Forensic Science Academy


Hickam AFB, HI
Worchester St
Oahu , HI
United States
21° 19' 9.5412" N, 157° 56' 39.5988" W
Hawaii US
Saturday, April 30, 2011

Project #JPAC CIL –AL-2011-012

The Research Participation Program for the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command's Central Identification Laboratory (JPAC CIL) provides opportunities to participate in JPAC CIL on-going applied research and development projects. JPAC's mission is to achieve the fullest possible accounting of all U.S. service members lost during our nation's previous conflicts. JPAC CIL is the only facility of its type in the world; its responsibility is to conduct archaeological excavations to recover the remains of missing service members and attempt to identify the remains in a laboratory environment. As the largest forensic anthropology laboratory in operation and the only anthropology lab accredited under the American Society of Crime Lab Directors-Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD-LAB), the CIL is home to a staff of approximately 30 civilian forensic anthropologists. These individuals have advanced degrees with expertise in skeletal analysis as well as archaeology. Additionally, the staff includes three forensic odontologists (or dentists). Project areas include Forensic Anthropology, Archeology, Biological Anthropology, History, and more.


This advanced and highly competitive program consisting of five courses, taught under the auspices of the JPAC/CIL, focuses on a variety of topics in anthropology related to forensic science. The JPAC Forensic Science Academy (FSA), now in its third year, provides participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to find, recover, and identify human remains and material evidence, especially as they relate to Americans missing as a result of past wars and conflicts.


Participants in the JPAC FSA will learn about the following topics: identification and reconstruction of fragmentary and complete human skeletons, minimum number of individuals (MNI), terrestrial and underwater archaeological methods, GIS and remote sensing, recovery scene processing, DNA extraction from bones and teeth, forensic entomology, laboratory quality assurance, and ASCLD/LAB-International (ISO) accreditation. They will also receive specialized training on how to formulate a biological profile that includes age at death, ancestry, sex, height, trauma, and identity. Each student is provided training in taphonomy, thin-sectioning bone for histological examination, cause and manner of death, metric and non-metric skeletal analysis, radiology, paleopathology and photography.

After receiving classroom instruction in archaeological equipment and recovery techniques, participants spend five weeks on military search-and-recovery teams to Laos or Vietnam and assist in the archaeological excavation of a crash site or burial. Students will also have the opportunity to spend a week examining an anatomical skeletal collection in Thailand. The rigors of JPAC fieldwork require that participants be physically able to withstand harsh field environments for an extended period of time. Otherwise, the program is open to all qualified U.S. citizens.


Participants must have earned a B.A. or B.S. degree in physical anthropology, forensic anthropology, bioarchaeology, zooarchaeology (with experience in human osteology), or a related field and must be enrolled in a relevant M.A./M.S./Ph.D. program at the time of enrollment in the Academy. They are accepted into the program each spring/fall (for approximately 4 months) based on academic performance, recommendations from two faculty members, relevant archaeological fieldwork, osteological lab experience, applied research interests, compatibility of background and interests with the JPAC mission, and availability of funds. Other applicants will be considered on a case-by- case basis. The program is open to all qualified U.S. citizens without regard to race, sex, religion, color, age, physical or mental disability, national origin, or status as a Vietnam era or disabled veteran.

Participants will receive a one-time stipend of $12,000 and may earn up to 15 semester hours of credit through their university and at their own expense. Additional money, in the form of per diem, will be earned during the participant’s travel to Southeast Asia (approximately $1,500 to $2,800, depending on country visited, length of mission, and current per diem rates). Participants must be willing to relocate to the island of Oahu, Hawaii, for the duration of the program. Relocation expenses (i.e., travel to and from Hawaii and any associated moving costs) will be paid by the participant and will not be reimbursed. A valid passport and proof of medical insurance, including international traveler’s medical insurance (e.g., ISOS), is required.


The JPAC FSA is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). Completed applications and all supporting materials must be received at the ORISE offices in Maryland no later than April 30, 2011. Notifications will occur on or around June 1, 2011. The JPAC Academy will take place between August and December of 2011.

Please reference Project #JPAC-CIL- AL-2011-012 when calling, emailing, or writing for information. While completing the application, applicants may forward questions to the email address listed below. Additional information and application material can be found on the following website

Institution or Company offering position: 
ORISE on behalf of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command
Contact Name: 
Amanda Leslie