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Position Classification Description

Position Class Code / Title: X0020 / Forensic Anthropologist
Recruitment Tier: Tier 1
FLSA: Exempt
Grade: 14

This is a description of a Staff Position Classification. It is not an announcement of a position opening. To view descriptions of current openings, please go to UNMJobs and Search Postings to view positions that are currently accepting applications.

The following statements are intended to describe, in broad terms, the general functions and responsibility levels characteristic of positions assigned to this classification. They should not be viewed as an exhaustive list of the specific duties and prerequisites applicable to individual positions that have been so classified.


Under limited supervision, conducts recoveries and forensic examinations for the Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI) to develop information pertaining to the identificaton of unknown skeletal remains, and to provide insight into date of death and skeletal pathology. Assumes curatorial responsibility for OMI's forensic collection, and instructs, teaches, and directs students and fellows in the field of forensic anthropology.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Identifies skeletal issues that fall under OMI jurisdiction; participates in the identification of deceased individuals of unknown identity, and provides estimated time since death and determination of ante and post mortem trauma.
  2. Conducts and coordinates recovery for OMI cases involving burial, fire, natural or mass disasters, or other circumstances, utilizing professional recovery and exhumation techniques.
  3. Directs and instructs anthropology and/or pathology fellows at recovery and exhumation sites; conducts formal classroom lectures and laboratory exercises in forensic anthropology for students, as appropriate;.
  4. Serves as liaison between the State Historical Preservation Office (SHPO) and OMI for cases falling within SHPO's jurisdiction; oversees the proper disposition of historic remains.
  5. Serves as liaison between the Department of Anthropology and OMI; coordinates student projects and faculty research requests.
  6. Serves as curator for the OMI Forensic Collection, located at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology.
  7. Oversees the Maxwell Museum Body Donation Program, when conducted at the OMI facility and/or the maceration facility; coordinates all teaching and research requests involving the facilities.
  8. Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Job Requirements

  • Doctorate degree in Anthropology or closely related field; at least 5 years of experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified.
  • Completed degree(s) from an accredited institution that are above the minimum education requirement may be substituted for experience on a year for year basis.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required

  • Advanced knowledge and understanding of anthropological and forensic principles, procedures, and techniques, as applied to identification of deceased remains.
  • Advanced analytical and problem resolution skills.
  • Ability to gather data, compile information, and prepare reports.
  • Skill in the use of personal computers and related software applications.
  • Knowledge and understanding of scientific method.
  • Skill in organizing resources and establishing priorities.
  • Knowledge of laws, regulations, procedures and techniques for the recovery and exhumation of human remains.
  • Ability to lead, guide, and instruct students and fellows in the execution of forensic anthropological research.
  • Ability to make administrative and procedural decisions and judgments on sensitive, confidential issues.
  • Knowledge of State laws, regulations, and guidelines for the preservation of historic remains.
  • Knowledge and understanding of curatorial principles, methods, procedures, and techniques.
  • Ability to develop and present educational programs and/or workshops.

Conditions of Employment

  • Must pass a pre-employment criminal background check.
  • Successful candidate must submit to post-offer, pre-employment physical examination and medical history check.
  • Must obtain valid SHPO Burial Permit within one year of employment.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

  • Work may be performed in an office environment, museum environment or field environment.
  • Moderate physical activity. Requires occasional handling of items up to 100 pounds.
  • Work environment involves exposure to potentially dangerous materials and situations that require following extensive safety precautions and may include the use of protective equipment.

The University of New Mexico provides all training required by OSHA to ensure employee safety.

Revised Date: 03/20/2017