San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas


Daniel Wescott, director of Texas State’s forensic anthropology center, examines human skulls at the 26-acre “body farm,” located on the Freeman Ranch between San Marcos and Wimberley.


The Forensic Anthropology Society at Texas State University will host the inaugural Forensic Anthropology Conference on Jan. 31 (1-6 p.m.) in room 157 of Centennial Hall. It is free and open to the public.

Featured speakers include Christian Crowder, Dawnie Steadman and Sharon Derrick and will focus on contemporary issues in forensic anthropology.

Christian Crowder is a forensic anthropologist for the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in New York City. He is also the site coordinator for the on-going search and recovery of remains at the World Trade Center site. Crowder formerly was a forensic anthropologist at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command-Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii. Crowder will speak about “Perspectives in Forensic Anthropology Considering Jurisdiction and Directives.”

Steadman is a board certified forensic anthropologist and skeletal biologist who specializes in forensic anthropology, bioarchaeology and human rights investigations. She edited, Hard Evidence: Case Studies in Forensic Anthropology, is in its second edition and emphasizes the multidisciplinary, collaborative nature of the forensic sciences. Her research interests include quantifying statistical probabilities of personal identification and validation studies of aging methods. Steadman will speak about her role as the director of the Forensic Anthropology Center at the University of Tennessee, her human rights work and her current research.

Derrick is a board certified forensic anthropologist at the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. She is the lead anthropologist for identification cases and supervises decedent referral and release for county-assisted burial or cremation. Her other responsibilities include scene recovery of skeletonized, charred or commingled remains, and epidemiological support for institute-based research projects. Derrick will speak about “Hot and Cold Cases: The role of the Forensic Anthropologist at a Large Medical Examiner’s Office.”

This event is sponsored by the Forensic Anthropology Society, the Department of Anthropology and the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State. The Forensic Anthropology Center is funded in part by a gift from Grady Early.

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