The Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility (STAFS) offers a variety of training opportunities that include unique hands-on training to law enforcement, educators, college students, as well as criminal justice professionals. STAFS training opportunities are offered during the summer months and are typically posted in January of that year. Courses typically cover topics such as human osteology, forensic anthropology, human decomposition, recovery techniques, and investigation. Participants will get hands-on experience processing mock crime scenes, practical laboratory activities, and take-home resources.

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2024 Summer Short Courses

Our courses are developed with a target audience of high school instructors, graduate students, and law enforcement, forensic practitioners and investigators. STAFS Summer Courses can also be taken by undergraduate students of a relevant degree, and with a classification of Junior or Senior. Please email for additional information. TCOLE Credit available on all courses.
See below for current courses being offered.

Forensic Approaches to Mass Fatalities: Challenges & Solutions

Dates: June 25th – 27th
Cost: $500
Registration Due: May 15, 2024

This course explores how forensic investigators/law enforcementinvestigate a mass fatality scene, including:

  • Response from an administrative/incident command perspective
  • Mass fatality scene management
  • Search and recovery techniques to locate and recover victimsincluding cadaver dog searches and complex scenes
  • How victims may be identified during a mass fatalityresponse using rapid DNA analysis, kinship analysis, forensic anthropology, forensic odontology, and fingerprints.

Theory is put into practice by working mock crime scenes involving a mass disaster scene.


Advanced Approaches for Human Identification & Forensic Intelligence

Dates: July 9th – 12th
Cost: $650
Registration Due: June 1st, 2024

This course will educate participants about the more advanced or non-traditional tools utilized by the forensic community to help identify a victim or suspect. Participants will learn about some of the emerging or more novel forensic methods used such as:

  • Advanced pattern and print evidence (lips, soles, palms, hands, etc)
  • Obtaining fingerprints from cadavers in advanced decomposition
  • Methods for estimating the time since death
  • Various DNA methods including: rapid DNA technologies, externally visible traits, and forensic genetic genealogy
  • How isotopes, proteins, lipids, and metabolites can beused to help identify skeletal remains.
Attendees will also work through practical exercises and mock cases.