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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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Crime Scene Recovery

This course is designed to acquaint law enforcement personnel and others interested in forensic anthropology with procedures and techniques specific to crime scenes involving human remains.



Crime scenes, especially where human remains may be present, require special handling and expertise. If all the evidence is to be recovered and preserved in its entirety, certain measures must be implemented from the beginning. This forensic workshop is designed to acquaint law enforcement personnel and others interested in forensic anthropology with procedures and techniques specific to crime scenes involving human remains. The course, which will take place over two days, will cover the following topics:

  • Determination of human vs. animal skeletal material
  • Determination of sex, ancestry, and trauma in human remains
  • Site survey
  • Mapping of skeletal remains
  • Archaeological excavation techniques
  • Proper collection, handling and preservation of skeletal material






Date & Location:

August 9 and 10, 2012

Location Day 1: Trafton N 362C for Day 1
Location Day 2: Andreas Observatory for Day 2

Time (all dates):

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day.


  • $495 before August 1st (August 1-8 on space available basis $595) Enrollment limit: 20



Who should attend:

Medical Examiners, Law Enforcement Officials, Anthropologists, Teachers

Why you should attend:

This course offers a great opportunity for hands-on experience working with human remains; it can help us understand the processes that impact the body after death; help separate reality from television fiction; help prepare today's students for tomorrow's careers (in forensics, anthropology or even law enforcement).

Continuing Education Credit:

  • 14 Contact Hours
  • 14 POST hours upon request with POST number provided
    (1 UG credit; 1 Grad credit also available) 


Day 1:

  • Discuss the role of a forensic anthropologist
  • Identify bones of the human body
  • Compare human and non-human skeletal material
  • Compare adult remains to subadult remains
  • Determine if remains are of forensic significance
  • Learn how to determine sex, race and other identifying characteristics in the skeleton
  • Discuss evidence related to cause and manner of death

Day 2:

  • Locate and map clandestine graves
  • Excavate human skeletal remains using proper archaeological excavation techniques
  • Collect and preserve human remains and other forensic evidence


DR. KATHLEEN T. BLUE is a biological anthropologist in the Department of Anthropology at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where her research interests include forensic anthropology and bioarchaeology. She received her doctorate from the University of Chicago. She has been involved in the analysis of modern and ancient human remains in Minnesota for more than 15 years, including both Native American remains as part of NAGPRA compliance and modern-day forensic cases. She has worked on forensic cases for the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office, Dakota County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, as well as with local law enforcement agencies.

In 2012, Dr. Blue was awarded the 2012 Law Enforcement Professional Service Award by the Minnesota South Central Investigators Coalition.


DR. LISA BECKER recently received her doctorate from the Indiana University. Although specializing in human behavioral endocrinology, she has a considerable background in both archaeology and forensic anthropology. She is a faculty member in the Anthropology Department at Anoka-Ramsey Community College.


Registration information: Registration taken on a first come first serve basis.
You will receive a confirmation e-mail following your registration

Cancellation Policy

Questions: If you have questions about the training or how to register, contact the College of Extended Learning at 507-389-2572, or 1-800-311-3142, or email



For MSU events: individuals with a disability, who need reasonable accommodation to participate in this event, are asked to contact the Office of Accessibility Resources at 507-389-2825 (V/TTD), 800-627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTD) at least five days prior to the event.

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