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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Forensic Anthropology?

Forensic anthropology is an applied branch of biological anthropology that involves the analysis of skeletal and decomposing human remains in a medicolegal context. Establishing the biological profile of unknown individuals, analyzing skeletal trauma and understanding human decomposition processes and the time since death interval are crucial components of legal investigations that are provided by forensic anthropologists. FACTS faculty and graduate students conduct research in these areas.

Can I donate my body or next-of-kin body to FACTS?

Yes, FACTS accepts body donations for scientific research and education purposes under the Universal Anatomical Gift Act. Your full body donation makes cutting-edge research in forensic sciences and biological anthropology possible. Your gift supports scientific research, training, and professional education in forensic sciences. To donate, please complete the appropriate "living donor" or "next of kin" form and return to FACTS. For more information click on the “Body Donations” tab.

Can I make a monetary donation to support FACTS?

Yes, monetary donations help support the FACTS mission. In addition, a monetary donation in the memory of a deceased individual honors the donor while supporting our mission. Even small donations are greatly appreciated and will help support education and research at Texas State University.
Please make the check payable to “FACTS” and send to Dr. Daniel Wescott, Texas State University, Department of Anthropology, 601 University Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666.
To make an online donation go to www.txstate.edu. In the bottom right corner click “Give to Texas State.” Then click the “Make a Gift Today” tab and follow the three steps. Under search type “Forensic Anthropology.” Then enter the dollar amount you would like to donate. Complete the personal information in Step 2. If you would like to make a donation in honor of or in memory of an individual, you can do so during Step 2. Finally, enter your financial information in Step 3.

I am a researcher and want to conduct research at FACTS, what do I do?

The mission of FACTS is to facilitate high quality research in forensic science, especially associated with human decomposition, human identification, human skeletal variation, and methods in forensic anthropology. If you are a researcher that would like to conduct scientific investigations at the Forensic Anthropology Research Facility or use the Texas State University Donated Collection, please click on the “Researchers

What services does FACTS offer?

FACTS offers service and outreach to the local, scientific, and medicolegal communities. We are glad to give presentations about FACTS to your organization, facilitate scientific research, and provide forensic anthropological and bioarchaeological osteological analyses . Please contact the Director or Coordinator of FACTS for more information.

Does FACTS offer training courses?

Yes, FACTS offers workshops and short courses to law enforcement, medicolegal death investigators, graduate students, and undergraduate students. For a complete list of upcoming training opportunities click on the “Workshops” tab.

Can I apply to the Texas State graduate program in Anthropology and specialize in Forensic Anthropology?

Yes, students in the Master’s Program at Texas State University can specialize in Forensic Anthropology. For more information on the program and how to apply, click on the “Students” tab.

I am a student at Texas State University – can I volunteer at FACTS?

Yes, FACTS offers volunteer opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Sophia Mavroudas. To volunteer you must have taken Human Osteology (ANTH3381) and have a faculty member recommendation.

Do you give tours of the FACTS?

If you represent a school, college, university, community group, or other institution and you are interested in learning more about the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State, we may be able to provide outreach lectures to your organization and tours of the Grady Early Forensic Anthropology Research Laboratory (GEFARL). However, we DO NOT offer tours of the FARF. Please contact our Forensic Anthropology Center Coordinator, Ms. Sophia Mavroudas (FACTS@txstate.edu) or the FACTS Director, Dr. Daniel Wescott (dwescott@txstate.edu) for more information.