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Research Centers

The Department of Anthropology is home to two research centers that provide world-class educational experiences for students in the applied anthropology doctoral program.

CAS Field School

The Center for Archaeological Studies (CAS)

CAS provides training and research in archaeology, anthropology and cultural resource management (CRM). The center is one of the few university-based CRM facilities in the nation. Its curation facility is one of 11 certified by the Texas Historical Commission, and is charged with museum-standard care and management of collections.

The center is equipped for a wide range of field services including archaeological surveys, site testing, GIS mapping and analysis, and remote sensing. Laboratory services include ceramic analysis, lithic analysis, bioarchaeological analysis, CT scanning, 3D scanning and printing, predictive modeling and archival research.

CAS staff help doctoral students secure CRM projects, and then supervise students in project design, proposal writing, staff supervision, budget management, fieldwork, laboratory methods, report writing, curation, marketing, public education, business development and the application of legal criteria. This beginning-to-end project experience prepares students for careers in compliance-based CRM.

FACTS 3D Printer Work

The Forensic Anthropology Center (FACTS)

FACTS is a multifaceted research center featuring a 26-acre outdoor human decomposition facility, one of only six such facilities in the nation and the largest of its kind in the world. The forensic science community uses this facility to learn about human decomposition, to develop methods for determining time since death, and to train medical-legal personnel in methods for searching and recovering human remains.

Other FACTS resources include two laboratories equipped for 3D imaging, micro-CT scanning, histomorphometry (microscopic tissue measurement), osteometry (bone measurement), digitizing, autopsy and skeletal maceration; a skeletal collection of more than 250 specimens; and a willed-body donation program.

Doctoral students working at FACTS have hands-on experience with active forensic casework. They gain experience in field searches, crime scene evaluation, evidence collection techniques, laboratory analysis of human remains and technical report writing for law enforcement agencies. Advanced students help teach the center’s law enforcement and educational workshops and short courses. This intensive training provides advanced interactions with and exposure to the professional agencies in which forensic anthropologists work.