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Outdoor Crime Scene Cases: Scene Recovery, Lab Analysis, and Event Reconstructions

Primary Course Instructors: Dennis Dirkmaat, Ph.D., D-ABFA; Joe Adserias-Garriga, DDS, Ph.D., D-ABFO

This 5-day course will cover all aspects of recovery, analysis and interpretation of human remains discovered in outdoor contexts. Each day will focus on different scenarios (surface scatter, buried body, fatal fire, and mass disaster) via an in in-depth analysis of an actual forensic case. Download Course Flyer here.


Topics covered: discovery, recovery, lab analysis, identification, hypotheses generation/testing, report writing, court presentation.

Course Format:

Lectures and hands-on sessions on forensic archaeological recovery and mapping procedures, human vs non non-human osteology, biological
profile, skeletal methods of identification and skeletal trauma analysis. The course will be held in person on the campus of Mercyhurst University. We are also offering online (lectures and discussions) and single day attendance options. 


Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, but on-line in real time option available. 


Mercyhurst University dorms available upon request (~$40/night).


Forensic anthropologists (professionals and students); medico-legal and law enforcement professionals; and other forensic practitioners.

Erie, PA

July 22 - 26, 2024

In Person - $799 (One day - $250)

Online - $400 (One day - $100)


Full Week Course: 8 hours of PA Coroner's Continuing Education Credit (4 hours of CE if online)


Per Day: 8 hours of PA Coroner's Continuing Education Credit (4 hours of CE if online)

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