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Capstone Projects

How Demographics Can Affect the Housing Market in the Tri-Lake Area

Wed, 04/27/2022 - 18:46
Abstract: The Tri-Lake area is located within the Adirondack Park and consists of Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake, and Lake Placid. Each of these three towns differ in many ways, from their types of economies, levels of diversity, and housing market. However, one thing that hey all share is that their isn’t enough affordable housing for the people living there. This paper looks into certain demographics and how they impact the housing market within the Tri-Lake area.
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Major: Natural Resources Conservation and Management
Year: 2022
Authors: Lucas Machowski , Ethan Billman

Bio-accumulative effects of hiking on headwater streams

Sun, 05/01/2022 - 15:08
Abstract: It is known that outdoor recreation such as hiking, horseback riding and the use of ATV’s has a detrimental impact to the landscape (Cooke & Liyiran 2020). Some of the best outdoor recreation occurs in remote and often times in mountainous areas. This brings into play the impacts to a watershed, but more specifically the rivers and streams that flow throughout a watershed. It is also known that various types of outdoor recreation has detrimental impacts on these river systems (Cooke & Liyiran 2020). This brings into focus the main topic of my study which is the impacts that hiking has on headwater streams and the possible effects this can have across the landscape. This is an important field of study as the global fresh water supply is being depleted at an intense rate along with the increasing interest of outdoor recreation. To conduct this study, it will require very little equipment or instruments of any kind. For this type of study, it is only required that you have a computer, access to the internet and a mind that is as fluvial as the streams themselves. This type of research focuses on what is already known about the subject and connecting it to your knowledge, making predictions and assumptions about what will happen in the future and then taking action to make the landscape as natural as possible. Although there is not enough scientific studies done on the specific topic yet, there have been numerous studies done about the impacts of hiking, as well as the potential impacts to headwater streams. With reviewing these studies as well as interviewing two individuals, Bethany Garretson, and Craig Milewski, it is evident that hiking does indeed have negative impacts to headwater streams. Through the recreational activity of hiking, there is vegetation loss and trampling that occurs due to numerous people walking on the trail.
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Major: Natural Resources Conservation and Management
Year: 2022
Authors: Ryan Godfrey

Using GIS to Plan for a New Outdoor Classroom on Paul Smiths College Campus

Mon, 05/02/2022 - 11:34
Abstract: This paper discusses the GIS work done in planning and designing for a new outdoor classroom at Paul Smiths College, which is located in the Adirondack Park. There is currently one outdoor classroom already built, but demand for another is high. To find a suitable location, a site survey was conducted to find the best sites around campus. A soils layer was modified from the USDA to aid in construction of the outdoor classroom and trails. A least cost path analysis was created to show what paths people would take to get to the new outdoor classroom. The results are recommendations to the college as to where a new outdoor classroom should be placed.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Natural Resources Conservation and Management
Year: 2022
Authors: Nathaniel J Brangan, Rebecca Durinick, Shannon McPheeters, Annie Dehaven, Derek Thompson

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
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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

Benefits of Experiential Learning on Students in University Level Classes with Proposed Feasibility of Additional Outdoor Classrooms at Paul Smith’s College.

Mon, 05/02/2022 - 20:05
Abstract: Learning does not come to some as easy as it does for others but what if there were ways to make it easier. The spring 2022 sustainability class was tasked with exploring and researching different benefits and options of outdoor classrooms. This paper revolved around the benefits one can receive when learning through experience and outdoors opposed to indoors. Studies from previous research as well as a multi-tiered survey were used to determine the benefits of learning outside on memory retention and mental/ physical health of students. Correlations were found between learning outside and memory retention as well as the benefit on overall health from spending time in natural settings.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Natural Resources Sustainability Studies
Year: 2022
Authors: Steven Donnelly

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.
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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
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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

‘The Privilege to Waste:’ Eco-Apartheid in Cape Town, South Africa

Mon, 07/18/2022 - 10:01
Abstract: Water resource scarcity and security are growing global concerns in the anthropocene era thanks to climate change. Southern Africa is experiencing that reality on a wider scale than most continents. The city of Cape Town, South Africa nearly became this reality in April of 2018. It was called “Day Zero”: the day a modern city was anticipated to run out of fresh water. This qualitative study examines factors and influences that contributed to the Day Zero water crisis to determine whether it was preventable, if it could happen again, and how its impacts were experienced differently between classes, cultures, and races within Cape Town. The South Africa Water Crisis, or “Day Zero,” phenomenon created a situation which extended the impacts of Anthropocene-climate-change to the middle and upper classes of South Africa. In responding to that pressure, the affluent maintained privileges through discriminatory, legitimate state violence, enforcement, and economic competition. Global Greenwave policies need to plan for climate change and prioritize those most vulnerable to its impacts.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Natural Resources Conservation and Management
Year: 2021
Authors: Ryan Novak