Editorial: Exploration

Growing up, I spent a good amount of my time out in the woods and pastures that surrounded our home. That landscape provided the ideal canvas for learning and creativity. I learned the rhythm of the seasons. I learned what plants were edible and which ones would tear at my skin and which ones had seeds that would hitch a ride home on my pants. I learned the different levels of funk that come from decomposing animals. I learned how beautiful and mysterious a clean, fresh bone could be.

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These are things I have enjoyed helping my nine-year-old daughter learn, as I encourage her to explore, look under things, poke around, get messy, and discover. Earlier this spring, she returned from wandering across a recently burned field with a small, weathered bone in her possession. She asked me what it was. My best guess was some sort of small mammal… and then I handed her a book from my reference shelf, Human and Nonhuman Bone Identification: A Concise Field Guide, by Diane L. France. The next day, she took the book and the bone to school with her so that she could work on the identification in her spare time.

In the Expert Q&A on Page 26, Diane France—the author of the bone book I handed my daughter—talks about how early experiences with outdoor exploration helped open up to her the world of osteology.

The experiences we earn through simple and unstructured exploration over the course of our lives can lead to connections and inspiration—sometimes in unexpected ways. So explore... poke around... and encourage those around you to do the same.

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Evidence Technology Magazine

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