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Forensic Anthropology Field School: This summer's only five-week school in the nation

July 16, 2021 | Brandy Gottlieb, CASSH Communications, contributions by faculty |

Crime scene tape
2021 UWF Forensic Anthropology Field School

This summer, Dr. Allysha Winburn, assistant professor of anthropology, led the UWF Forensic Field School, which was held May 17 through June 18. 

University of West Florida is the only institution in the nation offering a five-week forensic anthropology field school. The major goal of the five-week field school was to train students in standard forensic methods for the discovery, documentation, and recovery of human skeletal remains.

Forensic Field Recovery 2021 challenged undergraduate and graduate students to locate, document and recover artificial human remains that had been buried in scenarios similar to what they might find in a real forensic recovery.

Students applied basic methods of archaeological mapping and excavation to simulate forensic scenes involving both surface-scattered and buried skeletal remains. They also learned to distinguish human from non-human remains. The experience allowed students to understand concepts as they related to procedures of evidence recovery, such as evidence documentation and collection, site security, and the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for different simulated scenarios.

In this feature, Winburn and several students offer insight into this summer's program.  

Visit the UWF Department of Anthropology to learn more about the field school or related programs. 

Watch Now. 

(Content warning: this video depicts artificial human remains in a realistic manner.)

A faculty member explains