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Capstone Projects

User Impacts to Backcountry Infrastructure at Paul Smith's College

Sun, 05/01/2022 - 13:06
Abstract: Examining how issues of overuse and abuse affect National Parks, the Adirondack Park, and specifically, Baker Mountain, and the management solutions put in place by park officials at these locations, allow for better management of the overuse and abuse issues that affect the backcountry infrastructure here at Paul Smith’s College.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Recreation, Adventure Education and Leisure Management
Year: 2022
File Attachments: Fischer Capstone Final.docx
Authors: Nathaniel Fischer

The Effects of Overuse in the Adirondack High Peaks and the Mitigation of Similar Impacts Throughout Paul Smith’s Easement Land

Mon, 05/02/2022 - 12:24
Abstract: Over the last 10 years crowding and overuse of the Adirondack High Peaks has been a growing issue according to the NYSDEC, The Adirondack Council, and many other sources. Amidst the Covid outbreak there was a large increase in the number of people looking for things to do outdoors, in nature, and away from others such as hiking, camping, and paddling. Even before Covid-19 hit the United States, the High Peaks had quickly grown in popularity as a place for people to get out of their homes and visit for recreational purposes. Another contributing factor to the High Peaks growth in popularity is the increased tourism advertising and social media presence in the area. Although it was a positive thing for so many people to find a getaway and a feeling of being in wilderness in the High Peaks, there were some rather negative consequences. The high peaks are unable to sustain the current amount of use they have been experiencing leading to negative impacts to the park, its natural resources, trail systems, and local community. Some of these impacts include trail degradation, increased littering, damage to fragile and endangered alpine plants and vegetation, harm to wildlife and their habitats, trail widening, improper disposal of human and pet waste, and more. These High Peak trails that were once only a few feet wide and hiked by only a few hundred people a year have now expanded to more than triple their original width in the last 30 years (Adirondack Council 2019). Some of the same overuse impacts from the High Peaks have been found within Paul Smith's College easement land, and the mitigation strategies to reduce overuse and degradation on the Paul Smith's easement are similar to the possible strategies for overuse in the High Peaks. The REC 440 capstone group also conducted a backcountry infrastructure assessment to help future students and infrastructure stewards with implementing overuse mitigation strategies.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Recreation, Adventure Education and Leisure Management
Year: 2022
Authors: Benjamin Slayton

A.P. Smith Rod and Gun Club-Workshop Curriculum

Thu, 07/07/2022 - 14:37
Abstract: A report centered around outdoor education workshops to be hosted by a proposed Fishing and Shooting Club. Pertaining to lesson plans centered around Trap Shooting, Bushcrafting, and Fishing. The use of the Kinesthetic Learning Model is heavily put to use in developing this curriculum.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Ecological Restoration, Forestry, Natural Resources Conservation and Management, Recreations, Adventure Travel and Ecotourism, Recreation, Adventure Education and Leisure Management
Year: 2021
Authors: Eoghan Walsh, Daniel Klein, Drew Gleason, Kassie Kirkum, Erin Byrant

Shoot for Sustainability

Mon, 07/18/2022 - 13:50
Abstract: Successfully educating non-hunters and prospective hunters on why it is better to use the woods as a source of food, rather than driving 15 minutes to the grocery store is one of the possible solutions to global carbon and Greenhouse gas problems. Furthermore, taking a non-hunter to the shooting range can give current ethical hunters the opportunity for the ultimate hands-on elevator pitch. After the enjoyable activity, we as current hunters can convey our message to them: Hunting is less popular method to acquire food. However, utilizing fossil fuel emitting vehicles and checkbooks as a tool for food isn't the best option either. It was essential to dictate the importance of hunting to, quite especially, the non-hunters we invited. By doing this we can collectively come together and combat many of the problems that are caused by the factory farming system in the U.S. Switching to a primarily wild game diet when it comes to meat consumption among humans will drastically reduce the presence of factory farms around the world, thus aiding us in becoming more carbon neutral. With less demand for the factory farm model that is currently used by industrial agriculture today, we can dedicate the many invaluable resources dedicated to other important efforts such as the looming global warming threat. Humans of the earth are losing time when it comes to climate change. Global governmental actions to mitigate this awakening dragon should have been implemented since the first industrial revolution over a hundred years ago. For our study we wanted to examine if educating more people on hunting and hunting practices can it lead to a more sustainable future for future generations and the future of our planet.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Conservation and Management
Year: 2021
Authors: Ryan Thomas, Adam Bettelli

A.P. Smith's Rod & Gun Club Trap Field Design

Thu, 07/07/2022 - 13:06
Abstract: Modern trap shooting has retained many of these concepts but now uses an oscillating target-throwing machine that rests in a trap house and uses clay targets instead of costly glass balls. The clay target was invented and patented in 1880 by George Ligowsky of the U.S. The design was a small dome shaped saucer. The machine throws a clay target somewhere within a 22-degree arc. The shooter does not know the angle it will be thrown until it comes out of the machine and into view. The modern game also does not include a fence that the target needs to be shot inside and only allows one shot. Many improvements have come to the clay target as the clay was baked hard and difficult to break with the 1.25 oz shots that was used at the time. In 1888, Corgell and Harrison created targets that were made of lime and pitch which is still seen some today, but a more biodegradable pigeon has been called desired. Some new innovations for these pigeons have included using sugar, birdseed or grain, and water. A trap range make sense for a variety of reasons on the Onchiota property. One there are no ranges in close proximity to the college and the closest being in Long Lake, NY. There is also a high demand in the area. With the trap range at the Saranac Lake Fish and Game Club being forced to shut down in the recent years due to lead ammunition contaminants and clay target remnants being projected into the Saranac River, leaves a hole in the surrounding community. Also, one of the main attractions to Rod & Gun clubs are trap ranges.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Forestry, Natural Resources Conservation and Management, Recreations, Adventure Travel and Ecotourism
Year: 2021
Authors: Drew Gleason, Kassie Kirkum, Erin Bryant, Eoghan Walsh, Daniel Klein

Welcome Week Canoe Trip

Mon, 07/18/2022 - 11:24
Abstract: Our capstone group researched the potential benefits of implementing a welcome week canoe trip for incoming students at Paul Smith’s College (PSC). These kinds of outdoor orientation programs have been found to be useful in socializing new students, forming bonds with classmates, and building confidence amongst the participants. This trip would be targeted at new students primarily in the Recreation, Adventure Education and Leisure Management program, and the Parks and Conservation Management program. The research we conducted as well as information we gathered from scholarly articles led us to believe that implementing this trip would be beneficial for new students and would benefit them throughout their college careers.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Integrative Studies, Recreations, Adventure Travel and Ecotourism
Year: 2021
Authors: Logan Hoyt, Denis Dean, Jack Palmer

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