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Western Colorado's Selective University


The FIRS is the Forensic Investigation RESEARCH Station. Scientific research is simply a systemic way of collecting data to answer questions. At FIRS, we teach students to ask testable questions and design projects that directly answer the questions. We teach students to determine the probability that their answer is correct, and how to write and orally present their research.

We also welcome researchers from other institutions, and actively collaborate with scholars outside CMU in projects that span multiple disciplines.

All researchers, from CMU and elsewhere, must at all times treat the human remains with respect. Photography is limited to that needed directly to the research as is access to donor information (generally variables such as age, sex, height).



Hansen, E.S., C. Baigent, S.I. Reck, M.A Connor. (2017). Bioelectrical Impednce as a technique for Estimating Postmortem Interval. Journal of Forensic Science doi 10.1111/1556-4029.13695


Recent Student Presentations:

Bryant, Kelly (2015). Microscopic analysis of Postmortem Root Banding. CMU Student Showcase, Grand Junction, CO.

Couse, Tiana (2015). A Study of the Most Effective Maceration Methods. CMU Student Showcase, Grand Junction, CO.

Heimlich-Bowler, Gemma (2015). Bioelectrical Impedance as a Method of Estimating the Post Mortem Interval. CMU Student Showcase, Grand Junction, CO.

Bussell, Amelia (2014). Using the Infrared Thermometer to Predict Decomposition. CMU Student Showcase, Grand Junction, CO.


For Researchers:

Qualified researchers can conduct research at either the Outdoor Research Laboratory or using the skeletal collected. Interested researchers should:

1. Contact the FIRS Director at

2. Complete the Research Request Form and return to the FIRS Director with a research proposal.

3. FIRS staff will review the proposal and inform the principal investigator whether the research is accepted and if any fees will be involved (for instance, for PPE or in association with storage or use of human remains).

4. Upon acceptance, the principal investigator will be asked to complete the confidentiality and waiver forms.

5. Upon completion of the research, FIRS will retain copies of any photographs and will be acknowledged in any presentations or publications resulting from the work.