Casey Butler

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

First Advisor

Megan Moore

Second Advisor

Julian Murchison


With many forensic anthropology cases of human skeletal remains, the skeletons may be incomplete for a variety of reasons, such as: animal scavenging, acid bone diagenesis, fluvial transport, among other factors. There are many studies that address these taphonomic factors; however, prior research fails to examine different methods in tracking incomplete forensic anthropology cases. This study investigates different geographic information system (GIS) methods applied to the forensic sciences to determine the best software to track forensic anthropology cases using a spatial mapping system to record and track 15 incomplete cases from Southeastern Michigan. The final ArcGIS tool developed here notes the case number, bones missing, location (including latitude and longitude coordinates), photographs, measurements from the contralateral bone from the recovered side, along with other pertinent details in order to facilitate fast information retrieval for the Forensic Anthropologist concerning incomplete skeletal cases.

Included in

Anthropology Commons