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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, ANTH 499, for 1 to 6 credits.

CMU Students

Potential interns may register for ANTH 499 with the consent of FIRS Director, Dr. Connor. Interns do not need to be Anthropology majors or Forensic Anthropology minors. Forensic science, criminal justice, biology, and chemistry students are also considered. Students will need to be in their junior or senior year, and, if not a ANTH student, they will need to have taken a previous ANTH 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 ANTH 499. Students will be expected to reside in the Grand Junction area for the duration of the internship and will need transportation. Anthropology or forensic science students will be given preference. Students are required to (1) have a minimum 2.8 GPA, (2) submit a letter of reference from their advisor, and (3) be in their junior or senior year in college, (4) and never convicted of a felony. For summer term, non-CMU interns will be expected to enroll in 6 internship credits. Download the registration application and send it to Dr. Connor.

The application packet will consist of (1) a cover letter explaining why this internship is of interest (2) the application form, and (3) the letter of reference.

Deadlines for application:

Summer semester: Submit no earlier than Jan 15 and no later than Mar 15. 

Fall semester: Submit no later than July 15

Spring semester: Submit no later than October 15


Volunteers must be previous FIRS interns with a GPA of 2.8 or higher and in their junior or senior years, or recent graduates. They may be assigned any of the duties assigned an intern, but they will not earn academic credit. They will be required to fill out a volunteer packet before work begins. Ask the FIRS Director or Lab Manager for the packet.


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.

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

Health Insurance

Health insurance is a required. For students and volunteers, the University does not cover doctors' appointments or medical bills 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 not accept donations with some types of communicable diseases (TB, MRSA, or hepatitis), and all people at the FIRS use universal precautions, but there is always a minimal risk of coming into contact with a decedent with an undiagnosed disease.