Cracking the Case: Forensics, Freshman, and FIGs

Cracking the Case text overlaying crime scene tape and bones


Academic Team:
Larry Ulibarri (
First-Year Experience Seminar Instructor
Skye Grubb (
FIG Assistant

9 credits
UGST 109 First Year Experience Seminar – 1 Credit 
CRN: 16246: T: 2:00PM-2:50PM, CON 106  
ANTH 176 Forensic Anthropology – 4 Credits 
CRN: 10242: MW: 2:00PM-3:20PM, LLCS 101, +LAB CRN: 10245: F: 11:00AM-11:50AM, CON 368  
SOC 204 Intro to Sociology – 4 Credits 
CRN: 14865: WEB ASYNC, +LAB CRN:14877: F: 1:00PM-1:50PM, ESL 107 

About the FIG:

We will examine aspects of connectivity between SOC 204 (Introduction to Sociology) and ANTH 176 (Forensic Anthropology) in this ten-week exploratory College Connections course. In exploring the ways in which Anthropology and Sociology are connected, and will discuss criminology, taphonomy, challenges of forensic based research, and options for research and careers in this and related fields. We will also visit research labs, including a forensic anthropology lab with ongoing research by a Forensic Anthropology investigator. This FIG will also be a space for you to more fully explore ANTH 176, including bone remains and bone features. In doing so, we strive to provide you with the critical thinking skills to evaluate connectivity between any courses that you will take here at the UO. We also plan some fun classroom activities centered around anthropology and community. 

Another major focus will be in providing you with tools and resources for you to excel in each of your courses by introducing you to and utilizing resources at the University of Oregon. We want you to have a positive and productive time while at the UO in regards to your academic and career paths, but also in regards to your personal experiences on Campus and in our larger community. We want to provide you the opportunity to acquire skills that help you anticipate and address some of the challenges you might face as a student, and in preparation of your career and life goals. As such, we will explore some of the important resources at the University which will provide you with spaces and avenues for developing beneficial study skills, good academic planning, motivation, and personalized career paths. 

Deep-Dive FIG: Please note this FIG contains an intermediate course that requires extensive memorization. This course has been vetted by First Year Programs to ensure first-term students can achieve success. The instructor will be available to assist students along the way. 

ANTH 176 Forensic Anthropology - CoreEd or major satisfying course

This course is designed to be a comprehensive introduction to forensic anthropology. It provides an introduction to the application of human skeletal analysis to medico-legal questions. This course includes both lecture and laboratory components, where the lecture covers more background and conceptual material and the lab emphasizes hands on analysis of material and direct application of concepts covered in the lecture.

The course begins with the historical development of the field of forensic anthropology and how the scientific method can be used to estimate the age at death, sex, stature, and ancestry of an individual through analysis of skeletal remains, and understanding how trauma and other individual anomalies can be used to identify individuals and possible causes of death. The first part of the laboratory section of the course focuses on learning basic human skeletal anatomy, as well as building a biological profile in practice. The course will also include a discussion of the techniques of crime scene investigation, determination of the interval since death, the role of the anthropologist as an expert witness, and the use of forensic anthropology in mass disaster and human rights investigations. 

This is a gross anatomy course with heavy memorization of bones, features, and patterns, and applied forensics (e.g. law, policy, search and recovery, postmortem analysis.) It meets Science group-satisfying criteria in that it uses a scientific approach, drawing on the methods, theories, and bodies of knowledge from various scientific disciplines, including anatomy, physiology, skeletal biology, material science, medicine and anthropology. It includes a required laboratory section 

SOC 204 Introduction to Sociology - CoreEd or major satisfying course

Our study of human society and group life begins with an overview of the tools of sociological inquiry, including theory and methodological reasoning, followed by an overview of human socialization and its role in shaping self-identity. Four additional themes are covered: Crime and Social Control; Social Inequalities Worldwide and by Class, Race, and Gender within the U.S.A.; Dynamics of Social Institutions; and finally, the process of Social Change in an ecologically interconnected, global society.

Meet Your Instructor and FIG Faculty!