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Capstone Projects

Extreme Local: Weighing the Financials of Growing Produce On-Premise

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 16:31
Abstract: Restaurant owners across the United States create revenue by limiting their food costs. As the demand for locally grown, organic produce rises, these individuals find it increasingly difficult to offer these comparatively expensive ingredients without raising prices or facing an increase in food cost percentage. This study aims to discover the financial benefits and risks of growing organic produce on-premise, an alternative to buying these ingredients. Comparing the cost of gardening to the perceived value of its product, a financial analysis will assess the return on perfectly ripened, fresh ingredients. The findings will be used to determine the viability of small scale on-premise gardening in any small to medium sized restaurant.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2011
File Attachments: Brandon Bills Capstone.docx
Authors: Brandon Bills

How Local Can You Go?

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 17:01
Abstract: With the ever-increasing interest in and utilization of locally sourced products in food-service establishments, it makes sense for the “green”-striving Paul Smith’s College to bring these efforts to the dining room. The St. Regis Café claims, “We buy local when ever possible and support our regional agriculture as a standard professional practice.” This project will determine to what extent this claim is followed through on, while taking into consideration the required standards of the learning environment in the St. Regis Café. By establishing contact through e-mail with selected farmers and producers, this research will explore what percentage of the menu items could be sourced within a certain region. The resulting information will provide the St. Regis Café with the basis of information regarding product availability, should they be interested in pursuing this option.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2011
File Attachments: Capstone project.docx
Authors: Kelcey Rusch

Self-Actualization through the use of Food

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 17:16
Abstract: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a table consisting of human needs according to necessity; in order to reach a new level, needs of the previous level must be met first. Among the physiological needs located at the bottom of the pyramid, is food. Food can be controlled unlike other biological needs and therefore may play a crucial role in reaching the ultimate goal of self-actualization. The surveys will be conducted to gather statistics and opinions of outdoor recreationists and other professionals who pertain to this study. The question that is going to be answered through this capstone is: Is food preparation and consumption an enriching and exciting enough experience to achieve self-actualization?
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2011
Authors: Stephanie Curtis

Cheers To Upscaling Beer With A Cicerone

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 18:53
Abstract: The Cicerone Certification Program has been around only since 2007 but has already given out thousands of Certified Beer Server certificates. The Cicerone Certification Program seeks to ensure that consumers receive the best possible beer and enjoy its flavors to the greatest extent possible. Those who are qualified must know five areas of beer. These areas of knowledge are beer storage, sales and service, beer styles and culture, beer tasting and flavors, brewing ingredients and processes, and pairing beer with food. The program offers three levels of certification beginning with the simplest and building to the most complex and demanding. The three levels of a Cicerone are Certified Beer Server, Certified Cicerone, and Master Cicerone. This study seeks to determine if a Cicerone is needed in an upscale restaurant. The opinion of beverage managers’ will be gathered through the use of interviews. The consensus will be used to determine if it is even worth having a Cicerone in upscale restaurants.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2011
File Attachments: Capstone-Project.docx
Authors: Stephen Angrisano

Rooftop Gardens

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 19:26
Abstract: The term “local” has very little meaning, if you are surrounded by miles of asphalt and sidewalks. However, the term “rooftop garden” can have a strong and powerful meaning when the only farming space you have is the roof above you. This study seeks to determine if there is a difference between rooftop garden grown food and mass produced and transported food in visual appearance and to determine what are the consumer assumptions and perceptions about a restaurant rooftop garden. The data for this study will be gathered through the use of secondary research and surveys. This information will then be used to determine the differences between vegetables picked at peak ripeness from a rooftop garden and vegetables delivered from a large scale mass producer. In addition the consensus will be used to see if the use of a rooftop garden has any affect on a customer’s perception of an urban restaurant with a rooftop garden.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2011
File Attachments: capstone.docx
Authors: Alexander Benson

A Healthier Lunch Line

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 19:57
Abstract: Unhealthy eating is an epidemic in America that is passing from generation to generation. It is becoming more crucial to find ways that can change eating habits at a young age due to the influx of marketing influences. This study will show whether educational marketing or aesthetic marketing is more effective on children’s food choices. The educational marketing will be implemented by interactive taste testing with the students, while the aesthetic marketing will be done by encouraging healthy eating with various wall illustrations and posters in the cafeteria. Both sets of data will be gathered before and after to be compared for effectiveness. Schools are currently struggling to find a way to encourage healthy eating with food that is appealing to a grade school student. If the presentation of food is part of a solution, then this study can help prove that simple changes to the cafeteria setting can reinforce children’s perception of health and help fight obesity and other health issues.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management, Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management
Year: 2011
Authors: Amiee Derzanovich, Morgan Horwatt

An Investigation of Soil Nutrient Concentrations and its Relations to the Possible Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) Decline in the Paul Smith’s College Sugar Bush

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 11:50
Abstract: Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) is an abundant tree specie that can be found almost everywhere in New England. Sugar maples can be used as timber logs, but they are primarily a great source for producing maple syrup. These trees are a vast source of income for a lot of people. Paul Smith’s College annually produces range from $25,000-$30,000 from the syrup production at their sugar bush. There are currently 1400 taps out in the sugar bush. The purpose of this study is to determine if sugar maples are on a decline in the Paul Smith’s College Sugar Bush. There have been many tests and studies done on variables that affect sugar maple growth. Many different variables such as the effects of climate, nutrient concentrations, light, ozone, oxidative stress, elevated CO2, precipitation, other trees, invasive species and mycorrhizal fungi were studied to determine how they affect soil nutrient concentrations, which ultimately affects the ability of sugar maple to survive and thrive. These studies have shown that sugar maples in New England are on a steady decline. All of the studies I have found have focused on the big picture in regard to sugar maple decline, and none on the local level, like the Paul Smith’s College Sugar Bush. The purpose of my study is to determine whether or not the sugar maples in the sugar bush are on a decline and if they are will that information influence the college’s management plan for its sugar bush. This project collected and developed data that helped determine whether sugar maples in the sugar bush are on a decline. With this new information the college will be able to determine what they would like to do with the sugar bush in the future years to come.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Forestry
Year: 2011
Authors: Mark Bouquin

Searching for the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) in an Un-Infested Area While Interpreting the Effects of Educational Outreach to the Private Landowner

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 16:04
Abstract: Nonnative invasive insect pests can alter the habitat and transform the ecosystems they have invaded, leading to ecological and economical problems. The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive insect that constricts nutrient and water transport in the cambium of ash trees. The EAB has no known eradication method to stop its potential spread across the landscape. The purpose of this study is twofold: 1) to educate the landowner about EAB and 2) to look for EAB in an un-infested area. Survey questionnaires were given before and after the study. The pre-study questions measured landowners’ background knowledge of EAB. The post-project questions gave insight to how the study helped the landowner learn more. A sentinel (girdled) tree survey was conducted at each of four study sites with two purple sticky traps installed and monitored bi-weekly. No emerald ash borers were found, but the public outreach component was successful. Landowners play an important role in being aware of invasive species and alerting natural resource professionals. The landowners gained knowledge about EAB. EAB outreach helped give land management advice to landowners, pertaining to the threat of EAB. The landowners felt confident in helping inform other members of the public and help identify EAB infestations. Keywords: Emerald ash borer (EAB), public outreach, Questionnaire, Sentinel/Girdled tree, purple sticky trap, Identifying Emerald ash borer, Questions Analysis, Educate the landowner, invasive, nonnative, pest
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Forestry
Year: 2011
File Attachments: capstone_final_proj.docx
Authors: Richard A. Silvestro

Forest Habitat Management for Creating Self Sustaining Populations of Ruffed Grouse on Tug Hill Plateau.

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 16:38
Abstract: The ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) is a perhaps the most popular game bird in the northeast. According to locals, the populations of ruffed grouse in the Tug Hill Plateau region located in upstate New York have been on a steady downhill trend over the past several years. This study was focused on habitat, and meant to gain insight on what current habitat exists on Tug Hill Plateau. Two separate study areas were utilized during this project. The first was named the River Road Covert study area, and is part of the Lookout State Forest, located in Lewis county New York. The second was named the Montague Covert study area, and is located in Montague New York, on parker road 10 miles from Montague Inn. Within each study area habitats were classified by cover type. Using fixed plot habitat survey methods, and aerial photo interpretation each study area was subdivided into first quadrants and then stands. A transect style flush count was then implemented in each study area in order to determine which stand possessed the specific cover type most preferred by local populations of ruffed grouse. During the flush count, a more specific data collection pertaining to habitat was taken in areas where grouse were flushed, and consideration was given to the time of year the survey took place in regards to the seasonal habitat preferences of this species. The purpose of this study is to identify what habitats within each study area were most highly favored by grouse, and which habitats were less likely to be utilized given their current condition. After completion of the data analysis researched recommendations were made as to how to manage the less favorable areas for the scarce early successional habitat which ruffed grouse were found to typically associate with.  
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Forestry
Year: 2011
File Attachments: Capstone Report , Appendix A , Appendix B
Authors: Keith F McDonald

Silvicultural techniques for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) habitat management

Tue, 12/06/2011 - 09:25
Abstract: White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virgianus) habitat is most commonly managed through forestry activities such as timber management. Sound silvicultural prescriptions and management scheduling can increase the lands carrying capacity of white-tailed deer through increased food availability and cover habitat. Biologists claim that white-tailed deer will eat an average of six to seven pounds of food daily, which makes food management a key factor when increasing deer densities. This study examined what silvicultural techniques are best used for increasing deer inhabitance on a family farm in west central Vermont. Currently, the study area is occupied by a large percentage of undesirable stand structures and plant species occupancy. Some of these stands were created through old pasture succession. The focal point of this study was to prescribe management tactics to better the habitat for white-tailed deer. Forest inventory through point sampling was used to make silvicultural prescriptions for six different stands within 163 acres of farm forest. Combinations of two-age and uneven-age treatments were suggested for the study area to increase species diversity and structural diversity. Uneven-age small group selections and single tree selections were recommended for the forest interior to promote cover habitat, and small patch cuts were recommended for bordering forest stands to promote a woody browse food source.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Forestry
Year: 2011
File Attachments: capstone
Authors: Tyler Pelland