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Forensic Anthropology & Related Programs

WCU's Forensic Anthropology Program along with the Division of Educational Outreach, are pleased to offer these unique workshops to Law Enforcement personnel, medicolegal professionals as well as undergraduate or graduate level college-level students. We even offer a special summer day camp for high school students. All workshops are held on WCU's campus in Cullowhee.


Women identifying bones


Fragmentary Human Osteology

July 8-12, 2024  |   $399 pp / $349 for students
WCU Main campus, Cullowhee, NC
Optional 5-night on-campus accommodations package available

Register Online

This is an advanced human osteology course for individuals that already have prior whole-bone osteology experience and want to develop or refreshed their skills in identifying fragmentary human bones. This course will function as an intense week-long workshop to learn about, study, and be quizzed on fragmentary human remains. Target audiences for this course include: individuals currently working with human remains such as CRM and/or NAGPRA bioarchaeologists, individuals that will be attending field schools and are interested in refreshing their human bone identification abilities, and forensic anthropology students and professionals. This course will use ethically sourced human remains as well as nonhuman and nonbone quiz materials. Minimum enrollment of 10 required by June 1. 

(Optional) On-campus accommodations and meals package includes 5 nights lodging (Sunday - Friday) and 3 meals a day in the university dining hall starting with dinner on Sunday and ending with lunch on FRiday. This optional package is $400 pp for a single occupancy room with linens and a private bath.

Primary Instructor:  Dr. Kaleigh Best is an Assistant Professor in Forensic Anthropology at Western Carolina University. In addition to practicing forensic anthropology she also is a bioarchaeologist and has previous experience as a NAGPRA analyst and as a state skeletal analyst (Illinois). Her current research includes studying human variation (especially in sex estimation), bioarchaeology of care, historic cemetery removal, spatial analysis and mortuary archaeology. She has previously taught courses in forensic anthropology, anthropology, and archaeology.

Forensic Anthropology and Burned Remains

May 17-19, 2024 |   $349   |  Limt 40
Starts at 1:00pm on Friday, May 17.

WCU Cullowhee Campus

**Registration for this course is now full. Email to be added to our waitlist.

This course will act as an introduction and brief survey of forensic anthropology and the analysis of burned human remains. The course is meant for investigators that may encounter human remains in various states of thermal alteration. Course topics will include: the evaluation of material for medicolegal significance; human and non-human osteology; skeletal trauma analysis; taphonomic analysis; and recovery strategies for fire scenes including burned human remains. Note this class will include a hands-on component using a controlled-burn scene with human remains. 

This course is open to professional fire and death investigators only. Restrictions may apply. 

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