Proposal Abstract

No multimedia-based educational program currently exists at the local, state or nationallevel for the training and dissemination of state-of-the-art medicolegal protocols for the investigation of death in natural environments. The present proposal addresses this need directly by development of classroom material and hands-on field training that will be made freely accessible to all law enforcement personnel and related disciplines – such as medical examinersand coroners – via podcast through the North Carolina Forensic Science Program website. All material will be digitally edited and made downloadable to any Internet-connected multimedia device, including hand-held devices such as the iPod ® or appropriately enabled cell-phone.

The specific goals of the project are to:

  1. Develop intensive five-day traditional classroom and field exercises in the state of-the-art recovery, documentation, and preservation of human skeletal or decomposed remains with particular focus on buried bodies, and scattered remains such as hair, fibers and entomological evidence.
  2. Develop a comprehensive podcasted distance learning course as a companion to the on-site course that will reduce the amount of time away from the field for agency personnel.


At the end of the course, both on-site and distance ‘attendees’ will have continued and annually updated free podcast access instruction on:·

  • How to determine human from nonhuman remains.
  • How to properly document and map a crime scene.·
  • How to excavate a burial site.·
  • How to locate, identify, and store trace evidence, including anthropological, entomological, hair and fiber evidence.·
  • How to engage and locate specialized expertise when needed (e.g.contacting a forensic anthropologist).