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Sara M. Getz, Ph.D., D-ABFA
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Platteville

Dr. Getz is currently an Assistant Professor of Forensic Investigation (FI) in the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Dept. of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences. She completed her PhD at Penn State University in 2017.She holds a BS in Biological Anthropology from Penn State and is a graduate of the Mercyhurst University Forensic and Biological Anthropology MS program (2011). She obtained certification as a medicolegal investigator (C-MDI, Death Investigation Training Academy) in 2021 and as a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology (D-ABFA) in 2022.  

In her current position, Dr. Getz serves as acting program coordinator for the FI program and teaches courses including crime scene investigation, forensic anthropology, medicolegal investigation, and outdoor crime scene processing. She has previously held positions as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Idaho State University and Visiting Assistant Professor of Applied Forensic Sciences at Mercyhurst University, as well as short-term positions as a Visiting Scientist at the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner Forensic Anthropology Unit and a museum aide at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum cataloging and moving physical anthropology skeletal collections.  

Her expertise is in human skeletal variation, particularly as it relates to the estimation of adult age-at-death, and the processing of outdoor scene. As a researcher, she is broadly interested in the factors affecting variability in the human skeleton, how variation can be described and quantified effectively, and what it can help us to say about individuals in forensic and archaeological contexts. She has worked with more than 4,000 modern, historic and archaeological skeletons from many of the world’s well-documented collections, both individually and as part of an international research team. She is also currently working with students on several projects related to the detection of clandestine graves and the use of ALS in outdoor pedestrian searches for human remains.

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