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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

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

Alumni Campground ADA Accessible Lean-to: Group Project Synthesis

Thu, 07/07/2022 - 12:58
Abstract: The traditional lean-to is arguably one of the most prominent and recognizable infrastructural staples of the Adirondack Park. Lean-to camping was popularized here in the Adirondacks, but has spread all over as parks around the continent have adopted lean-tos into their camping experiences. The lean-to provides a unique outdoor experience, with a healthy balance of exposure to and protection from the elements. It is an ideal camp design for regions that experience a high degree of variability in conditions, such as here in the northeast. There are lean-to campsites scattered all around Paul Smith’s College campus and the VIC, as well as on adjacent public state lands. What Paul Smith’s College does not possess, however, is an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible lean-to campsite. The ADA implements guidelines for infrastructural accommodations for people with disabilities and has a set of standards required for a lean-to site to be considered handicap accessible. Some guidelines include a level site with no more than a 2% grade, a ramp allowing access into the lean-to, an ADA accessible picnic table on site, ADA approved fire ring, and an ADA accessible privy that is readily accessible from the site. Our Alumni Campground possesses a handful of lean-to sites, but none of which are even remotely accessible let alone ADA accessible. With our capstone project, we are going to change that. The 2019 Sustainability Capstone initiated this project, our capstone group erected it, and a future capstone group may study its implications on Paul Smith’s College Campus. It is hoped that addressing the need for an accessible lean-to on the Alumni Campground will help promote the long-term sustainability of the Alumni Campground and Paul Smith’s College at large.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Natural Resources Conservation and Management, Parks and Conservation Management, Sustainable Communities & Working Landscapes
Year: 2021
Authors: Ryan Quenneville, Steven Donnelly, Jacob Martin, Nathan Cibula, David LaFramboise, Madie Roth, Joshua Garland

PSC Alumni Campground ADA Accessible ADK Shelter (lean-to)

Thu, 07/07/2022 - 11:41
Abstract: This paper introduces a tool to differentiate accommodations used in camping. These different types of accommodations are then evaluated for their suitability to be used as an ADA accessible accommodation with emphasis on the use of sustainable materials. The purpose of this exercise is to extend the ability to participate in the camping experience to those people that, because of disability, might not otherwise be able to participate in or benefit from the outdoor experience. Additional attention is given to the history of organized camping and the development of tents. An Adirondack type lean-to is selected as the best choice of accommodation to accomplish these goals. This paper goes on to detail the construction of an Adirondack lean-to in the Paul Smith’s College Alumni Campground. The paper concludes with lessons learned and recommended changes for others who might attempt a similar project, as well as additional steps needed to complete this specific project.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Natural Resources Conservation and Management, Parks and Conservation Management, Sustainable Communities & Working Landscapes
Year: 2021
Authors: Nathan Cibula

Accessible lean to for Paul Smith's College Alumni Campground

Thu, 07/07/2022 - 11:25
Abstract: When you hear people talking about camping, you probably think of sleeping in a tent on the ground. Did you know that there is another way to camp? Lean tos are a popular form of camping and can be found all over the Adirondacks in Upstate New York. Did you know camping in the Adirondacks can be traced back to the 1860’s when hunters would stay in lean-tos while hunting. It's nice to see how far camping has come since then. For this project a study was done on the site where our new lean to was built. This study looked into the history of the alumni campground and how it has been used. Ultimately our problem we were solving in this project was to build another ADA accessible campsite for people to use. It just so happened that a lean to was needed since a tent site had already been put in.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Natural Resources Conservation and Management, Parks and Conservation Management, Sustainable Communities & Working Landscapes
Year: 2021
Authors: Madie Roth, Steve Donnelly, Jacob Martin, Ryan Q, David L, Nate C, Josh Garland

The Impact of Mounted Law Enforcement

Thu, 07/07/2022 - 11:45
Abstract: This research paper displays information about the impact of mounted law enforcement on communities, horses and the police officers.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Natural Resources Conservation and Management, Parks and Conservation Management
Year: 2021
Authors: Steve Vanhoven, Deirdre Burke

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