Social Science Forensic Laboratory
Director: Dr. Sharon Moses
Location: Room 164
The Social Science Forensic Lab houses replica skeletal bones and molds of teeth, joints, and different sections of bone for close up examination and other specific models for examples of homicidal trauma to bones. Students taking the Social Science Forensic minor courses, such as ANT 430 Forensic Archaeology and ANT 444 Forensic Art Methods, use this lab. Students are able to apply hands-on forensic skills for human versus animal identification and for forensic art sketching as they would in a real-life scenario for law enforcement.
The lab is also used for practicums related to course assignments. The adjunct Crime Scene Room (Room 132) is set up to represent a living room or dining room with mannequins placed as homicide victims. Students in ANT 444 specifically use this room to learn how to map in a crime scene and document the context of body versus artifacts involved in the crime for courtroom-ready illustrations. Students learn the values of teamwork and precision when they are expected to relay information in image form for a court case.
Dr. Moses brings unique real-life applied experiences to her lab that benefit student learning:
- She worked with law enforcement on crime-scene investigations—in homicide and missing/unidentified persons/remains; as a forensic artist, making composite drawings from witness interviews and forensic facial reconstructions from unidentified skulls; in forensic archaeology with clandestine burial excavations and body recoveries from body dumps; and forensic anthropology, identifying bones as human or animal.
- She worked with the medical examiner’s office as a law enforcement consultant and trainer for crime-scene workshops, and as an expert witness in court, which she adds to her medico-legal course instruction.
- She is a national award-winning forensic specialist and member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists, the Arizona Association of Forensic Artists, and Council of Forensic Science Educators.