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Capstone Projects

Outdoor Classroom: Maintenance and Design

Mon, 05/02/2022 - 12:37
Abstract: Taking the classroom outside can have a wide variety of benefits for students' psychological and physical wellbeing. Paul Smith's College currently has one outdoor classroom on its campus as of the Spring 2022 semester to take advantage of these benefits. To expand outdoor learning for courses on Paul Smith's College Campus, we designed a second outdoor classroom. We received input from the Campus community through two survey we developed to discern the need for a second classroom, evaluate the existing classroom, evaluate the accommodations needed, and gain necessary information on other considerations for the design and location. Based on the survey results, using GIS to assess potential locations, and conducting interviews, we chose a site to focus on and developed a maintenance plan for the future management of both the existing and proposed classrooms.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Natural Resources Conservation and Management, Parks and Conservation Management, Sustainable Communities & Working Landscapes
Year: 2022
Authors: Shannon McPheeters
, Rebecca Durinick
, Nathanial Brangan
, Derek Thompson
, Annie DeHaven

Benefits of Experiential Learning on Students in University Level Classes with Proposed Feasibility of Additional Outdoor Classrooms at Paul Smith’s College.

Mon, 05/02/2022 - 20:05
Abstract: Learning does not come to some as easy as it does for others but what if there were ways to make it easier. The spring 2022 sustainability class was tasked with exploring and researching different benefits and options of outdoor classrooms. This paper revolved around the benefits one can receive when learning through experience and outdoors opposed to indoors. Studies from previous research as well as a multi-tiered survey were used to determine the benefits of learning outside on memory retention and mental/ physical health of students. Correlations were found between learning outside and memory retention as well as the benefit on overall health from spending time in natural settings.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Natural Resources Sustainability Studies
Year: 2022
Authors: Steven Donnelly

Maintenance Plan and Prioritization of Paul Smith's College Back Country Infrastructure

Fri, 04/29/2022 - 15:13
Abstract: This paper consists of a maintenance plan and prioritization of 12 of the worst lean-tos on the Paul Smith’s College campus property. Each lean-to has its own maintenance plan starting with exact coordinates of each lean-to, a brief description of the lean-to that has where its located and how far it is from a specific area along with it's amenities and how far they are from the lean-to. Also, there is a list of issues as to what is wrong with the lean-to, a maintenance list of what needs to be repaired on the lean-to, materials that are needed that tells the reader exactly what they need and the price of those materials. Lastly, the approximate time frame to complete all the work. Each of the 12 lean-tos that are written about in this paper are already in a prioritization order starting with the worst condition lean-to Church Pond Lean-to and the rest of the lean-tos following.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Parks and Conservation Management
Year: 2022
Authors: Garrett Rowlands

Sustainably Developing A Tiny Home Community To Answer The Adirondack Housing Crisis

Mon, 05/02/2022 - 22:29
Abstract: The Adirondack Housing Crisis can be broken down into these root causes. The historical use of the Adirondack State Park as a secondary home location and vacation area and the overall lack of affordable small homes compared to average wages of residents. This paper aims to qualitatively analyze the usefulness of a tiny home village to solve the housing crisis facing the Adirondack park and it's residents.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Parks and Conservation Management
Year: 2022
Authors: Tyler J. Schlesier

Outdoor Classroom; Trail Design

Mon, 05/02/2022 - 23:03
Abstract: Paul Smith’s College needs another outdoor classroom to fulfill the needs of faculty and students for outdoor learning. By adding another outdoor classroom, more students and faculty will be able to have class outside. If mismanaged outdoor classrooms can result in the degradation of the nature the students are supposed to enjoy. Harming the natural landscape of the outdoor classroom is almost as if you’re damaging an outdoor classroom itself. My subject focus on the outdoor classroom design team was creating sustainable trails. Sustainable trails protect the environment, meet user needs and expectations, and require minimal maintenance. This required gathering data from students, faculty, possible sites, and our recommended site. Using this information I created a potential design plan for the trails that can be used by the preexisting and new outdoor classrooms.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Parks and Conservation Management
Year: 2022
Authors: Rebecca Durinick

Citizen Science: A Tool for Better Preserving Backcountry Infrastructure at Paul Smith’s College.

Mon, 05/02/2022 - 22:34
Abstract: The Adirondacks have been home to a many steward of its land. Paul Smith’s College prides itself in encouraging a culture which promotes this long-held ideology to preserve natural resources. It is a school which prides itself in its unique location as well as resources. One of these many resources is its extensive backcountry property and the plethora of structures located within it. Many of these structures are what’s known as lean-tos. Over the course of the 2022 Spring semester, the Parks and Recreation Capstone class surveyed and identified the conditions of 15/16 the school’s remaining lean-tos. A particularly outstanding issue with this however, was the resources and organization required of the school to collect this data. This research paper examines the positive values that the implementation of citizen science programs has had on a national level. Furthermore, my individual contribution to this class’s Capstone was the implementation of a volunteer fed databank exclusively used for the documenting of lean-tos in the Paul Smith’s College backcountry. The scope and intent of this project was to pass this resource on for further development and active use by Paul Smith’s College, related committees, and its backcountry maintenance initiatives.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Recreations, Adventure Travel and Ecotourism, Recreation, Adventure Education and Leisure Management, Parks, Recreation and Facilities Management, Parks and Conservation Management
Year: 2022
Authors: Matthew T. Huffman

Improving Development & Image of The Park & Recreation Programs Across Paul Smith’s College

Mon, 07/18/2022 - 13:02
Abstract: Paul Smith’s College is a school of prestige when it comes to Environmental Studies, Environmental Science, Forestry, Culinary, & most importantly Parks and Recreation. The program has been awarded multiple times in the past 10 years. But a ropes course, at 30% functionality, haunts the Parks and Recreation students and the entire student body of what they could be doing. The canoe rental station has poor hours from 12 to 4 everyday, an outdated Parks and Recreation room with not even the most basic of resources. How can the 84 students out of 155 that stated they partake in paddling activities in our survey fully enjoy the school’s canoeing capabilities if the place to get the equipment is closed most of the day? How does this make our Parks and Recreation program, and distinguished institution, look in the eyes of the public? With outdoor recreation already being an expensive and selective activity; the only way to make it more accessible to everyone is to change the perception of the major, and the enterprise as a whole. This is not a groveling commentary of the school's recreation; Paul Smith’s location alone is a form of recreation. There just needs to be a change in the behavior towards these two majors from both students and faculty. The case study that will be discussed is a collection of surveys, interviews, research, and focus groups to confirm that the need to recreate on campus is there, and ready for a change. Through our research we found that fully renovated recreational classrooms together with its facilities, the incorporation of language and spaces that hold true to the definition of inclusivity, plus the oration of the barriers that come with recreation; are required to reach the goal of developing intrinsic motivation in all (not just P&R majors) current and prospective students of the college to change the perception of the program.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Recreations, Adventure Travel and Ecotourism, Parks and Conservation Management
Year: 2021
Authors: Gibson Gilmore, Dylan Maney, Christopher Squillante, James Vogel

Paul Smith's College VIC Concert Venue

Fri, 05/15/2020 - 17:38
Abstract: The addition of a concert venue and camping facility at The Paul Smith’s College VIC will add another layer of community enjoyment. The surrounding area does not have a premier concert venue to provide musical enjoyment for visitors and members of the local community. In the College’s Strategic plan, it specifically mentions wanting to “Improve student success and retention through co-curricular activities focused on mind, body and spirit” In the same section it mentions also wanting to “improve campus utilization and net revenues during January and summer terms”. Implementing a concert venue at the VIC would accomplish both of those goals. We believe that this model fits in the strategic goals that the VIC is aiming to accomplish. Supporting the arts at the VIC will achieve visitor connection to musical arts, and connect visitors to other types of outdoor recreation at the VIC. The Paul Smith’s College mission statement and strategic plan includes ensuring facilities that meet the current and future needs of people, implementing strategies to use campus to support community building, contributing regional economics, and to be recognized as important. Specifically, the VIC’s mission statement is, “To connect outdoor recreation, experiential education, and the arts, naturally”. We believe that the addition of a musical venue of proper scale for the region would satisfy the goals of the VIC and our institution by connecting people to nature in a new way but also giving them a concert venue in an amazing setting. Ideally, they could spend the whole day recreating and then finish the day with a concert or performance of some other type such as comedy. With help from the VIC’s Facility Manager Andy Testo, and the Alumni Campground Coordinator Heather Tuttle we have developed the framework of a feasibility plan for future use of the current facilities as a music venue with a supporting campground facility.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Parks and Conservation Management
Year: 2020
Authors: James Rounds, Dan D'Apice

Addressing Overuse: A Hiker Shuttle in the Adirondacks

Fri, 05/15/2020 - 09:21
Abstract: The increase in visitors to the Adirondack State Park in New York State has led to overcrowding and overuse at many of the most popular hiking trails. A common complaint is that there is not enough parking for trailheads and so visitors park alongside the roads which lead to many safety issues. We propose a hiker shuttle for the Saranac Lake area that would not only alleviate the roadside parking issue but would also give more people a chance to explore trails that they might not have heard of before. A shuttle system will allow for better safety conditions for pedestrians and drivers on the roads as well as control trail traffic to prevent trail degradation.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Parks and Conservation Management
Year: 2020
File Attachments: ~$nal draft.docx
Authors: John Kilgannon, Kaitlyn Dudash

Summer Camp at Osgood

Fri, 05/15/2020 - 07:15
Abstract: Camp Osgood is a look at the potential for an outdoor environmental summer camp to be developed in addition to the current property and function of Osgood farm. Looking at why people are drawn to camps both children and adults alike a summer camp at Osgood Farm could be both beneficial on an individual and community level. We found that a summer camp such as Osgood in the location surrounding Saranac Lake could be very beneficial and leave a lasting positive impact and provide opportunities.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Parks and Conservation Management
Year: 2020
Authors: Sam Drake, James Pierpont