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Capstone Projects

Impacts of Minnow Species Composition on Marsh Feeding Ecology: A Look at Minnow Composition in Heron Marsh

Mon, 11/30/2020 - 16:07
Abstract: Minnows play an important role in marsh ecosystems as both predator and prey. The abundance of minnows in water systems makes them important tools for studying the feeding ecology of small prey fish. Minnow traps were set within specific regions and plots located in the Heron Marsh in the Adirondack Park, New York. These traps were baited and checked the next day, and minnows were identified by species then released. Trophic guilds were assigned to each minnow species based on literature and feeding habits. ANOVA tests were conducted to compare minnow species composition from the fall of 2020 in all regions of the marsh. Histograms were used to compare length-frequency over time and sites where minnows frequent. The composition of trophic guilds showed that carnivores were scarce, as creek chub only over 100mm were considered predatory, and they were not as frequent as smaller creek chub. Omnivorous generalist feeders were common but no specific site in the marsh had more omnivorous feeders than other sites. Finally, the abundance of insectivores was high in most sites, and highest in the forest ecology trail site. Length frequency of the two most caught fish, creek chub and finescale dace, were represented with histograms. Creek chub under 100mm were more abundant in every site than individuals larger than 100mm. Similarly, finescale dace 70mm and smaller were more common in every site.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Biology
Year: 2020
Authors: Emily Schmeltz

An Ecological History of the Albany Pine Bush, Albany NY

Mon, 11/30/2020 - 15:45
Abstract: Paleoecology allows us to look backward in time thousands of years to see the long-term ecological history of an area. The main focus was to conduct the first exploratory investigations of the wetland located in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve (APBP) and Stump Pond deposits and the first directly dated ecological history of the pine bush. Irregular fire regimes and land development have caused a massive loss to the pine bush. Between 1940 and 1990 the pine bush has experienced an 81% change in land cover. Despite this, the APBP is home to many rare and endangered species in need of habitat restoration. Three samples (APB1-A, APB1-C, & APB2) were collected from a wetland within the boundaries of the APBP and one sample (Stump-1) was collected from a nearby pond. Cores were analyzed for pollen assemblages to reconstruct the tree community. APB cores revealed that Pinus and Quercus pollen grains made up the majority of all pollen found from Present – 6600 years ago Stump-1 pollen assemblages were dominated by Pinus and Picea indicating that between 6600 and 10,600 years ago the ecosystem transformed into the pitch pine- scrub oak ecosystem we see today. This information can help the APBP justify future preservation and restoration work.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Biology
Year: 2020
File Attachments: Capstone Paper Full.docx
Authors: Skylar Murphy

Nose to Tail ~ Root to Leaf

Tue, 12/01/2020 - 23:22
Abstract: The idea of using all parts of products we have access to in the food industry. Keeping the integrity of all food products.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2020
Authors: Jeaneliz A. Mendez

Fusion Cuisine Capstone

Wed, 12/02/2020 - 10:49
Abstract: Fusion cuisine is taking known elements of one's nation/country. Then applying those culinary elements to foreign ingredients thus making a fusion dish.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2020
Authors: Tu Ngo

Lower St. Regis Lake Survey: A Comparative Study of Fish Population Structure and Function over Time

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 14:24
Abstract: Lake surveys are performed on bodies of water to provide a health analysis of fish populations over time. Lake surveys can be conducted in a variety of ways to attain specific data. Lower St. Regis Lake was surveyed to determine the fish community composition and to understand fish population traits. Using fyke nets placed at six predetermined locations for 24 hours, as well as fishing, we collected data for age, length (mm), weight (g), and parasites present. Data was analyzed in the lab using Excel to form graphs and tables to demonstrate our findings. Catch rates were lower compared to years before and comparing our data to New York State Department of Conservation data found that our length-at-age data was lower for the six-species sampled. Pumpkinseed and yellow perch were the only two species to have over twenty fish sampled. Decreased air temperatures brought in by a cold front during the week of our sampling may have been a reason for our lower number of fish caught. Mesh size is also a bias while using these nets as smaller fish can escape, and predatory fish can prey on smaller fish while in the net. Some species of fish such as black crappie may be more susceptible to capture due to its habit of associating with structure.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Biology, Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Fisheries and Wildlife Science, Natural Resources Conservation and Management
Year: 2018
File Attachments: Capstone_Final.docx
Authors: Deacon Chapin, Jared Chlus, Louis Daversa, Jon Herrman, Robert Visicaro

A Taste of Paul Smith's & The Adirondacks

Sun, 12/09/2018 - 15:50
Abstract: Using what we have learned over the last four years our task was to put on a themed Capstone Dinner. This dinner was experiential and progressive, guests were transported to different parts of the Paul Smiths College campus for each course of the dinner. The focus of this Capstone was to capture the essence of the Adirondacks to portray it through a five course meal. I first looked to the woods for help building inspiration for each dish. Along with the dinner, comes many other tasks from ordering to costing.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2018
Authors: Sean Conroy

Mycophagy of the Adirondacks

Sat, 12/08/2018 - 11:26
Abstract: Throughout the course of mushroom history, they have gained multiple reputations, being known as a food source or a deadly fungus. According to Tori Avey, she believes that “Over the years reckless mushroom hunters have thrown caution to the wind with fatal results, giving food safe mushrooms a bad reputation. Which resulted in two very different categories of people mycophiles, those who love mushrooms and mycophobes those who fear mushrooms.” (Avey,T) Mycophagy is the practice of consuming fungus collected in the wild, also known as eating foraged mushrooms. Mushrooms are grouped into the vegetable category within the local grocery stores, but they are not a vegetable mushrooms are a type of edible, poisonous, psychedelic, and medicinal fungus with over 400 different species. Many Mycophiles believe we are currently, in the beginning of a myco-revolution many people are now interested in the wide range of gourmet wild mushrooms “The name “mushroom” has been given to over 38,000 varieties of fungus that possess the same threadlike roots and cap.” (Avey,T)
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2018
Authors: Selena C. Hay

A Taste of Local Goat Cheese

Sat, 12/08/2018 - 11:22
Abstract: This capstone features the variety of goat cheeses in each of the courses!
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2018
Authors: Julia Ho(:

A Taste of Duck

Mon, 05/07/2018 - 09:17
Abstract: A four course meal based around duck.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2018
Authors: Taylor Engel

Vista Wellness: An Educational Community Center for the Glenview Preserve

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 23:29
Abstract: The Glenview Preserve is home to a beautiful open vista of the High Peaks. This land was recently purchased by the Adirondack Land Trust and is looking for ways to sustainably manage the property by utilizing Paul Smith’s College capstone students for recommendations. One viable opportunity the ALT can incorporate, is the addition of a sustainable forum and conference center. With a community-oriented mind, Vista Wellness will provide a multitude of spaces for businesses and individuals to retreat while partaking in recreational activities. Vista Wellness is designed to be low impact with features such as a living roof and LEED certification. Using a promotional commercial and an intricate model, using state of the art construction supplies, we are able to convey the need for this addition to the Glenview property.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Environmental Sciences, Sustainable Communities & Working Landscapes
Year: 2018
Authors: Kimberly Kehr
, Matthew Syke
, Thomas Szabo