April 16, 2016

Digitizing ROGeR: Creating a Recommended Osteology Guide for e-Readers

Today at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists conference in Atlanta, three of my grad students are presenting the work they've been doing for nearly a year -- Digitizing ROGeR: Creating a Recommended Osteology Guide for e-Readers.

When I started teaching Human Osteology at UWF, I quickly realized that students weren't coming to lab during the hours it was open to study.  Sure, some of it could be chalked up to study habits, but most of our students are also commuters who don't live near campus.  To help with this, I put a plastic skeleton on reserve at the campus library that they could check out for two hours at a time.  (Yes, you too can do this if you ask your librarian!)  The library staff decided to call it Roger, and the name stuck over the years. Having a plastic skeleton at the library might help students on weekends, for example, when the osteology lab is closed.  But again, since many are commuters, accessing the library can also be problematic.

Over the past year, Mariana Zechini, Jane Holmstrom, and Madde Voas have been digitizing a number of real bones from our teaching collection, with the idea to make the models available online for students.  Most of the bones come from the same individual, and they've also scanned some pathological bone as well.  Mariana and Jane figured out how to import the 3D models into Sketchfab and annotate them -- they put in all the major features of the bone that I quiz students on in Human Osteology.  You can browse the models in Sketchfab on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. The models are downloadable as .STL (so you can print them).  Do note, however, that we're releasing them under a CC-BY-NC 4.0 license.  Use them for teaching, but please credit us if possible.

Here's their poster on how and why they created this resource.  If you're still at the AAPAs, please stop by to see them and their 3D prints!

April 15, 2016

Forensics in the Media - Online Class Fall 2016 at UWF

This is a quick plug for my Fall online course that will be about skeletons and forensics in the media.  It's ANT3015 at UWF -- currently called Forensics in the Media.  The way the Florida university system works, pretty much anyone enrolled at a university in the state can take it through the Florida Shines program. So I'm encouraging anyone who's interested to please sign up!

We'll take a tour through the TV shows Bones and the Forensic Files, through the news media such as my Forbes and mental_floss posts, through podcasts like Sawbones, and more!  I envision this as a fun way to learn more about forensic anthropology while consuming a wide range of media.

Here's the fancy flyer for the class:




April 12, 2016

How to Blog in Bioarchaeology and Palaeopathology - #PPA2016

This morning in a workshop on media and outreach in palaeopathology (organized by Piers Mitchell of Cambridge) at the Paleopathology Association meeting, I presented a snazzy Prezi on writing at the intersection of science, journalism, and new media.  It includes what I hope are some useful, practical tips, as well as links to learn more, but I also said a lot of stuff that isn't in the Prezi.

In the interest of openness that permeates really everything that I do, here's the Prezi for your enjoyment (and if the embedded Prezi doesn't work, try this link)... and if you want to see my notes, they're in a Google doc here:



As always, don't hesitate to contact me if you have some interesting research that you want me to write about for any of my various public-facing outlets. My goal is always to make you and your work look good... and, of course, to get as many clicks as possible from as many diverse people as possible.

April 9, 2016

What I wrote last month at Forbes -- Warlord with malaria, cultural infanticide, shackled Greek skeletons, archaeo casualties of Trump's wall, and more!

Here's what I wrote over at Forbes in the month of March:

  • 21 March - How Trump's Wall Would Trample Hundreds of Archaeological Sites.  I did some back-of-the-envelope calculations about the number of sites the proposed border wall would run into.  There's a good comment on the post from an archaeologist who gives a much larger figure than I did.  And if I use his data, we come out to about the same number -- close to 3,000.  While he doesn't seem to think this is a problem, I don't like the history of the government waiving archaeological mitigation and am pretty sure it'd happen in the case of a border wall.

April 8, 2016

Ethics Bowl Full of Teeth

Nope, not the latest "Before and After" question from Jeopardy.  I think next year's Society for American Archaeology conference Ethics Bowl needs to be just this one picture:


Here's the tweet I got it from:

And my smart-ass reply:
But seriously, what the...?

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