In May, students of Dr. Robin Reineke’s Introduction to Forensic Anthropology course joined the Colibrí Center for Human Rights and Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner staff at the Mountain, Desert, and Coastal Meeting of Forensic Anthropologists (MD&C) in Boulder City, Nevada. The group included, from the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, Dr. Bruce Anderson (Ph.D., Arizona 1998), Dr. Jennifer Vollner, Caitlin Vogelsberg (intern), and Dr. Bruce Parks (former Chief Pathologist); from the Colibrí Center for Human Rights, Dr. Reineke (Ph.D. Arizona, 2016); School of Anthropology undergraduate students Alicea Lauren Riley, Kristine Islas, Sophie Kenyon; and Biochemistry undergrad Effie Megan Gibbs. Oh, and Baxter, the canine mascot for the team.
Following in the footsteps of Professor Emeritus Walter Birkby (Ph.D. Arizona, 1973; now deceased), who would take his UA Anthropology students to MD&C every May throughout the 1990s, the group road-tripped in a van from Tucson to Boulder City. The MD&C meeting was founded in 1980 by a small group of forensic anthropologists in the southwest who wished to provide students with the opportunity to discuss cases, methods, and ethics in an informal setting with experienced practitioners. The small, 30–40 person meeting provides students with the chance to chat with some of the most well-respected and prominent figures in the field of American forensic anthropology. In addition to conference proceedings, students participated in the annual bone quiz, nature walk, and Hawaiian T-shirt contest, won, of course, by Baxter. (Anthro News Digest date: 6/16/2017)