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KNOXVILLE–FBI agents from across the country will gather at the University of Tennessee March 8-12 for a unique kind of forensic education.

The bureau is sending agents from all of its field divisions to Knoxville for training in the identification of human remains.

UT’s renowned Forensic Anthropology Research Center is the setting for the course, which includes lectures by Dr. Bill Bass, founder of the center, as well as international experts in a variety of forensic disciplines such an entomology, botany, and ballistics.

The field work involves the discovery and excavation of a clandestine grave, a skill that is important in the agents’ work.

“We’re adding to their battery of skills,” said course director Dr. Murray Marks, UT professor of anthropology. “The agents have had training in crime scene investigation, but they are frequently asked by law enforcement agencies to help in finding buried bodies, and they really have had no instruction in doing this.”

“This course is the most popular forensic in-service training the FBI offers,” said Special Agent Stan Ruffin of the bureau’s Knoxville office. “It offers valuable information that we all can use in our daily investigations. We’ve even had requests from law enforcement officials in other countries who want to attend the training.”

This is the fifth year that the FBI has offered the course.