor recreation in the United States, the physical impact of that use needs to be monitored for its effects. The purpose of this study was to explore whether a relationship exists between traffic numbers and soil strength of trails in the High Peaks Region of New York’s Adirondack state park. Soil strength was used as a measure of compaction because of its ability to indicate certain aspects of soil physical properties like bulk density, and hydrological condition (Mirreh & Ketcheson,1972), which are also soil physical properties that are effected by compaction (Hanna & Al-Kaisi,2009). These physical properties are important factors which influence a soils ability to carry out its biotic and abiotic processes (Kozlowski,1999). Initially the relationship between average soil strength of trails and traffic was insignificant. Upon further analyzing the data we found a significant relationship between on-trail and off-trail soil strength and used this relationship to create on-trail residual soil strengths. This was done to remove the influence that off-trail soil strength was having on the traffic vs. soil strength relationship. With the on/off-trail relationship influence removed, the relationship between on-trail residual soil strength and traffic was significantly improved. Literature discussed showed how the soil strengths collected could be used to infer possible effects on the sites tested. Relations between soil strength and bulk density, root elongation, root penetration, and trail recovery were all reviewed to provide insight on the quality of the soil at sample sites.
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Major: Biology
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Karl Van Osch

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

Ritz-Carlton and the Campus Visit Experience

Wed, 12/04/2013 - 22:48
Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore to what extent the transfer of service from Ritz Carlton practices and the Hospitality Guest Cycle can be intergraded into higher education enrollment procedures, specifically the campus visit using Paul Smith’s College as a model. Research from this study can contribute support to transfer of service methods for similar higher education enrollment institutions by way of increasing student engagement throughout the experience. Methodology will include creating a rubric designed to break down the campus tour process into the four groups of the Guest Cycle that will compare with Ritz Carlton guidelines to observe performance levels followed by an analysis and further recommendations to Paul Smith’s College. A goal is to be able to clearly identify gaps in the campus visit procedures to allow for growth and new procedures to be put in place that positively reflect Ritz Carlton service standards and the Hospitality Guest Cycle. Information gathered in a rubric encompassing the Ritz Carlton Standards and the Hospitality Guest Cycle could be used by other small rural private colleges as a design for improvement.
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Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2013
Authors: Siobhan Shea

What Women Want

Sat, 04/20/2013 - 10:50
Abstract: Traveling business women are becoming more popular in the business world and hotel’s need to know how to accommodate them properly. The purpose of this study is to understand how to satisfy traveling business women through the security in a hotel. “What Women Want” is a descriptive quantitative study that seeks to address the question: How does satisfaction relate to the security of a hotel for traveling business women in metropolitan hotels? The data for this research will be collected through a series of questionnaires that will be emailed to alumnae of Paul Smiths College who travel to metropolitan hotels to determine what security features they look for when choosing a hotel. The data from the questionnaires will be used to help metropolitan hotels better satisfy their female business traveler’s expectations through the hotel security to build their customer loyalty.
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Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: What Women Want
Authors: Heather Knox

Gay Marriage Etiquette: A study of the implications of LGBT marriage events for event planners

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 09:55
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to determine if lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) wedding customs are changing the way event planners are planning weddings compared to traditional heterosexual weddings. “Gay Marriage Etiquette” is a qualitative, inductive, comparative analysis that seeks to address the question, “How are LGBT marriage customs going to affect the way event planners plan and set up weddings?” Data will be collected from an online survey distributed to event planners working in gay marriage legal states and the results will determine if event planners feel they are finding they must make changes in the way they prepare weddings of LGBT couples in comparison to the weddings of traditional heterosexual couples. This study will be significant to the event planning industry with the helping to understand how to market to the LGBT demographic.
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Literary Rights: Off
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Town_FinalCapstone.docx
Authors: Britny Town

Women Baby Boomers and Hospitality Marketing of Resorts: A study of the hospitality industry marketing resorts to women of the baby boomer generation

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 11:53
Abstract: With baby boomer women surfacing as a consumer powerhouse, it is important for resorts to successfully market to them. Hospitality marketers need to know what aspects of marketing of resorts appeal to women of the baby boomer generation to gain this demographic. The purpose of this qualitative, deductive, descriptive study is to determine what aspects of hospitality marketing of resorts appeal to women of the baby boomer generation. The marketing world has changed drastically due to aspects like social media. A survey of the literature will assess the importance of this market segments and the range of marketing techniques that can be used to influence them. By conducting interviews with marketing professionals, it will be shown what marketing tactics are currently being used to connect with women of the baby boomer generation. This will allow other marketing professionals to use these tactics to gain the enormous spending power of baby boomer women.
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Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2013
Authors: Elizabeth Salamendra

Renewable Energy: How it Affects Customer Loyalty

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 19:03
Abstract: Sustainability is a movement which involves many businesses adopting practices such as the use of renewable energy to create a move positive impact on their community, bottom line, and the planet. Due to a growing awareness of this recent movement; it is currently unknown if the use of renewable energy within a company has an effect on customer loyalty. The purpose of this study is to determine how and to what extent the use of renewable energy affects customer loyalty of ski resorts in Northeast America. This study is co-alignment analysis based on an inductive theory that seeks to discover how and to what extent renewable energy implementation affects the customer loyalty of guests at ski resorts in the Northeast. Data was collected through site visits and surveys and was analyzed to find a possible trend between customer loyalty and the use of renewable energy. If the use of renewable energy creates increased customer loyalty then ski resorts as well as other hospitality establishments and businesses would be more apt to adopt sustainable business practices. This study also lends itself to further research as far as the co-alignment between businesses in other industries as well as other sustainability initiatives.
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Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2013
Authors: Colby J. Russell

A study of: The St. Lawrence and Franklin County Residents' perceptions of the economic impact of the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino on their region

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 20:34
Abstract: The results of the 2009 Taylor Study of the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino found that this tribal gaming establishment had positive economic impact on the St. Regis Mohawk Nation and the North Country counties of St. Lawrence and Franklin. This qualitative study will revisit the findings and seek to discover if the perception of the residents is as positive as the numbers assume. The purpose of this study is to determine how and to what extent the public perception compares to the findings of the 2009 Jonathan Taylor Study of the Economic Impact of the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino. This descriptive qualitative study will be conducted through surveys and semi-structured interviews. The residents’ responses to the surveys and interviews will reveal their perceptions and experiences of the economic benefits. The data will be coded using the Grounded Theory Method to find patterns in responses and perceptions. This information could also be valuable to the county governments to determine if they are informing these North Country residents of the contributions from the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino to their county budget.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Newman_FinalCapstone.doc
Authors: Molly Newman