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.
Understanding the difference between human and non-human skeletal elements is crucial for forensic anthropologists, law enforcement, and death investigators, as well as archaeologists. This course introduces participants to the field of osteology, or the study of the skeleton. During this course, participants will learn various methods for distinguishing human bone from non-human bone, using both human and non-human skeletons as hands-on teaching tools. This course is geared towards law enforcement, medicolegal professionals and undergraduate- and graduate- level university students. No previous knowledge is required. Recommended Text: Comparative Osteology: A Laboratory and Field Guide of Common North American Animals, 1st Edition by Brad Adams and Pam Crabtree.
Primary Audience: Law Enforcement/medicolegal professionals/undergraduate or graduate level college-level students
Accommodations: An optional on-campus accommodations & meals package is available. The 3-night plan includes single or double occupancy in a WCU residence hall with all meals starting with breakfast on Monday through lunch on Wednesday. Check-in will be from 4pm to 6pm on Sunday, June 2.
This course will introduce participants to the most commonly used, up to date forensic anthropology laboratory methodologies. This includes methods used to estimate the biological profile (sex, age, ancestry, and stature) as well as those used analyze pathology, taphonomy and trauma. The structure of the course includes both lecture and laboratory components. Participants will be assessed on their knowledge through daily quizzes and completion of mock forensic anthropology cases using real human skeletal remains. Participants will present their case reports at the conclusion of the course. Recommended text: Forensic Anthropology: Current Methods and Practice, 1st Edition by Angie M. Christensen, Nicholas V. Passalacqua, and Eric J. Bartelink.
Primary Audience: undergraduate- and graduate-level college students
Accommodations: An optional on-campus accommodations & meals package is available. The 5-night plan includes single or double occupancy in a WCU residence hall with all meals starting with breakfast on Monday through lunch on Friday. Check-in will be from 4pm to 6pm on Sunday, June 9.
This course is designed to introduce high school level students ages 15-18 to the field of forensic anthropology. The course will include both instructional and laboratory components and is designed to be hands-on, as students will be working with real human skeletal remains. Throughout the course, students will learn basic methods of laboratory analysis of human remains, including the estimation of the biological profile (sex, age, ancestry, and stature), human identification, pathology, taphonomy, and trauma as well as strategies for the search and recovery of skeletal remains. Students will apply their knowledge to selected case studies, which they will present at the completion of the course. Text: A Laboratory Manual for Forensic Anthropology, 1st Edition by Angie M. Christensen and Nicholas V. Passalacqua (Included in registration fee).
John A. Williams, Ph.D., D-ABFA, is a forensic anthropologist with over 40 years’ experience working with human skeletons and human remains. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and is one of approximately 90 active board certified forensic anthropologists. Over the past four decades he has worked with medical examiners, the FBI, and law enforcement agencies across the United States. As a member of the Federal agency, DMORT, he has assisted in the identification of mass fatality victims including two airline crashes and the 911 terrorist attack. In 2005 he established at Western Carolina University the FOREST, the second human decomposition research facility.
Christine A. Bailey, M.A., is an instructor in Anthropology and the Forensic Anthropology Facilities Curator at Western Carolina University. Christine received her master’s degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in August 2018. She is a biological anthropologist whose research interests include human skeletal biology, forensic anthropology, taphonomy, human rights, and best practices in forensic anthropology. Her master’s research titled “Age-at-death Estimation: Accuracy and Reliability of Age-Reporting Strategies,” focused on evaluating age-at-death estimation methods commonly used in forensic investigations.