Andrea Palmiotto (Anthropology) recently visited the
Saltsburg Middle/High School Science Club to talk with students about Forensic
Forensic Anthropologists examine human skeletal remains to
assist in the identification of unknown individuals in medical or legal
contexts. Palmiotto discussed the types of methods and analyses used by
forensic anthropologists to effect identifications.
Her talk focused on
identification efforts of individuals associated with the USS Oklahoma, an ongoing
project at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). The USS Oklahoma
capsized as a result of the December 7, 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor in
Hawaii. More than 400 individuals from the ship lost their lives as a
result of the attack, but they could not be identified with available
technologies at that time. Since 2015, large-scale identification efforts
have been ongoing, due in part to advances in forensic anthropology methods and
DNA analyses that were not available in the 1940s.