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Western Colorado's Selective University

Student Volunteers and Interns


Interns are the backbone of FIRS and assist in most aspects of running the facility. They assist in body placement, maceration, labeling skeletal remains, data collection, photography, and maintaining databases related to the FIRS materials. They may also complete individual research projects. Interns are registered for a formal course, FOAN499, for 1 to 3 credits.

CMU Students

Potential interns may register for FOAN 499 with the consent of FIRS Director, Dr. Connor. Interns do not need to be Forensic Anthropology minors. Archaeology, forensic science, criminal justice, biology, and chemistry students will also be considered. Students will need to be in their junior or senior year, and, if not a FOAN student, they will need to have taken a previous FOAN course. See Dr. Connor for further details.

Non-CMU Students

Students from other institutions may enroll at CMU as non-degree seeking students and then enroll in FOAN499 with the permission of Dr. Connor. CMU is also a member of the National Student Exchange and students in other member campuses should consider coming to CMU as an exchange student for a semester. Students will be expected to reside in the Grand Junction area for the duration of the internship. Anthropology or forensic science students will be given preference. Only 1-2 outside interns will be accepted in a semester (fall, spring, summer). Students will be required to have a minimum 2.8 GPA, submit a letter of reference from their advisor, and be in their junior or senior year. Download the registration application and send it to Dr. Connor.


Volunteers must be CMU students with a GPA of 2.8 or higher and in their junior or senior years, or recent graduates. Preferably they will have worked at FIRS as an intern before volunteering. They may be assigned any of the duties assigned an intern, but they will not earn academic credit. Download the registration application and send it to Dr. Connor.


Interns and volunteers must have their Hepatitis B series of vaccinations and a current tetanus shot. If you had the hepatitis vaccinations a while ago, you may not need another series of shots. There is a titer your doctor can administer to see if the antibodies are still active.

We do not require documentation of vaccinations. HIPPA prevents us from seeing your records without a release. Signing the application prevents from being liable if you did not provide honest information. Please do not send your medical records.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is a good idea. For students and volunteers, the University does not cover doctors' appointments if an accident should occur.


The most common risks are dehydration and sunburn from working outdoors in a desert environment, mishandling of sharp instruments, and strained muscles. The FIRS does accept donations with some types of communicable diseases (TB, MRSA, or hepatitis), but most students will be handling material that is of low risk for any biological agents.