Core Principles and Practices in Forensic Anthropology: Vol. II

Primary Course Instructors: Dennis C. Dirkmaat, Ph.D., D-ABFA (Mercyhurst University); Joseph T. Hefner, Ph.D., D-ABFA (Michigan State University); Nicholas Passalacqua, Ph.D., D-ABFA (Western Carolina University); Alexandra Klales, Ph.D. (Washburn University); Sara Getz, Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin-Platteville); Erin Chapman, Ph.D. (Erie County Medical Examiner's Office); Christopher Rainwater, M.S. (New York City Medical Examiner's Office); Diana Messer, Ph.D. (Western Carolina University); Michael J. Hochrein, Special Agent FBI, Ret.); Luis Cabo, M.S. (Mercyhurst University); Joe Adserias-Garriga, DDS, Ph.D., D-ABFO (Mercyhurst University); and Rhian Dunn, M.S. (HD Forensics)
Click here to learn more about the Instructors! 
The goal of this 2-Week, 10-day short course is to present a crash course in the latest research and techniques in the field of forensic anthropology. Taught at an advanced introductory level, participants will be exposed to the latest principles, practices, and methods in the discipline. The course will be taught by some of the best forensic anthropologists in North America, including many ABFA Board-certified forensic anthropologists, who are actively conducting research, publishing and conducting forensic anthropological casework.
The course will cover all current aspects of forensic anthropology including forensic osteology (establishing forensic significance in the field, the laboratory analyses involved in fragmentary osteology, estimating the biological profile [age, sex, stature, and ancestry], human skeletal trauma analysis) forensic archaeology (location and recovery of the outdoor crime scene, including large-scale searches, surface scatter, buried body, fatal fire, and mass disaster scenes); forensic taphonomy (post-mortem modification of human tissues, and reconstruction of the events during and subsequent to the Death Event); and Outdoor Crime Scene Reconstruction (reconstruction of the Death Event at the outdoor scene).
Students: If you are thinking of a career in the field of biological anthropology, forensic anthropology, and even bioarchaeology, this course will provide you with a better understanding of what is required to set you on that trajectory. In addition to lectures on state-of-the-field methods, research and experiences in forensic anthropology, you will also be able to interact with the top professionals in the field of forensic anthropology. Each speaker will devote a portion of their presentation to their own career trajectory, and provide guidance to rising students. As an added bonus, our laboratories filled with extensive human and animal osteological collections will be open for after-hours practice and personalized training with our graduate students.
Teachers and Instructors: If you are currently teaching or plan to teach a class in forensic anthropology, this course will thoroughly prepare you by providing a guidebook of topics, latest research, and case experiences encompassed by the field. This will also provide you with professional connections with the top forensic anthropologists in the country.
Professionals: If you are a medicolegal death investigator, or criminal investigator working with human remains from outdoor scenes, this course would be of great interest to you in terms of understanding the roles and benefits of employing forensic archaeological recovery methods during the processing of the outdoor forensic scene, as well as how to better interpret the evidence from the scene, including the human biological tissues. You will also know what is to be expected when involving a forensic anthropologist in your investigation.
Course Registration Options:
  1. Register to save a spot ($50*). Pay in full by July 19.
  2. Entire two week course (field and lab components): $1300*
  3. Forensic archaeology week only (July 19-23): $650*
  4. Forensic Anthropology Laboratory week only (July 26-30): $650*
*Cost does not include accommodations or transport​.

July 19 - 30, 2021


*8 PA Coroners CE Credits Available*

*80 ABMDI CE Credits Available*

Course Location: Mercyhurst University, Erie, PA


Course Participants: Individuals over 18yrs of age. Limed to 20 participants.

  1. College and University students (undergraduate and graduate);

  2. College professors and instructors (teaching classes in Forensic Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Forensic Science, Criminalistics, Medicolegal Death Investigation, and Criminal Law); and

  3. Professionals in law enforcement, criminal investigation, medicolegal death investigation, and the legal profession (prosecutors, defense attorneys).

Core Principles and Practices in Forensic Anthropology: Syllabi

Course Payment

Course Registration

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