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OSU Forensics Day 5

“Osteology was the topic of the day. Alexis and Jessica mapped out the skeletal system in a power point presentation. It was a much-needed refresher course for me and some of the terminology I had never learned before, like the motions of the body: flexion, extension, abduction, and adduction. I was also completely unfamiliar with the types of joints; synovial, and cartilaginous. The best part of the day spent completing an osteology practicum where we classified bones into categories such as human or non-human, juvenile or adult, contemporary or non-contemporary, and whether the specimens are used anatomically, archaeologically, or forensically. The hardest part of this exercise for me, personally, was identifying the small fragments of bone. Some of them were very vague looking and could be multiple types of bones, and separating juvenile human bones from adult non-human bones. During the very last part of the day we finished an evidence-bagging practice. This was tedious work for sure; the taping and labeling was especially time consuming. Unfortunately, this was a just a small example of what crime scene investigators go through on a regular basis. I am looking forward to returning to the crime scene next week to collect evidence, I will try my hardest to take only what can help us with the case.”

Mary C. – Participant

“Our first Friday was an intensive study of osteology. I took a forensic anthropology class last spring, so this was a bit of a refresher, but I definitely learned a lot more and realized how much I forgot. We learned how to classify and compare bones to get as much information as possible out of them. We got to analyze human bones, non-human bones, forensic bones, and anatomical bones. This was very interesting because it allowed to realize how inconspicuous bone can be. Especially if you’re in the woods or a field, you could absolutely miss one if you’re not careful. I really like how we got to hold and feel the bones so we got a feel of what they feel and look like so that we may keep an eye out in the field. It was definitely interesting to see the similarities and differences between the non-human and human bones. Some were obviously non-human, as some looked nothing like anything in the human body, but others could easily be mistaken for human bone. Though I learned a lot, I know I have a lot more to learn before I can even come close to becoming an expert in the field, but I look forward to excavation and getting to put this knowledge to work.”

Brianne Z. – Participant

“The field school began this past week with team building activities and learning how to use a compass. Throughout the field school, students will need to work together and use their senses to process crime scenes. The students seemed to pick up on this very quickly and worked well together during the week. I’m excited to see their progress throughout the course. Throughout the first week, the students were engaged in hands-on learning by practicing photography, creating 3D models, and examining human and non-human bones. During these activities, you could really see the passion and enthusiasm of the students come out. I am definitely looking forward to getting to know each student better as we progress through the course!​”

Alexis Dzubak – Assistant Program Director


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