Forensic investigators excavating clandestine graves.The University of Florida Veterinary Forensic Sciences Program provides instructional resources in the form of facilities and instructors for numerous workshops and short courses each year in varying areas of forensic science and legal investigation. These courses are open to anyone regardless of student enrollment status at the University of Florida. Course registration with the University of Florida Conference Department is required for these in-person educational opportunities. If the course is not listed on the registration page, enrollment in the course is currently closed.

  • Distance Education
  • Veterinary Forensic Sciences- Graduate Certificate and MS degree concentration
  • Workshops and Conferences

Visit the Maples Center for Forensic Medicine educational program for current information on all in-person workshops.

Bloodstain Pattern Recognition 

Course participants will learn basic analytical techniques for the documentation of bloodstains at crime scenes. Blood trajectory patterns will be analyzed, proper photographic documentation will be discussed, and participants will create and document bloodstains in a mock crime scene environment. Students will process a mock crime scene using chemical enhancement techniques, as well as Luminol, and will learn how to calculate the angle of degrees and how to recognize different blood stain patterns on varied surfaces.

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Shooting Reconstruction 

Course participants will learn how to document, interpret, and reconstruct a crime scene involving a shooting. This course will provide a general overview of firearms, ammunition, and their components. Participants will document direction and angle of trajectory travel, projectile path, entry and exit defects, cartridge case ejection patterns, and evidence collection. Students will process a vehicle shooting scene using doweling and lasers. A Medical Examiner will be instructing on gunshot wound patterns in soft tissue.

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Animal Crime Scenes

Understanding the process for the proper documentation, collection, and recovery of physical evidence from buried animal remains is an essential skill for those engaged in the application of the forensic sciences to veterinary medicine. This intensive three-day workshop will address the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for the proper processing of buried animal remains associated with a legal investigation.

This intensive three-day workshop will focus on the initial scene search, establishment of a grid for scene reference and measurement, excavation techniques, and evidence documentation. Mornings are spent in lectures where students will receive instruction on human vs. non-human bone identification, forensic botany, forensic entomology, basic crime scene processing, and scientific and legal principles of evidence. Afternoons are spent in the field where students will search for and locate clandestine gravesites, process the scene for surface evidence, and begin a two-day excavation of a burial site.

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Bugs, Bones & Botany©

A Unique Death Investigation Workshop

Bugs, Bones & Botany© has been offered annually since 1997. This week long, 40-hour workshop focuses upon the analysis and interpretation of anthropological, botanical, and entomological evidence. Each morning, course participants will attend lectures covering methods used in evidence recognition, documentation and collection. During afternoon field sessions, the course participants will process three mock crime scenes for entomological, anthropological and botanical evidence.

Bugs, Bones and Botany© is an outdoor, field-oriented workshop. Course participants should prepare to spend time outdoors under hot and humid conditions. Long pants and closed-toe shoes are required. Use of cameras is allowed and participants are encouraged to take photographs during the workshop for use conducting in-house training for crime scene personnel, major case, and medical-legal death investigators.

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Forensic Photography

Photography is one of the most important aspects of crime scene investigation since it provides a permanent visual record of the scene. The photographic record will aid in both the investigation and the legal proceedings leading to and including courtroom testimony.

This annually recurring two-day course focuses on the techniques necessary for the photographic documentation of crime scenes, gunshot wounds, bitemarks, weapons, and trace evidence as well as the creation of consistent approaches to photographic exposures, storage, and security. Mock crime scenes will be established in indoor and outdoor locations and participants will be divided into teams for the photographic documentation portion of the course. Participants are encouraged to utilize this course as an opportunity to become familiar with their own photographic equipment.

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Annual Veterinary Forensic Sciences Conference

The Maples Center for Forensic Medicine has partnered with the International Veterinary Forensic Sciences Association (IVFSA) to host an annual conference highlighting current topics in the professional area of veterinary forensic sciences and anti-cruelty initiatives for animal welfare. This conference also serves as the annual business meeting for the IVFSA.

Conference Objectives:
To raise professional awareness of the various forensic science disciplines, which can be utilized in cases of animal neglect, cruelty and death. Topics will include information on search and seizure laws, postmortem interval estimations, veterinary osteology, trauma analysis, and media relations. The attendee will become better able to document and process crime scenes involving animals and become more proficient at providing expert witness testimony.

For more conference information, visit