Thursday, April 11, 2019
Title: The Walter H Birkby Laboratory at the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner
Abstract: In 1965, Dr. Walter H Birkby was asked to consult on his first forensic case in Pima County. That case would become one of over 1500 consultations that Dr. Birkby used to cultivate a connection between the University of Arizona and the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner (PCOME). This presentation will provide a historical narrative of this relationship into the current period, focusing on changes in the political landscape of the border and the effect on the importance of anthropology at the PCOME. The spectrum of research projects and collaborations with other organizations in addition to those stemming from the U of A School of Anthropology will be showcased. The current status of anthropologists at and affiliated with the PCOME as well as projections for the future will be discussed. This presentation will explore the roots of the relationship between the W.H. Birkby Laboratory and the U of A in order to strengthen their bond for the future.