Mercyhurst to train Chileans in disaster scene management

Dr. Dennis Dirkmaat, chair of the applied forensic sciences department at Mercyhurst College, and Luis Cabo-Pérez, director of the forensic and bioarchaeology lab, have been invited to deliver a course on “Disaster Scene Management” for an estimated 100 members of Chile’s Forensic Identification Special Unit Sept. 5-10 in Santiago.

The invitation is a result of several team members having taken the forensic anthropology short courses offered each summer on the Mercyhurst Erie campus, and wanting to share that experience with more of their colleagues, Dirkmaat said.

The course will cover methodology for effectively processing a disaster scene, focusing on Dirkmaat’s own specialty, the archaeological recovery of human remains.

In related news, Dirkmaat will help deliver a three-day course on “Mass Fatality Incidents” for medical and legal professionals of the National Transportation Safety Board at its training facility in Ashburn, Va., Aug. 29-31.

In addition, Dirkmaat spent three days in Washington, D.C., Aug. 16-18, collaborating with other forensic professionals to identify and promulgate guidelines and best practices for the scientific identification of human remains. They were assembled as members of the Scientific Working Group on Disaster Victim Identification (SWGDVI), sponsored by the National Institute of Justice and the FBI.
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