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Forensic Anthropology Subcommittee

OSAC Forensic Anthropology SC icon


The Forensic Anthropology Subcommittee focuses on standards and guidelines related to application of anthropological methods and theory, particularly those relating to the recovery and analysis of human remains.

Officers | Members | StandardsDiscipline-Specific Baseline Documents | Research & Development Needs | Presentations


Diane France, Ph.D., Subcommittee Chair, Human Identification Laboratory of Colorado

Todd Fenton, Ph.D., Subcommittee Executive Secretary, Michigan State University


Donna Catherine Boyd, Ph.D., Radford University

Sharon Derrick, Ph.D., Texas A&M University

Paul Emanovsky, Ph.D., U.S. Department of Defense Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, Central Identification Laboratory 

Kristen Hartnett, Ph.D., Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner

Joseph Hefner, Ph.D., Michigan State University

Jennifer Love, Ph.D., Office Chief Medical Examiner, Washington D.C.

Daniel Martin, State of Arizona/Maricopa County (Legal Resource Representative)


Wendy McQuade, Ph.D., University of North Texas

Nicholas Passalacqua, Ph.D., U.S. Department of Defense Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command

Richard Thomas, Ph.D., Federal Bureau of Investigation


Tier 1: On the OSAC Registry 

  • None currently.

Tier 2: Published by a Standards Developing Organization (SDO)

Tier 3: Sent to an SDO

  • Standard for Age Estimation in Forensic Anthropology.
  • Standard for Description and Interpretation of Pathological Conditions and Anomalies in Forensic Anthropology.
  • Standard for Resolving Commingled Remains in Forensic Anthropology.
  • Standard for Personal Identification in Forensic Anthropology.
  • Standard for Taphonomic Observations in Support of the Postmortem Interval.

Tier 4: Under Development

  • Guidelines for Anthropology Scene Detection and Processing.
  • Standard for Ancestry Estimation in Forensic Anthropology.
  • Standards for Qualifications in Forensic Anthropology.
  • Standard for Skeletal Sampling and Preparation in Forensic Anthropology.
  • Standard for Determining Medicolegal Significance in Forensic Anthropology.
  • Standard for Analyzing Skeletal Trauma in Forensic Anthropology.
  • Standard for Documentation, Reporting and Testimony.
  • Standard for Proficiency Testing in Forensic Anthropology.

Discipline-Specific Baseline Documents

The Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB) has provided the opportunity for OSAC Subcommittees to identify baseline documents and reference materials that best reflect the current state of the practice within their respective disciplines. 

These documents contain practical information regarding these disciplines that can help forensic scientists, judges, lawyers, researchers, other interested parties and the general public, to better understand the nature, scope, and foundations of the individual disciplines as they are currently practiced.

It is important to note that the identification of these documents in this venue does not represent an endorsement by OSAC or NIST.  Only documents that are posted on the OSAC Registries constitute OSAC endorsement. All copyrights for these documents are reserved by their owners. Subcommittee position statements or responses to data collections by the subcommittee represent the consensus opinion of the subcommittee, not necessarily the position of the entire OSAC organization or NIST.

* The documents below originated from the former FBI/DoD sponsored SWGANTH working group. The website as of November 13, 2018 is not affiliated with the former FBI/DoD sponsored group of the same name.

Research & Development Needs


  • None currently.

In general, the development of standards and guidelines is transitioning from the Scientific Working Groups (SWGs) to the OSAC. Some SWGs will continue to operate to provide other resources within their discipline. The existing SWG documents will remain in effect until updated documents are disseminated by the OSAC or the SWG. SWGDAM will retain the responsibility for updating the FBI DNA Quality Assurance Standards.

– Forensic Science Standards Board: March 2015

Created July 9, 2014, Updated October 1, 2020