NMU makes anthropology program breakthrough

Published: Dec. 8, 2016 at 7:04 PM EST
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Forensic Anthropology is the science of studying human remains to determine the cause of death.

It can help police identify bodies at a crime scene.

Northern Michigan University is making big preparations for its new Forensic Anthropology program next year.

"This is a program that's being developed in Forensic Anthropology that has multipurpose," said Anthropology Professor Scott Demel. "It's meant to draw students to NMU. It's also meant to round out the anthropology component here at NMU, which will hopefully help us facilitate a major."

The university has secured an outdoor research station to help its students gain valuable hands on experience.

"An opportunity like this is just outstanding from a crime scene investigation stand point," said Public Safety Director Michael Bath. "We do an evidence type program where we're going to be able to use actual crime scenes and process those crime scenes."

The reason why NMU's program is so unique is that there exists only seven other research stations worldwide. However, the one they are constructing is the only cold weather facility in the world. They are hoping to make a scientific breakthrough on what the freeze/thaw cycle does to human remains.

"There's endless possibilities," said Anthropology and Sociology Department Head Alan McEnvoy. "We think this will be of value to not only our students but to science and to police."

Special cadaver training with law enforcements will also be offered. The university is currently working on the curriculum for their new program. Classes will be available to students autumn of 2017.

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