Back to All Events

Human Remains Detection & Live Find Canine Training Course: Level 1

  • Center for Forensic Anthropology Research @ Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Carbondale, IL USA (map)

This two-day intensive workshop is designed to expose experienced K9 teams to the continuum of advanced decomposition. This is the first time the CFAR has made their facility available for canine training. This workshop is focused on HRD, however limited enrollment is available for live find K9 teams. Field exercises include exposure to whole body human remains in various stages of advanced decomposition, including unprocessed human skeletal remains.

Scenarios are modeled after those frequently encountered in search missions and include: (a) whole body exposure; (b) rubble pile search; (c) water shoreline search; (d) abandoned building search; and (e) clandestine concealment in industrial barrel search.

Field exercises will be supplemented by two “lunch and learn” lecture modules. Lectures include: Understanding the Importance of Region-Specific Decomposition Models: Decomposition in Southern Illinois and Legal Qualifications and Documenting your Experience and Training

Instructor and Training Staff:

  • Christiane Baigent, M.Sc. – SIU Department of Anthropology

  • Jennifer Brobst, J.D. – SIU School of Law, Assistant Professor of Law

  • Gretchen Dabbs, PhD - SIU Department of Anthropology, Associate Professor and Director of Complex for Forensic Anthropology Research (CFAR)

  • Deana Hudgins – Center for Forensic Training and Education, FEMA HRD/Live Find Handler & Instructor; NASAR Evaluator; AERIE Evaluator

  • Kathleen Kelsey – Working Dog Enterprises, FEMA HRD/Live Find Handler, Evaluator & Instructor; NSDA HRD/Live Find Disaster and Land Evaluator; AERIE Chief Disaster Evaluator, McLean County EMA (IL) HRD Handler

  • Erin Perry, PhD – SIU College of Agricultural Sciences, Assistant Professor, Animal Science Food and Nutrition, FEMA Search and Rescue Live Find Handler, Evaluator & Instructor


Location: Southern Illinois University – Carbondale.
Cost: $425/handler (one dog only)

Enrollment includes snacks, water, lunch, facility and classroom access, all training materials (including hard copies of classroom materials), and a t-shirt.

Prerequisites: Out of concern for our active research and our human donors, applicants are required to apply for participation by submitting: (1) an application; (2) proof of current National Certification or a letter of support from a sponsoring team or law enforcement agency; and (3) a photograph of your canine partner.

COURSE APPLICATION: Please submit supporting documentation in a single email to Christiane Baigent ( Please allow one week for response following the submission of materials. Application does not guarantee a spot in the course. Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received until the course capacity has been filled.

** If the course does not have suitable enrollment on May 31, applicants will be notified of course cancellation**