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Capstone Projects

The Conservation and Management of Wolverine (Gulo gulo) Populations in Northern Idaho to Help Prevent Human Caused Extirpation from the Contiguous United States

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 11:21
Abstract: Wolverines (Gulo gulo) were once a thriving species in the North Western United States, but large scale trapping and poison programs in the early 1900s lead to the species near extinction. Since then, populations in the United States have been struggling to maintain a strong presence in Idaho. Its current listing as threatened on the Endangered Species Act prohibits hunting and trapping, but more management is needed to sustain populations. Human development and recreation activities have caused wolverines to disperse from its nature range. Using habitat preservation techniques on current and historical wolverine habitat, increase availability and connectivity will improve dispersal. Close relationship with state officials will provide protection regarding land use, recreation, hunting, trapping and harassment. Public education will teach residents ways they can help prevent wolverine populations from further decline. Extensive research and population monitoring are needed due to the currently declining populations and the low fecundity of the species.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Biology, Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
Authors: Danielle E. Ball

Customer Loyalty at the ‘American Diner’: A study of the ‘American diner’ experience and factors that influence customer retention.

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 21:18
Abstract: When families are satisfied with their ‘American diner’ experience, it’s more likely they will become loyal guests. The typical ‘American diner’ seeks to determine what influences families to become loyal guests. The purpose of this study is to see what factors are influential to persuading the target market, middle-income families, into loyal guests when presented with the ‘American diner’ experience. This will be a loyalty and market analysis that seeks to determine the correlation between middle-income families and the typical ‘American diner’ experience. Data will be collected through the method of a survey. Surveys will be disbursed electronically to families that have ever experienced the typical ‘American diner’ experience. The data will be collected, organized, and analyzed to determine what factors influence customer retention at the typical ‘American diner,’ and what characteristics define the typical ‘American diner’ experience. This study will provide a firm understanding of what about the ‘American diner’ experience influences repeat guests and some advice for those who would like to eventually own or operate their own diner.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: O'Brien_FinalCapstone
Authors: Dana O'Brien

Hernandez Taqueria and Grocery: A feasibility study on the profitability and demand of a new business in Eonosburg Falls, Vermont.

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 21:01
Abstract: In recent years, there has been a rapid increase of consumption of Mexican food; in addition it is also becoming more popular for home preparation. Preserving regional authenticity, as well as seeking to preserve Mexican cultural integrity, are increasingly important trends in the restaurant and retail supermarket industries. Furthermore, there are a large and growing group of people in the Franklin area of Vermont willing to purchase authentic, traditional and unique products as well as food of Mexico. Hernandez Taqueria and Grocery will be a casual food and retail store for those seeking Mexican food. It will offer a selection of authentic Mexican groceries, as well as a place to sit down and enjoy a hot traditional meal, making it an experience you would otherwise find only in Mexico itself. This feasibility study will serve as a template for others seeking to open a similar business, as well as show whether or not it is feasible to open Hernandez Taqueria and Grocery in Enosburg Falls, Vermont. Through a survey the target market will be identified and a projected income statement will be prepared to figure out if expenses will be covered and if profits will be generated.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Hernandez_FinalCapstone.doc
Authors: Cynthia Hernandez

Sustainable Foie Gras: A study of sustainable and ethical methods in raising geese and ducks for foie gras

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 17:14
Abstract: Foie gras has been a culinary delicacy worldwide for thousands of years and is currently in danger due to controversy surrounding the methods which are used to produce it. Conventional waterfowl care methods are gradually being deemed inhumane and unethical at farms worldwide and as a result bans and laws against foie gras production are being formed. Foie gras is the fatty enlarged liver of a duck or goose, conventionally created by means of “gavage” or force feeding the birds by placing a funnel into the bird’s mouth two to four times per day and pouring corn directly into the throat. Alternatively, one unique farm in Spain plants a garden full of edible goods for the birds and when the cold season arrives the birds naturally choose to force feed themselves. The end result is a foie gras that has won blind taste tests in France against major conventional producers. This method is not known to be used anywhere else in the world, but is being experimented with on a farm in Pocantico Hills, NY (South-Eastern New York) at the Stone Barns Center. If successfully executed, this method could be implemented on any farm as an alternative to conventional methods.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Capstone.doc
Authors: Dana Gagne

Effectiveness of Diabetes Prevention Programs

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 09:32
Abstract: This capstone researches educational methods used in programs (seminars or demonstrations) that target Type 2 Diabetics In order to determine the effectiveness meaning, do attendees find education programs to be helpful and effective, and are attendees following the program after completion of the seminar and/or Diabetic Prevention Programs. This research will assist in determining if educational programs like those studied for this capstone are effective in achieving the goals and objectives discussed in the literature review. Demonstrations already exist that educate individuals living with Type 2 Diabetes, some programs are only a few hours long while others last a year or more. The purpose of this capstone is to determine if educational methods used in Diabetic Prevention Programs are perceived as effective by attendees of the programs. Primary research will come via survey responses from individuals that have already attended a Diabetes Prevention Program.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Culinary Arts and Service Management
Year: 2013
Authors: Rebecca Haley

Alternative Management Methods for Acid Deposition in Lakes

Fri, 04/26/2013 - 18:09
Abstract: Acid deposition has been causing the acidification of lakes in the Northeast United States for decades. The result is lake ecosystems with abnormally low pH that stresses the organisms that live there. Management plans in place in the Adirondack Park have been working to remediate acidified lakes for the past few decades. Limestone (CaCO3) has been the generally accepted method for managing these lakes, in an attempt restore the lakes pre-impacted conditions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of liming in reversing the effects of acidification, and to identify effective alternatives. Five alternatives were tested against limestone: Sodium carbonate (Na2CO3), Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), Sodium acetate (CH3COONa), Magnesium carbonate (MgCO3), and Potassium carbonate (K2CO3). Double End-Point Titration tests were performed on all of the compounds, using both distilled water and lake water, to determine the relative alkalinity of each compound. Alkalinity is the measure of the ability of a solution to neutralize acid, also known as its "buffering capacity." Lake water was used in the titration tests in an attempt to mimic in-situ testing. The results of the titrations showed limestone proving to be the most effective in the lake water tests, with Magnesium carbonate and Potassium carbonate ranked closely behind. While limestone has proven to be an effective management method, its reliability is dependent upon the characteristics of the lake catchment, making it important to continue to look for alternative solutions.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Environmental Sciences
Year: 2013
Authors: Derek Scott

Tasmanian Platypus Management Plan

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 01:12
Abstract: Platypuses are an iconic mammal endemic to Australia (Furlan et al. 2010). They are an integral part of biodiversity of freshwater ecosystems. They are the only living representative of a significant lineage of platypus-like animals with a 60 million year fossil history (Grant and Temple-Smith 2003). Platypuses are regularly seen in Tasmania and promote curiosity and interest. They directly benefit ecotourism. A number of businesses including sanctuaries, wildlife tours, restaurants, cafes, caravan parks and motels benefit from their popularity (Gust and Griffiths 2010). Freshwater resources are essential to sustaining human existence and as a result, anthropogenic activities have severely diminished the quality of freshwater ecosystems worldwide. Physical alteration, habitat loss, water withdrawal, pollution, overexploitation, and the introduction of non-native species all have contributed to the decline in freshwater species (Revenga et al 2005).
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
File Attachments: final_Pritchard.pdf
Authors: Tori Pritchard

Protecting and Monitoring the Population of Florida Manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in Lee County, Florida

Thu, 05/09/2013 - 10:57
Abstract: The Florida manatee is a subspecies of the species West Indian Manatee. It has been listed as Endangered on the basis of a population that has been in decline since the 1800s in Florida. Although, the exact population of Florida manatees is not currently known, biologists have seen a gradual decrease in contrast to the past. This is due to factors such as: watercraft collisions, cold stress, Red Tide, and other human related mortalities. Manatees are protected by several laws and regulations. These include: the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act, and the Endangered Species Act. The goal of this management plan is to increase the Florida manatee population to a stable population and to maintain the population into the future. The objectives are to: investigate the distribution and status of Florida manatees in Lee County by conducting synoptic surveys twice every year; within five years, increase public awareness and education by 25%; within five years, increase the amount of protected and managed manatee habitat by 15%, and within five years, protect and enhance existing populations by identifying and minimizing causes of manatee injury, mortality, and disturbance by decreasing it by 20%.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
Authors: Jordan Shypinka

Increasing and Protecting the Population of Canada Lynx (Lynx canadensis) In the State of Maine

Tue, 05/07/2013 - 12:16
Abstract: Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) was listed as a “threatened” species on March 24, 2000 (USFWS 2013). Canada lynx (hereby referred to as lynx) are a species known to trappers for their thick, long pelts. These pelts can be sold in the fur trade for on average about $175. They are highly sought after in areas where trapping is legal, but in Maine it is not legal to trap lynx. This management plan is going to work to achieve an increase in the population size of lynx in the state of Maine and to protect areas in Maine where there are current populations of lynx that are reproducing. The lynx is currently a threatened species, the USFWS on the Endangered Species Act, throughout its range due to it being a widely roaming organism. It is listed as a species of least concern according to the IUCN Red List. The goal of this plan is to achieve and maintain a sustainable population of Canada lynx in the state of Maine. The goal is going to be accomplished by three objectives. The first objective is to protect all areas of habitat in western and northeastern Maine with current reproducing populations of lynx for the next 10 years. The second objective is to manage areas of timber to establish more suitable habitat in northern Maine for the next 10 years. The third objective is to reduce the amount of incidentally harvested lynx in western and northeastern Maine by 25% each year for four years.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
File Attachments: Brown - Submission2.docx
Authors: Heath A. Brown

A Management Plan for Gray Wolves (Canis lupus) in the Northern Rocky Mountains

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:30
Abstract: Gray wolves (Canis lupus) in the Northern Rocky Mountains have increased rapidly from 29 individuals in 1995 to over 1600 in 2012. Conflicts between humans and wolves are likely to increase as wolves spread to new areas. The current management of gray wolves by state wildlife agencies is not adequate to reduce human-wolf conflicts. A different approach to wolf management must be taken; this management plan attempts to address several issues regarding gray wolf management. The majority of the public supports wolf conservation, and further actions must be taken to ensure the long term viability of gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains. This management plan recommends the increased funding and implementation of non-lethal control methods to reduce depredations, especially the use of guard dogs and fladry. The cost and efficacy of several non-lethal control methods is assessed. This management plan recommends that lethal control of wolves be discontinued as lethal control is expensive, not effective, and controversial. This management plan recommends education to increase the public support of gray wolves through educational programs at schools and distribution of educational brochures. This management plan recommends that gray wolf populations be higher than the minimum required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Genetic variability may decrease rapidly if populations are held at the minimum level, especially if migration between sub-populations is reduced. This management plan recommends that a minimum of 3 genetically-effective migrants occurs per generation between sub-populations to ensure adequate genetic variability. If implemented, the recommendations made in this management plan will be a major step towards ensuring the long-term viability of gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2013
Authors: Andrew Martyn Antaya