STEM Presents: Dr. David Clark

A Report from Joy W. ’20

Last Thursday, April 18, we welcomed Dr. David Clark (dad of Ella ’22) to talk about forensic archaeology as part of our STEM Presents series. Dr. Clark is a professional archaeologist, and a collegiate and pre-collegiate educator. He has specialized in Zooarchaeology and Osteoarchaeology of animal/human remains, and human-dietary practices.

Dr. Clark focused on one of his experiences as an archaeologist and its correlation with forensics by introducing the working opportunities in the field in the 1990s to recover missing people from WWII.
Dr. Clark started by talking about the 78,000 WWII servicemen who were MIA (missing in action) and how thousands of families were searching, praying, and hoping every day to find their family members. Starting in 1993, Dr. Clark worked at the Central Identification Lab in Hawaii to help veterans and families. He discussed his work in the field to search for and recover physical pieces of evidence. Dr. Clark's investigation focused on a plane in New Guinea that went through a thunderstorm and crashed. He and his team went to the mountain to conduct research and recovery.

To help us better understand the visual appearance at the scene, Dr. Clark showed us different pictures of the missing plane that they discovered in the field. In addition, he taught us that to clean the bones they found, they brushed them and packaged them as soon as possible in order to recover the DNA for the families.

This was a very meaningful presentation to everyone who attended. Dr. Clark not only showed us the different aspects of the field of forensics and archaeology, he also taught us about the importance of remembering the wars that happened and the people who lost their lives as a result. His presentation gave each one of us insightful ideas and thoughts, and inspired us to think more on the topic.
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An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.