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Capstone Projects

Home Grown Kitchen - A study of how easy or difficult it is to use Farm-to-Table for a large catering event in the Adirondack's in the spring season with baking and pastry applications

Fri, 05/06/2016 - 17:00
Abstract: Cassie Brown and I catered the Boomerang alumni networking event on campus on April 7th. Our capstone questions was “how easy or difficult is it to cater an event in the Adirondacks in the springtime using Farm-to-Table with baking and pastry applications.” We learned that it is difficult, but not by any means impossible. Catering is something that Cassie and I are both interested in so this topic was perfect for us. Cassis and I were able to help connect local farmers with local customers, raise Farm-to-Table awareness, meet and interact with alumni, and show the Paul Smith’s College community our skills and what we have learned throughout our four years here at Paul Smith’s College.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Baking Arts and Service Management
Year: 2016
Authors: Victoria Gregory

Home Grown Kitchen: Catering Boomerang

Fri, 05/06/2016 - 17:11
Abstract: Home Grown Kitchen is a baking capstone project that is focused around farm-to-table and the Adirondack cuisine. The Adirondack cuisine has a prominent focus on farm-to-table, and we wanted to incorporate that into catering the Boomerang event. Boomerang is an event that is held on campus to network future graduates of Paul Smith’s College with alumni. Farm-to-table seemed to be appropriate for alumni coming back into the Adirondack park. By using local farms and vendors we were able to create a solid menu that would be appealing to everyone, and easily eaten while mingling with students and alumni. The main question is whether farm-to-table in the Adirondacks is easy or difficult, while using baking applications. By contacting local vendors, researching what grows during the seasons, and having conversations with chefs on campus to help us along the way, Boomerang had becoming a successful event to cater.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Baking Arts and Service Management
Year: 2016
File Attachments: Catering Boomerang
Authors: Cassie Brown

A Study of Pure and Artificial Maple Syrup Production

Sun, 05/08/2016 - 22:40
Abstract: Many people claim that they can tell the difference between pure and artificial maple syrup. However, pure and artificial maple syrup are made through two completely different processes. Through the method of a blind taste test, I want to answer the question whether or not consumers can in fact tell the difference between pure and artificial maple syrup when both served as is or baked into products through a catered breakfast. At the catered breakfast the following dishes were served: maple glazed doughnuts, breakfast casserole, sausage gravy and biscuits, pancakes with maple butter and maple syrup, vanilla and maple yogurt, and sliced fruit. There were two options to choose from for the maple glazed doughnuts, maple butter, maple syrup, and maple yogurts. One choice was made with pure maple syrup, the second choice was made with artificial maple syrup; the consumers did not know which option was made with which maple syrup. At the end of the breakfast, I asked each guest to complete a survey that would let me know which option they believed to be made with the pure maple syrup and which option they believed to be made with the artificial maple syrup.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Baking Arts and Service Management
Year: 2016
File Attachments: Final Written Paper.pdf
Authors: Amanda Gail Wetter

Do consumers prefer American ice cream opposed to international ice cream?

Thu, 05/12/2016 - 18:10
Abstract: Do people tend to pick American flavors of ice cream or international flavors of ice cream? I did a study trying to answer this question. I used a survey to develop results and learn information about ice cream and other frozen desserts. By making ice cream from different countries, I was able to answer my questions. Through research and holding an event, I retained information to tell me if consumers prefer American or international flavors of ice cream.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Baking Arts and Service Management
Year: 2016
File Attachments: Capstone paper.doc
Authors: Abigail Pinault

Analysis of Forage Quality in Adirondack Macrophytes: Implications for Waterfowl Nutrition

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 14:48
Abstract: To understand the relative nutritional value of macrophyte food sources for Adirondack waterfowl, the forage quality of four common Adirondack macrophytes were assessed. An analysis of two native pondweeds (Potamogeton) and two invasive watermilfoil (Myriophyllum) was conducted to deduce how invasive and native macrophytes compare in their relative concentrations of nitrogen and mineral content; important indicators of forage quality for waterfowl. Nitrogen content is used as a metric for relative concentration of protein. Macrophyte species were sampled from four Adirondack lakes of the same trophic status to account for effects of lake nutrient characteristics on plant nutrient uptake and synthesis. Total nitrogen was determined with the Kjeldahl procedure using flow injection analysis. Ash (mineral) content was acquired through high-heat burning in a muffle furnace. The invasive watermilfoil species had a higher percentage of nitrogen than the native species. There was no significant difference in the ash content between the species. It is critical to understand the ecological function of these species in relation to wildlife populations. The nutritional value of these aquatic macrophytes may have implications for the fitness and distribution of breeding herbivorous waterfowl in Adirondack lakes. These results may indicate that invasive plants will serve as a viable food source for herbivorous waterfowl as watermilfoil continues to spread across Adirondack aquatic systems.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Biology
Year: 2016
Authors: Bianca Fournier

Walden Pond: Ecological and Anthropological History Reflected in the Sedimentary Record

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 23:13
Abstract: This study examined environmental changes reflected in the microfossil record of a sediment core taken in August 2015 from Walden Pond, Massachusetts spanning the last 600 years. In particular changes in the eutrophication status, inorganic sediment deposition due to land use, lake water depth and temperature were examined using phytoplankton indicator species—diatoms and chrysophytes— to reconstruct environmental conditions. The study site was a basin shallower and closer to the source of anthropogenic N and P inputs than the site of previous studies at Walden’s deepest basin, allowing for finer detection of changes in water level and organic content of sediment. A gravity corer was used to collect the sediment core to preserve topmost sediment layers for analysis, as more than a decade has passed since the last published study of this kind at Walden Pond by Köster et. al. (2005). Results show a significant increase in indicators of eutrophic lake conditions since European settlement ca. 1630, and especially since the 20th century. However, relative Asterionella formosa and Synedra nana abundances had not changed significantly in the last decade since Köster et. al.’s 2005 study, and have in fact decreased somewhat, suggesting water treatment efforts by the Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) have had some success. Loss on ignition (LOI) of organic content shows a precipitous decline from the mid 19th century from 37% to 22%, representing intensive land clearance and development until the 1970’s when DEP management began. After that point, LOI rose, perhaps due to increased lake productivity, and has fluctuated around 25%. Relative Discostella stelligera abundance, while used in the WAl-3 piston core as a proxy for water depth, could not be used in the WAL-1 gravity core from this study as eutrophication has significantly impacted their abundance. Chrysophyte scale:diatom ratios corroborate an observed trend of increasing abundance in lakes globally since the 20th century, perhaps in response to rising global temperatures over the same period.
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Literary Rights: Off
Major: Biology
Year: 2016
File Attachments: Capstone Paper.docx
Authors: Erik Yankowsky

My Awesome Capstone

Mon, 04/11/2016 - 15:19
Abstract: THIS IS MY CAPSTONE! PLEASE PRESERVE IT FOR POSTERITY.
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Major: Communication
Year: 2016
File Attachments: Press Capstone 2016.docx
Authors: Meggan Press

Global Cuisine; Italy

An Assessment of Heavy Metal Concentrations in Adirondack Waterfowl

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 22:53
Abstract: We analyzed heavy metal concentrations in waterfowl liver and breast tissue from ducks harvested within the Adirondack Park from October 3 to November 13, 2015. Interspecific, intersex, and feeding behavior variation in heavy metal concentrations were assessed. Waterfowl from two feeding behavior groups (diving and dabbling) were harvested from the watershed within a 50 mile radius of Paul Smith’s, New York. Harvested waterfowl species included mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), American black duck (Anas rubripes), common merganser (Mergus merganser), ring-necked duck (Aythya collaris), bufflehead (Bucephala albeola), and hooded merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus). Legal harvest of these species during regulated New York State duck hunting season allows for permissible use of internal organs for heavy metal determination. Dry weight (mg/kg) of digested liver and breast tissue samples were analyzed using atomic absorption spectroscopy. Due to unknown laboratory error, absolute concentration values were inaccurate, thus, rendering accurate analyses unfeasible. However, relative observable trends were able to be assessed given our data’s high precision. Analyte concentrations were significantly greater in liver tissues and there were significant differences between species. Variation in mercury, lead, bismuth, cadmium, chromium, and zinc concentrations in waterfowl serve as an indicator of the presence, cycling, bioaccumulation, and temporal trends of these metals in northeastern aquatic habitats.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Environmental Sciences, Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2016
File Attachments: Final2.docx
Authors: Brandon Snavely, Lewis Lolya

Turning Points and the Ecological Conscience

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 08:15
Abstract: We live in a time when environmental crises seem to be overwhelming: global climate change, water crises, and mass extinctions, to name a few. Some people seek out ways to address environmental problems, while others remain ignorant or deny the existence of serious issues. Aldo Leopold’s land ethic calls those who help, people who feel “the stirring of an ecological conscience.” Many studies have looked at the psychology of environmentalism and the factors that instill an environmental ethic. Some studies look at early childhood, others at significant turning point events. Many factors foster an ecological conscience among people. I was interested in how the “stirring of an ecological conscience” was instilled in our own community here at Paul Smith’s College. The faculty and students all have a story to tell about what led them here and this project explored that. The sample studied here found that among faculty and students, experiences from childhood played a significant role in the development of an ecological conscience. These experiences most often influenced the path of each participants life journey. These findings provide us with information on ways we can look to help instill the ecological conscience in others, through education and daily life.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Environmental Studies
Year: 2016
Authors: Dominic Rickicki