Forensic Anthropology Field Lab

The Forensic Anthropology Field Lab provides opportunities in research, training and service related to forensic anthropology and associated disciplines. Our field lab includes a variety of open, wooded and underground environments to facilitate cutting-edge research and training in clandestine grave recovery.

The Forensic Anthropology Field Lab is located at the KSU Field Station and is part of KSU’s Skeletal Variation Research Group, which also includes the Bone Biomechanics Lab. These resources are available to students, researchers and law enforcement agencies. The lab is also used to train law enforcement and medical and legal professionals in search and recovery, bone identification and clandestine grave recovery.

Learn more about the Forensic Anthropology Field Lab and its director Alice Gooding, Ph.D., in the following video.

  • Alice Gooding, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anthropology, is director of the Forensic Anthropology Field Lab. Gooding is also the state forensic anthropologist for Georgia, where she works closely with Georgia law enforcement and government agencies to solve crimes. Click below to read more about Gooding.

    No Bones About It

    The Bone Whisperer

    Anthropologist, Sport Scientist Join Forces for Bone Health Study

  • We provide a variety of professional educational opportunities at the Forensic Anthropology Field Lab, including the ones listed below. Registration restrictions may apply for some of the courses. For more information or to register, visit the College of Professional Education or download our list of classes for 2021.

    Human Bone Identification: The recognition of human bone is vital to locating missing or deceased persons in a variety of environments. Medical and legal professionals learn to distinguish human and animal remains, identify the natural processes that degrade bone, and estimate time-since-death of skeletal remains. Participants handle actual forensic cases and examples of remains to consolidate and practice the material.

    Introduction to Forensic Anthropology and Clandestine Grave Recovery: This course introduces the field of forensic anthropology to medical and legal professionals. Participants learn how anthropologists determine forensic context, develop the biological profile, assess trauma and estimate time-since-death. The latter portion of the course is designed to introduce the procedures of clandestine grave identification, excavation and recovery.

    Search and Recovery Simulation for Cadaver K9s: Specifically for cadaver dog groups, this eight-hour course is comprised of two hours of classroom time for handlers and auditors, covering search techniques and basic bone identification. The course then transitions to the outdoor facility for a full simulation exercise. As a team, handlers and K9s work a large multi-environment scene and practice coordination of the recovery process.

    • Classes: Students can take classes in Forensic Anthropology Field Techniques. Download information on upcoming classes
    • Research: Students can use the Forensic Anthropology Field Lab to do independent research for course credit.
    • Hands-on Experience: Students can gain valuable experience in forensic anthropology by working as a lab assistant.
    • Teaching: Students can volunteer as a teaching assistant in a class on the human skeleton.
  • If you are interested in research collaboration, professional development, student opportunities or other information about the Forensic Anthropology Field Lab, contact Dr. Alice Gooding,