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Capstone Projects

Compaction of Hiking Trails Located in the Northeastern Area of the Adirondack State Park, New York

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 12:19
Abstract: With continued increases in outdoor recreation in the United States, the physical impact of that use needs to be monitored for its effects. The purpose of this study was to explore whether a relationship exists between traffic numbers and soil strength of trails in the High Peaks Region of New York’s Adirondack state park. Soil strength was used as a measure of compaction because of its ability to indicate certain aspects of soil physical properties like bulk density, and hydrological condition (Mirreh & Ketcheson,1972), which are also soil physical properties that are effected by compaction (Hanna & Al-Kaisi,2009). These physical properties are important factors which influence a soils ability to carry out its biotic and abiotic processes (Kozlowski,1999). Initially the relationship between average soil strength of trails and traffic was insignificant. Upon further analyzing the data we found a significant relationship between on-trail and off-trail soil strength and used this relationship to create on-trail residual soil strengths. This was done to remove the influence that off-trail soil strength was having on the traffic vs. soil strength relationship. With the on/off-trail relationship influence removed, the relationship between on-trail residual soil strength and traffic was significantly improved. Literature discussed showed how the soil strengths collected could be used to infer possible effects on the sites tested. Relations between soil strength and bulk density, root elongation, root penetration, and trail recovery were all reviewed to provide insight on the quality of the soil at sample sites.
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Major: Biology
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Karl Van Osch

Sous Vide Cooking

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 08:49
Abstract: In the present time, Chefs in restaurants that serve all types of cuisines are looking for different and new ways to manipulate flavors and textures. Some Chefs have found that the sous vide cooking technique is a great way to do just that. Most cuisines are fairly easy to change for the better, but Italian is more difficult since the dishes are typically the same in every Italian restaurant. The purpose of this qualitative, exploratory study is to determine how the sous vide cooking technique can be used in high end Italian cuisine to make the flavors superior to traditional ways of cooking. Data will be collected through a taste testing with product evaluation sheets. The evaluations collected will be thoroughly analyzed to determine which way of cooking is preferred by the culinary and baking students, and also the Chefs at Paul Smith’s College. The result of this study will give Chefs that are cooking Italian cuisine a new way to manipulate the flavors and textures for the better.
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Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Sabrina Tessitore

The Utilization of Preservation Techniques in Restaurants: A study of consumer perception on the availability of preserved local products during off-seasons in restaurants

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 21:59
Abstract: The availability of local food has an impact on a consumer’s restaurant choice. Restaurants could generate additional income by providing locally grown food during off seasons. Restaurateurs could generate income by attracting guests that are interested in consuming locally grown foods, by providing them in their restaurant during the off-season. The purpose of this study is to determine to what extent in-house preservation of local products would benefit restaurants. This is a qualitative, exploratory relationship study, focused on how and to what extent the availability of preserved local products will affect a consumer’s selection of a restaurant. Data was collected through the administration of surveys to residents of Suffolk County, New York. The participants were asked their opinion on the ideas of preserved local food, and the role it plays in their dining choices. Data from the surveys was coded, based upon common responses, to analyze the participant feedback. These coded responses were compiled to present the findings. This study is helpful to people looking into opening a restaurant, and current owners of restaurants, by determining if the year-round offering of local products has financial benefit to their business.
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Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Preston Hulse

Organic vs. Inorganic- Perceptions A Study of the Perceived Flavor Differences between Organically and Inorganically Produced Foods Based on the Label “Organic”

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 11:43
Abstract: This research project is a study based on ideas of Jenny Wan-chen Lee and Mitsuru Shimizu’s study (You Taste What You See: Do Organic Labels Bias Taste Perceptions?) This study was specifically focused on culinary students to see if they would be more or less influenced by the label “organic.” It is also a psychological food study on the label organic and the way that such claims affect the consumer’s view on the quality of the product, specifically culinary students. This is done through a blind taste testing study where 24 culinary students and 24 non-culinary students were asked to try same product, but were told that one of the two unlabeled products was “organic” and the other “inorganic.” This study also goes into the qualifications a product must meet in order to be considered USDA certified organic. However, there is a pre-conceived notion that organic food equals a higher quality flavor and the purpose of this study is to see if that pre-conceived notion will affect the way these students can identify differences between two products when they are the same product. The hypothesis is that the culinary students will be less influenced by the label and judge the flavors more critically than those who are untrained in the culinary field.
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Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Thomas Stile

Evaluating the Recovery of Lakes from Acid Deposition in the Adirondack Park

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 22:49
Abstract: Acid rain has been an environmental problem since the 1980’s and has been a core issue in the Adirondack Park located in the northern part of New York State. Acid rain is created by acidic gases from anthropogenic uses that mix in the atmosphere with precipitation and forms acid deposition. Acid Rain lowers the pH of water which has detrimental effects on the biota living within lakes. There is a general consensus that the chemistry of lake water is recovering from acid deposition, however, there have not been sufficient studies on the state of recovery from acid rain in the Adirondack Park or much of the United States. This study will investigate if lake recovery is indeed happening in the Adirondack Park. This study analyzed the water chemistry of lakes using data collected from the Adirondack Lake Survey Corporation (ALSC) and New York State Department of Conservation (DEC). The object of this study is to find a trend in the water chemistry and combine it with DEC data to evaluate the present condition of lakes within the park. The results showed that there are not significant correlations of the data besides SO42- concentrations, which have been approving in the park in the last 20 years.
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Major: Environmental Sciences
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Timothy Grossman, Ryan Kish

Management of Feral Swine (Sus scrofa) in New York: Eradication and Damage Elimination of an Invasive Species

Tue, 05/07/2013 - 10:55
Abstract: Abstract: Feral swine (Sus scrofa) populations have spread across much the United States with invasive-like qualities. Feral swine are prolific breeders and are opportunistic omnivores. These invasive species modify the terrestrial habitats they invade. Feral swine have drastic impacts on the economy and ecology of the areas they inhabit. Populations are now present in New York and without proper management drastic negative effects to the ecosystems and regional economies will occur. This document outlines management objectives and actions to curb the damage of feral swine. Current population levels are currently low enough to for complete eradication, the only way to eliminate devastating damage from feral swine.
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Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Josh Pierce

Managing Raccoon (Procyon lotor) Populations in Urban Environments of New York State

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:29
Abstract: With the human population growing over time, so has the amount of urban and suburban populations. Urban areas have fragmented the landscape that can attract wild populations into the urban areas. One of these species that has been attracted includes the raccoon (Procyon lotor). In urban areas where resources are abundant, raccoon densities can become very high and they can become very destructive to homes. They are destructive to homes because of their generalist foraging habits and creation of den sites in human’s homes. Raccoons can be particularly dangerous in the spread of epizootics such as rabies, canine distemper, and roundworm. With raccoons in high densities the spread of the epizootics becomes very easy between raccoons which can cause a higher transmission rate to domestic animals or humans. Since population reduction methods have proven to be ineffective in reducing raccoon populations, education to the public to reduce the densities of raccoons may be the most effective. Proper management in maintaining public facilities, feeding wild and domestic animals outdoors, along with precautionary measures to take with your home can help in reducing the amount of negative interactions with raccoons. Also using current or past DEC or animal control data can help determine areas of highest negative interactions with the public to prevent future incidences in occurring.
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Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Scott M. Collins

Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) Management Plan for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: Maintaining a Sustainable for Future Generations

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 15:57
Abstract: The grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) is considered by many people to express the health and depth of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). Grizzly bears south of Canada were first listed as threatened in 1975 under the Endangered Species Act due to the high mortality rates and an uncertainty about its population status. Current threats to the grizzly bear population include an increase in human- bear conflicts, whitebark pine numbers declining, and increased urbanization and fragmentation on the landscape. Grizzly bear deaths have been increasing due to their increasing range size; as bears are expanding their range into areas with more humans, the potential for conflicts increase. Grizzly bears are slow reproducers which makes them increasingly more vulnerable to population decline. Grizzly bears are thought to only be able to handle less than or equal to 4% of their population being removed a year. The overall goal of this management plan is to maintain a sustainable population of grizzly bears in the GYE. Courses of action include maintain and reserving current grizzly bear habitat, purchasing more habitat to increase landscape connectivity, continued research, and reducing human- bear conflicts.
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Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Lydia Naccarato

Increasing the piping plover (Charadrius melodus) population on New Jersey’s Barrier Islands through the quality of preexisting nesting sites

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 11:28
Abstract: The piping plover (Charadrius melodus) is listed as threatened, by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, in 1986. In 1984, the piping plover was listed as an endangered species in New Jersey. As the piping plover population increased on the Atlantic Coast in the 1980’s and 1990’s from 800 pairs to 1750 pairs in 2011, the number of plovers in New Jersey has remained relatively constant at 119 pairs. The threats that plovers face, including human disturbance, predation, and habitat loss continue to impede population growth. Without protection and management, it is unlikely that the piping plover would survive in New Jersey.
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Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Bryan Hankins

The western dispersion of Mountain lions from their current South Dakota habitat

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 11:27
Abstract: The travel vectors of dispersing cougars shall be determined from a base point of the Black Hills in South Dakota. With this information the most likely travel paths will be plotted and the states that may be crossed through and the final endpoint destinations will be determined. Once these are known these states will be informed and polled on their willingness to accept a cougar population. If the population is in favor of a viable cougar population they will be helped to develop a management plan based on an overall plan for all states that are in the travel path of dispersing cougars. If the states populace proves resistant to cohabitation with cougars a different plan will be enacted that help cougar’s find another place of residence to avoid conflict with the populace. A handout will be dispersed throughout every potential cougar vector state which will list and describe a number of body language behaviors exhibited by cougars and an appropriate reaction to take. This should help lessen any violent interactions between cougars and humans. Local wildlife officials and agencies will be brought in to help customize the overall plan for the specific state that they are in this will include adapting it to fit different laws, terrain, climate, etc. Once this plan is in place it will be up to the state agencies to enact it.
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Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Nicholas Weaver