Student Projects

Students are WeBSS have done projects to help in understanding the bones that are found in the digs. After school clubs have also helped in putting together displays for libraris around the Willamette Valley.

Odulia Flores graduated from WeBSS in 2009. Her senior project was to preserved the bones, recombine fragments to make complete bones, and then to assemble to skeleton on the back wall of the schools biology classroom. She also presented at the National Geological Conference where she helped author a poster with Dr. Edward Davis from the University of Oregon. (See the link below)

She is currently attending Chemeketa Community College.













The second student to do her senior project on the bison was Guadalupe Casas. Her project was to preserve and re-assemble the skull that was found in the summer of 2010. The skull was also mounted on the wall beside the skeleton. A local television station, Fox12, did a small segment on Ale and the skull.

Currently, Ale is a senior at the University of Oregon.



Alex Velasco did his senior project on the pathological growth of the back left ankle. Alex was the first to try and explain what happened and how it may have effected the bison in the last few weeks of its life. The first thing Alex did was take the bones to Dr. Paul Jones of Woodburn Veterinary Clinic for analysis and x-rays. Here it was determined that the growth was a case of osteomyeletis which was caused by a wound from a predator. This wound became infected and spread throughout the body becoming cancerous. At some point in the growth, the bison became unable to move easily and probably fell, unable to get back on its feet. Although he was unable to move, the cancer continued to fester and grow. It eventually spread to his sternum, vertebrae, and was beginning to show growth in the front right leg.

Alex graduated in 2012 and is attending Chemeketa Community College to become an EMT.







Jon Magallanes, a senior from 2010/11 was the first to do many of the measurements on the skeleton. His work led to the comparisons between B. antiquus of other areas of North America and the Woodburn bison.

Yessica Sanchez also graduated in 2010/11. Her project was to do drawings of the bones. These drawing included many of the measurements that were done by Jon Magallanes.


Students from Woodburn High School SMILE club making presentation to Tualatin Historical Society

During the 2012 dig, students found over 250 different bones. With an accumulating number of bones from an increasing number of species, students from the Oregon State University sponsored SMILE club (Science and Math Integrated Learning Experience) put together a collection of bones with descriptions that were donated to the Tualatin Historical Society for display. These bones and descriptions are alongside the Tualatin Mastodon and other Pleistocene fossils found in the Mid-Willamette Valley.

Hopefully, this display, and others to come, will educate the communities of the Willamette Valley about types of environments that existed here during the late ice age.

Students involved in the project were: Isabel Arreguin, Alejandra Rodriguez Rodriguez, Geomara Perez, Daniel Gonzalez, Patty Arreguin, Zuleka Vasquez, Kimberly Miranda, Johanna Vasquez. Items donated were a partial muskrat skeleton, partial beaver skull, fifteen turtle shell fragments, bog beans, and a rib of a giant bison.





This video was from the August 2014 dig and the finding of a juvenile bison vertebrae