FROST is the first outdoor research facility to be located at a northern latitude, which makes it unique. At FROST, scientists and students will have the opportunity to conduct research on the effects of cold temperatures, significant snow accumulation, and the freeze-thaw cycle on human decomposition and taphonomy.

Research conducted at FROST and similar facilities is important to forensic science because it helps scientists develop methods for determining the postmortem interval (time since death) and analyzing the effects of the local environment on the taphonomic factors mentioned above. Knowledge generated from this research helps law enforcement, medical examiners/coroners, the legal community, and other scientists in their efforts to solve crimes. Many crimes would go unsolved without the involvement of forensic scientists who analyze evidence that leads to the identification of victims or suspects.

Our Mission

The NMU Forensic Research Outdoor Station (FROST) and Forensic Anthropology Research Laboratory (FARL) mission is to facilitate excellence in research and education for the advancement of professional standards in forensic anthropology, taphonomy, and related disciplines. 




  1. Provide exceptional training and education in forensic anthropology;
  2. Provide undergraduate students with hands-on opportunities for forensic science research, education, and professional development;
  3. Facilitate interdisciplinary research in human taphonomy, forensic anthropology, and related scientific disciplines by providing state of the art facilities and collections for study;
  4. Provide training and continuing education to law enforcement, medicolegal death investigators, and other professionals;
  5. Provide scientific and technical expertise to the law enforcement and medicolegal communities, and the public; 
  6. Provide outreach and education to the public through workshops, public lectures, and continuing education opportunities;
  7. Disseminate research through conference presentations and professional publications;  
  8. Build and maintain collaborative relationships within NMU and with other academic institutions, local, state, federal and international law enforcement agencies, and other professionals to advance research and standards in forensic anthropology, taphonomy and other forensic sciences;
  9. Maintain the highest level of integrity, ethics, quality, and safety in the implementation of our mission and accomplishment of our goals.


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Sociology and Anthropology Program

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology's mission is to foster the development of knowledge, values, and skills necessary to understand and positively influence the human condition.