BIO 299: Learn and Apply Skeletal Anatomy to Determine the Biological Profile of an Unknown Skeleton

Professor: Brad Caldwell
4 Students

Reed Jenkins

Biology has always been a great interest of mine since I took my first Biology class in high school. Although there was a lot of “busy work”, I actually found myself enjoying the process of research. I loved to dive into new topics and concepts that I had no understanding of. It was fulfilling to expand upon my basic knowledge and slowly build towards a more advanced understanding of these concepts. I saw BIO 299 as a way to further expand my understanding in addition to getting some real experience. I recently came back to college after a few years of working in various places. I realized that I was smarter than I gave myself credit for and so I’ve set my sights on becoming a Biochemist. I hope that one day I may be able to go to medical school and become a doctor. Subsequently, forensic anthropology will provide me with real hands-on experience and fundamental knowledge of human anatomy and lab research.

There is more to learn from this course than anatomy and research. I hope to also learn to be more social with people I am working with and become a better writer and presenter of scientific data. I also wanted to prove to myself that I could do anything I put my mind to. I have not ever taken a Physiology class or Anatomy class. In fact, the highest course for Biology I’ve completed is BIO 105. However, my self study and dedication have allowed me to learn the necessary concepts and I think I am doing very well.

Tina Ferguson

This semester’s course of Biology 299 where we learned about building a biological profile from unknown cases proved to be challenging and interesting. Learning to measure correctly was the hardest part for me. Measuring correctly at the correct points on the skeleton, especially the skull, is imperative to drawing correct conclusions for age, sex, stature, and ancestry.

I am applying to Nursing school after I take and pass my TEAS Exam so while I won’t be pursuing a career in forensics or identifying remains, I really enjoyed this class. The course helped solidify my Anatomy and Physiology knowledge of bones and skeletal markings and landmarks. Professor Caldwell really made this class fun and interesting while also being available to help if we were struggling or had concerns. I would definitely recommend this class to anyone interested in taking a class which involves thinking and investigation and not just a normal required college class. I appreciate having the opportunity and hope everyone enjoys our presentation in a few weeks at the GTC Student Scholar Showcase.

Hannah Hand

I became interested in my topic after taking Bio 210 and 211 with Professor Caldwell. These two classes sparked an interest in anthropology after learning about how different diseases and disorders can affect the human skeletal anatomy. I hope to learn how to identify different genetic disorders and how they affect the body. I also hope to gain knowledge on how to identify different ages and ancestries of skeletons. I hope to get more insight on what a forensic anthropologist’s daily job looks like.

I think the semester has gone very well. I’ve learned a lot about the age, sex, ancestry, and stature of the human skeleton. I also learned different ways to measure bones by attending a class at Clemson University. I hope to learn more about anthropology in the future because this class intrigued me a lot. I also might pursue a career where I can do this on a daily basis because it was so interesting to me.

Elizabeth Carey

My introduction to this Creative Inquiry course was actually offered to me by my Anatomy and Physiology professor, Mr. Caldwell. My professor explained to me that in this course we would be learning about what Forensic Anthropology is and how its used in creating a Biological Profile for a deceased individual. Forensic Anthropology is not determining the cause of death, but discovering who the person was if there was no identification. I grew up in a law enforcement/military family, so this course was right in my comfort zone of understanding how this field operates. I’m hoping to learn how Biological Profiles are created and used through collection of data and interpretation of the results. I’m truly enjoying this course!