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2020 Short Courses

Most courses are available to advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, law enforcement officials, death investigators, forensic specialists, and high school instructors.


Bone Pathology
January 7th-8th

$250

This course will introduce participants to general congenital, infectious, and dental diseases that result in bone/dental anomalies/pathologies. Participants will be assigned a human skeletal case that has one or more bone/dental pathologies. Participants will document their observations of the bone and teeth and will research what disease(s) may affect bone/teeth in this manner. Participants will further investigate the disease’s effect on body organs and physiological and/or behavioral functions of the body. Participants will then present their case to the class.

Registration and Payment Due: December 31, 2019


Forensic Taphonomy and Soil Chemistry in a southeast Texas (Piney Woods Ecoregion) Context
January 16th-17th and June 22nd-23rd

$350

This course will be taught at the Applied Anatomical Research Center (AARC) at Sam Houston State University. The course contains a large portion of hands-on exercises and explores the fundamental processes behind human decomposition, the techniques used to estimate the postmortem interval (PMI) and how scavenging and internal and/or external environments affect bone. Forensic soil chemistry and how soil is affected by the human decomposition process will be discussed and will also include hands-on exercises.

January enrollment Registration and Payment Due: January 9, 2020
June enrollment Registration and Payment Due: June 15, 2020

TCOLE (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education) credit available


Forensic Fire Death Investigation Course
January 29th-31st and July 15th-17th

$500

The concept that the human body, even bone, is completely destroyed in a fire will be shown to be a false concept, conveyed by physical evidence observed in this course. Participants will initially learn how to differentiate between non-burned animal and human bone and learn foundational principles of the effects of thermal trauma to the human body, particularly bone. Participant groups will then be taken to their burn scene where they will observe and systematically collect human and non-human burned remains. Groups will analyze their findings and present their case.

For January enrollment Registration and Payment Due: January 22, 2020
For July enrollment Registration and Payment Due: July 8, 2020

TCOLE (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education) credit available


Bone Trauma
March 26th-27th

$250

This course will explore fundamental biomechanics of bone and how body tissues respond to various types of forces. The course will cover sharp and blunt force trauma as well as thermal and gunshot trauma and their effect on soft tissue and bone.

Registration and Payment Due: March 19, 2020

TCOLE (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education) credit available


Human Clandestine Burial Recovery (Piney Woods Ecoregion)
June 9th-12th

$650

Participant groups will search for and recover the human skeletal remains of a clandestine burial. They will learn and apply archaeological techniques used in burial recoveries. Participants will process the remains and analyze them for identification. Knowledge of human skeletal anatomy is recommended but not required. Endurance in burial recovery is required.

Registration and Payment Due: June 1, 2020

TCOLE (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education) credit available


Forensic Anthropology
June 17th-19th

$300

Learn the fundamental principles of forensic anthropology used in the laboratory analysis of human skeletal remains. Methods used in the estimation of sex, age, stature, and ancestry will be covered in hands-on exercises. Human skeletal cases will be assigned and teams will apply the forensic anthropology methods to estimate identification
Previous knowledge in human skeletal anatomy is required.

Registration and Payment Due: June 10, 2020

TCOLE (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education) credit available


Forensic Entomology
June 24th-26th

$400

This course provides a foundation of insect biology with a concentration on forensically significant insects and how insects are used in forensic proceedings.

Registration and Payment Due: June 17, 2020

TCOLE (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education) credit available


Surface Recovery
August 5th- 7th

$400

The course will focus on identification of human bone, distinguishing human bone from animal bone and the basics of assessing sex, age, ancestry and stature. It will include the systematic techniques for recovery of human skeletal remains in an outdoor environment. After learning these techniques, each team will search and recover real human remains, analyze the remains, and present their case to the class. Endurance in the recovery of the remains is required.

Registration and Payment Due: July 29, 2020

TCOLE (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education) credit available


Blood Stain Analysis and Pattern Evidence
July 7th-10th

$550

This course will be broken into two sections. The first two days will cover Bloodstain Pattern Analysis including the fundamental physics of bloodstaining, along with the recognition, processing, and analysis of bloodstains at crime scenes. The third and fourth day will covers topics that deal with Pattern Evidence such as Latent Print Identification and Latent Print Processing.

Registration and Payment Due: June 30th

TCOLE (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education) credit available


Crime Scene Investigation
July 28th-31st

$450

Crime scene investigation involves observation, proper documentation of the scene, as well as all evidence collection and documentation of evidence collection.

This course will provide participants with information, techniques, and methods to conduct investigations which could range from general crime scenes to death investigations crime scenes.

Registration and Payment Due: July 21st

TCOLE (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education) credit available


Human & Animal Osteology
August 3rd & 4th

$250

In this course, students will have the opportunity to learn about human and animal osteology using the unique human skeletal collection from the AARC. Fundamental principles about the human and animal skeletal systems, basic skeletal structures, and biomechanics of bone will be covered.

Registration and Payment Due: July 28, 2020

TCOLE (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education) credit available


Cancellation Policy: An administrative fee of 10% will be charged for cancellation of the course. Written notification is required to cancel. No refunds will be given if cancelled one month prior to the course.