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Capstone Projects

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

Forest Health Assessment: Kate Mountain Farm

Fri, 07/08/2022 - 11:17
Abstract: Disturbances that degrade forested ecosystems can have significant impacts on forest health. These impacts should be of great concern for forest landowners. Natural disturbances such as insect and disease agents, and human caused disturbances such as logging, soil compaction, and pollution can have substantial economic and environmental impacts. It is of great importance for landowners to be given the right knowledge and tools to deal with these disturbances in order to avoid any large-scale losses of timber productivity, degraded water yields, depleted nutrient cycling, and/or decreased biodiversity. Forestland can provide many harvestable natural resources and ecosystem services for very long periods of time if they are managed sustainably and responsibly. This of course entails a forest being composed of healthy thriving trees.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Biology, Environmental Sciences, Forestry
Year: 2021
Authors: Matthew R. Wedge, Erin Reilly

Black Ash

Mon, 07/18/2022 - 10:19
Abstract: The summary of my project was to find other risks other than the emerald ash borer that are affecting the Black Ash tree species.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Environmental Sciences, Natural Resources Conservation and Management
Year: 2021
Authors: Richard Holton

Kate Mountain Farm Inventory Report and Prescription Recommendations

Mon, 07/11/2022 - 15:42
Abstract: This document outlines the results of the 2021 inventory of Kate Mountain Farm in Loon Lake, New York, and provides detailed prescription and recommendation based of the data collected.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Forestry
Year: 2021
Authors: Jonathan Seiter, Timothy Sawitsky

Transitioning Forested Land Into Blueberry Fields at Kate Mountain Farm

Mon, 07/11/2022 - 15:47
Abstract: Historically the Adirondacks have had the reputation of being a poor site for most agricultural practices, with few crops taking well to the sandy soils and short growing season. One of the most well know exceptions to this trend are the fields of blueberries that can be found scattered throughout the region. Both naturally occurring and cultivated by man, blueberries are a great crop for landowners looking to grow fruit on otherwise unproductive soils. This report will outline the process to implement and manage blueberry fields at Kate Mountain Farm, as well as discuss important impacts and factors that come with managing a blueberry crop.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Forestry
Year: 2021
Authors: Austin Quaile

Maple Sugaring at Kate Mountain Farm

Mon, 07/11/2022 - 16:22
Abstract: Kate Mountain Farm is a large property that capitalized on many non-timber forest products, and small-scale business opportunities. Maple sugaring was a natural addition to the property, growing the multi-use aspect of the farm. The goal at the end of this project is to hand off a small-scale demonstration sugarbush to the landowner. The first season was successful, and the future of the sugarbush is promising.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Forestry
Year: 2021
Authors: Katharyn Snyder

Hayner Tree Farm Forest Management Plan

Mon, 07/11/2022 - 15:55
Abstract: There are four main benefits to having a property ATFS certified: tools and resources, public recognition, certification of forest products as sustainable, and a positive future for the forest. This Forestry capstone project developed by Jim Hayner and Jacob Craver consists of a Forest Management Plan written in line with the management plan template of the American Tree Farm System (ATFS).
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Forestry
Year: 2021
Authors: James Hayner, Jacob Craver

A Study of Wood Processes and Yield at Kate Mountain Farm

Mon, 07/11/2022 - 16:02
Abstract: The production of lumber is being traced throughout the process, from standing timber, to logs to boards. This is to trace how much volume and board feet is gained or lost throughout the process. The goal of the woodlot owner is to identify how they can maximize production at the woodlot level. The tracing of numbers throughout this process will serve as a model and example of potential production losses or gains throughout the process.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Forestry
Year: 2021
Authors: Matthew Arena

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

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