This listing expired on July 5, 2014. Please contact for any updated information.
San Bernardino County (CA) Unidentified Persons Project-Forensic Archaeology

Location: San Bernardino, California, United States

July 12, 2014 to August 10, 2014

Session dates: 
Single session

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, July 5, 2014

Deadline Type: 

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



Cypress College, Norco College, San Bernardino County Sheriff Department & Institute for Field Research

Project Director:

Dr. Craig Goralski, Cypress College; Dr. Alexis Gray Norco College and San Bernardino County Sheriff Department

Project Description

For nearly 100 years (1908-2008), unidentified remains in San Bernardino County California have been buried in a three acre plot of land located in one of the county’s many cemeteries.  Many of these individuals were the victims of foul play, others were simply forgotten by society, but all have one thing in common: forensic science was unable to identify who they were using the methods available at the time.   In 2001, the California Senate passed Bill 297, which asked counties such as San Bernardino to apply modern DNA analysis to these decades-old cold cases.  This field school will conduct forensic work to assist in such identification.  Students will excavate burials in forensic contexts, perform preliminary analysis of the remains and help collect remains to send for further laboratory analysis before documenting and reburying the remains.

Period(s) of Occupation: Historical Period/Forensic Archaeology

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Full program

Minimum age: 
18 years old

Experience required: 
No previous experience is required

Room and Board Arrangements

Students will be provided with rooms in residence halls on campus at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB).  In most units, bathrooms are shared by two occupants. Each apartment comes fully furnished with appliances (refrigerator, oven range, and garbage disposal), twin bed, desk and chair, dresser, and closet. Rooms are double occupancy; single rooms may be requested at an additional cost to the student. Residence halls have wireless internet. 
Students will enjoy a meal plan for the duration of the field school, which will include breakfast, lunch and dinner. When in the field, breakfasts and lunches will be ‘grab and go’ packages for travel. When on campus, meals can be eaten in the dining halls on campus. Some food restrictions may be accommodated; check with the instructors regarding any special diet you may have or if you would like to cook your own meals for the duration of the field school.

All room and board costs are included in tuition (excluding weekend meals)

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Connecticut College
Number of credits offered 8 semester credit units (equivalent to 12 quarter units)


Contact Information
Institute for Field Research
1855 Industrial St. #106
Los Angeles
United States
424 226-6130
Recommended Bibliography: 
Bass, William. 2005 Human Osteology: A Laboratory and Field Manual, 5th edition.
Blau, Soren and Ubelaker, Douglas. 2011 Handbook of Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology (World Archaeological Congress  Research).