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Capstone Projects

The Conservation and Management of Wolverine (Gulo gulo) Populations in Northern Idaho to Help Prevent Human Caused Extirpation from the Contiguous United States

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 11:21
Abstract: Wolverines (Gulo gulo) were once a thriving species in the North Western United States, but large scale trapping and poison programs in the early 1900s lead to the species near extinction. Since then, populations in the United States have been struggling to maintain a strong presence in Idaho. Its current listing as threatened on the Endangered Species Act prohibits hunting and trapping, but more management is needed to sustain populations. Human development and recreation activities have caused wolverines to disperse from its nature range. Using habitat preservation techniques on current and historical wolverine habitat, increase availability and connectivity will improve dispersal. Close relationship with state officials will provide protection regarding land use, recreation, hunting, trapping and harassment. Public education will teach residents ways they can help prevent wolverine populations from further decline. Extensive research and population monitoring are needed due to the currently declining populations and the low fecundity of the species.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Biology, Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
Authors: Danielle E. Ball

Organic vs. Inorganic- Perceptions A Study of the Perceived Flavor Differences between Organically and Inorganically Produced Foods Based on the Label “Organic”

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 11:43
Abstract: This research project is a study based on ideas of Jenny Wan-chen Lee and Mitsuru Shimizu’s study (You Taste What You See: Do Organic Labels Bias Taste Perceptions?) This study was specifically focused on culinary students to see if they would be more or less influenced by the label “organic.” It is also a psychological food study on the label organic and the way that such claims affect the consumer’s view on the quality of the product, specifically culinary students. This is done through a blind taste testing study where 24 culinary students and 24 non-culinary students were asked to try same product, but were told that one of the two unlabeled products was “organic” and the other “inorganic.” This study also goes into the qualifications a product must meet in order to be considered USDA certified organic. However, there is a pre-conceived notion that organic food equals a higher quality flavor and the purpose of this study is to see if that pre-conceived notion will affect the way these students can identify differences between two products when they are the same product. The hypothesis is that the culinary students will be less influenced by the label and judge the flavors more critically than those who are untrained in the culinary field.
Access: No
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Thomas Stile

Sustainable Foie Gras: A study of sustainable and ethical methods in raising geese and ducks for foie gras

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 17:14
Abstract: Foie gras has been a culinary delicacy worldwide for thousands of years and is currently in danger due to controversy surrounding the methods which are used to produce it. Conventional waterfowl care methods are gradually being deemed inhumane and unethical at farms worldwide and as a result bans and laws against foie gras production are being formed. Foie gras is the fatty enlarged liver of a duck or goose, conventionally created by means of “gavage” or force feeding the birds by placing a funnel into the bird’s mouth two to four times per day and pouring corn directly into the throat. Alternatively, one unique farm in Spain plants a garden full of edible goods for the birds and when the cold season arrives the birds naturally choose to force feed themselves. The end result is a foie gras that has won blind taste tests in France against major conventional producers. This method is not known to be used anywhere else in the world, but is being experimented with on a farm in Pocantico Hills, NY (South-Eastern New York) at the Stone Barns Center. If successfully executed, this method could be implemented on any farm as an alternative to conventional methods.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Capstone.doc
Authors: Dana Gagne

The Utilization of Preservation Techniques in Restaurants: A study of consumer perception on the availability of preserved local products during off-seasons in restaurants

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 21:59
Abstract: The availability of local food has an impact on a consumer’s restaurant choice. Restaurants could generate additional income by providing locally grown food during off seasons. Restaurateurs could generate income by attracting guests that are interested in consuming locally grown foods, by providing them in their restaurant during the off-season. The purpose of this study is to determine to what extent in-house preservation of local products would benefit restaurants. This is a qualitative, exploratory relationship study, focused on how and to what extent the availability of preserved local products will affect a consumer’s selection of a restaurant. Data was collected through the administration of surveys to residents of Suffolk County, New York. The participants were asked their opinion on the ideas of preserved local food, and the role it plays in their dining choices. Data from the surveys was coded, based upon common responses, to analyze the participant feedback. These coded responses were compiled to present the findings. This study is helpful to people looking into opening a restaurant, and current owners of restaurants, by determining if the year-round offering of local products has financial benefit to their business.
Access: No
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Preston Hulse