Spring 2016



Instructor: Barbara Welker                                                              Office: Bailey 150 OR Lab: Bailey 152

Telephone:  245-5204 / email:                     Office hours: Tu & Th 12-1:00, W 3-4:00


Course description:  This course follows a combination lecture and lab format with an additional individual research component.  Topics to be explored are (1) anatomy, growth and development, biomechanics, pathologies, and aging and sexing of the human skeleton and (2) forensic theory and methodology.


Learning Outcomes:

Students will:

1.  demonstrate their understanding of the ontogeny, development, maintenance, and repair processes of bone.  They will also become familiar with many skeletal pathologies, especially those that are evident in skeletal material.  They will demonstrate their knowledge of the subject matter by successfully completing two in-class written exams.  Lastly, they will demonstrate competency in identifying, aging, and sexing hypothetically excavated skeletal material by completion of a take-home exam.

2.  learn the human skeleton along with an understanding of its relationship to musculoskeletal anatomy and biomechanics via hands-on study using our skeletal collection.  They will demonstrate their knowledge of the subject matter by successfully completing three in-class practical exams.

3.  gain additional knowledge in some related topic by conducting an independent research project.  They will demonstrate what they have learned and their command of the topic via a formal research presentation.

4.  demonstrate their familiarity with forensic theories and methodologies via in-class discussions of the assigned Sachs book.


Textbooks:  White T.D., P.A. Folkens (2005) The human bone manual. MA: Academic Press.

                    Sachs J.S. (2001) Corpse:  Nature, forensics, and the struggle to pinpoint time of death.

                    Massachusetts:  Perseus Publishing.


Course requirements:          2 in-class written exams @ 20% each:                                      40%

                                                3 practical exams @ 10% each:                                               30%

                                                Note:  3rd practical exam will contain some multiple

                                                choice questions based on  student presentations.

                                                1 take-home exam:                                                                   10%

                                                Research and presentation:                                                      10%

                                                Participation in discussions and labs:                                       10%


Written exams consist of multiple choice and short answer questions.  Practical exams consist, for the most part, of identification of bones, bony landmarks, and teeth.  All exams are non-cumulative.


Research presentation:  Your individual research will allow you to explore a topic that interests you.  You will share it with the class, so that we all benefit from a more in-depth examination of the topic.

            1.  Topics are due 2/11 at first exam. 

            2.  References may come from the bibliography in your textbook, an online search, etc. 

            3.  A minimum of 5 references must be professional journal articles, books, and/or chapters from edited

            volumes.  Additional references can be other popular sources, e.g. internet, magazines…

            4.  Talk should be 12-15 min long. 

            5.  If using PowerPoint, you must either drop the .pptx file in my inbox or email it to me at least 1hr before

            class time.  You can also bring it on a thumb drive but it must be uploaded during my office hours.  If I

            have not received your talk prior to class time, you will be penalized 25% of your grade.


Library Research Help:

If you need assistance finding information for this assignment, Milne Librarians may be able to help. You can speak with the reference librarian on duty between 10am and closing time most days (ask for help at the service desk) or chat with a librarian online by clicking the "IM a Librarian" button on the library website ( 


You can also contact the Milne Librarian dedicated to Anthropology, Brandon West, by emailing him ( or requesting an in-person meeting (

PARTICIPATION:  You will earn 1 point for each of the two discussions on the “Corpse” book that you come prepared for and participate in.  Preparation consists of having read the “Corpse” assignments and submitting topics/comments/questions for discussion.  Topics for discussion need to be typed (or initialed by me prior to class time) to ensure that students are not completing them in class.  It should be apparent from your submitted “topics” that you read and considered the reading and completed all of it or you will lose credit. In addition, attendance and participation in lab will earn you a maximum of 8pt.  You are expected to attend and use your lab time wisely.  You should avoid (1) sitting alone and not speaking to anyone, (2) not handling/studying the bones, and (3) leaving early, if you want to earn the credit.  This is a collective venture and people do not learn anatomy in isolation and without actually “doing” anatomy!
Please note:  SUNY Geneseo will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented physical, emotional, or cognitive disabilities.  Accommodations will also be made for medical conditions related to pregnancy or parenting.  Students should contact Dean Buggie-Hunt in the Office of Disability Services ( or 585-245-5112) and their faculty to discuss needed accommodations as early as possible in the semester.




Note:  Lab topics are in uppercase

            Reading assignments refer to chapters in White and Folkens


Week  Date                                 Topic                                                                     Reading Assignment


1      1/19     Introduction & lab and presentation assignments                              1, 3

            1/21     Introduction to anatomical terms and muscle groups and their actions          6

      2    1/26     CHEST AND SHOULDER GIRDLE                                                           10, 11

            1/28     Joints, connective tissue, and biomechanics                                       4

      3    2/2       ARM, FOREARM, AND HAND                                                    12, 13

                        RESEARCH TOPICS DUE

            2/4       Bone growth and development                                                           4

4      2/9       REVIEW

2/11     WRITTEN EXAM 1 (room TBA)

5      2/16     PRACTICAL EXAM 1

2/18     Skeletal pathologies I                                                                          17

6      2/23     PELVIC GIRDLE                                                                               14

2/25     Presentations (5)

      7    3/1       Skeletal pathologies II                                                                         5

            3/3       THIGH, LEG, AND FOOT                                                              15, 16

8      3/8       Presentations (5)

3/10     VERTEBRAL COLUMN                                                                  9

9      3/15-17SPRING BREAK      

10  3/22     Presentations (5)

3/24     REVIEW

      11  3/29     WRITTEN EXAM 2 (room TBA)


      12  4/5       Presentations (5)                                                                                            

4/7       SKULL I                                                                                             7

13   4/12     Presentations (5)                                

4/14     SKULL II                                                                                            7                                 

14   4/19     G.R.E.A.T. Day

4/21     Presentations (3) & Discussion                                  Pages 1-119 of “Corpse

      15  4/26     SKULL REVIEW and TEETH                                                           8

4/28     Presentations (2) & Discussion                                  Pages 119-258 of “Corpse

16   5/3       REVIEW


5/11     3:30 PRACTICAL EXAM 3 and Take home exam DUE