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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

Promoting Conservation of Biodiversity in the Adirondack Park Through Understanding and Engaging Stakeholders

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 11:31
Abstract: Anthropogenic disturbance of natural environments has led to the widespread loss of native biodiversity and degradation of ecosystems. It is increasingly recognized that addressing this “biodiversity crisis” entails understanding the societal drivers of unsustainable patterns of use. Conservation psychology is a new discipline that specifically focuses on understanding the linkages between human behavior and action and promoting a healthy and sustainable relationship between humans and nature. In this project, we employed principles of conservation psychology with the goal of improving the efficacy and efficiency of conservation of biodiversity in the Adirondack Park (AP). To meet this goal we employed three specific strategies. The first of these strategies was the use of surveys to assess the values, attitudes, and actions different stakeholders have in regards to conservation of biodiversity in the AP. These surveys were disseminated via both direct mailings and online, and included 30 questions. Our second strategy was to use discourse analysis to create a dictionary of terms and phrases employed in a positive, neutral, and negative light in regard to conservation of biodiversity. This entailed analysis of 30 emic accounts derived from opinion articles written by stakeholders in the AP, as well as analysis of a number of etic accounts drawn from online sources. Our third strategy was to use conservation psychology literature to assess ways in which the presentation of information and peer-dynamics influenced the responses of stakeholders towards conservation of biodiversity. Using the combination of these three strategies, we were able to provide a holistic understanding of how different stakeholders in the AP perceive and act towards biodiversity conservation; identify language that can be used to illicit a more positive response from these stakeholders; and identify specific tools based on principles of psychology that can encourage more active and effective engagement in conservation of biodiversity by different stakeholders. Our research findings will allow groups focusing on promoting conservation of biodiversity in the AP to be more effective and efficient in their work in the future.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Environmental Sciences, Fisheries and Wildlife Science, Forestry, Natural Resources Management and Policy, Recreations, Adventure Travel and Ecotourism
Year: 2011
Authors: Christopher Critelli, John Ghanime, Derek Johnson, Samantha Lambert, Justin Luyk, Matthew Parker, Robert Vite, Heather Mason, Jesse Warner, Ethan Lennox, Sarah Robbiano, David Mathis, David A. Patrick

Removal of Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii) in a Hardwood Forest in Northwest Connecticut

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 09:57
Abstract: Japanese barberry is an invasive shrub that has overtaken and invaded the forest land of New England. Once established, Japanese barberry grows into dense populations that affect forest regeneration, and availability of different nutrients in the soil. This study focused on determining the most time efficient way to remove Japanese barberry from an area. The amount of time it took to complete each removal method was compared with how effective each method was. The effectiveness of each method was based upon how many stems were removed, and how many stems sprouted after a treatment occurred. Four methods were used which included; root severing, cutting stems, burning stems and a herbicide foliar application. It was found that digging stems took a large amount of time, while stem cutting and burning took a moderate amount of time, and the use of herbicide took a small amount of time. It was found that root severing was the least effective method, producing a high amount of new stems and taking the longest time. Herbicide treatment of stems was the most effective method, producing no new stems after treatment and taking a short amount of time to complete. Out of all the methods, two methods had equal expenses. This study has determined the most efficient and least effective way to remove Japanese barberry from a typical New England hardwood stand.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Forestry
Year: 2011
File Attachments: Capstone Paper.docx
Authors: Douglas Palmer

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

Effects of Forest Cover Type on Carbon Sequestration Rates

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 14:42
Abstract: Climate change and mitigation of climate change are common dilemmas faced by the majority of people within the United States. At the heart of climate mitigation techniques are forestry practices aimed to promote increased carbon sequestration. Forests are effective at sequestering carbon because they act as carbon sinks for the majority of their life. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect that Northeastern forest cover types have on the rate of carbon sequestration. This was done by examining the major forest cover types: northern hardwoods, mixed woods, and conifer forest cover types within Vermont and New Hampshire. This study entailed timber sampling to determine the amount of above ground carbon, increment boring to determine growth rates, soil samples to calculate subsurface carbon, and forest floor samples to determine accumulated carbon in the forest floor. During the study it was found that the conifer stands exhibited the highest rate of carbon sequestration, attributed greatly to the high growth rates and high stocking densities that characterized these stands. In addition, the majority of carbon within all the stands was found to be within the forest soils, which indicates particular attention should be given to this area when managing for carbon sequestration. In conclusion, some suggested management techniques for increasing carbon sequestration rates could include extending the rotation age to capitalize on the entire accelerated growth stage of the trees, and promoting multiple age classes within the stands which would allow for less intensive harvest regimes.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Forestry
Year: 2011
Authors: Charles Dana Hazen