Smithsonian’s Owsley returns to MTSU with ‘serious...

Smithsonian’s Owsley returns to MTSU with ‘seriously amazing’ info

Ready for some “Seriously Amazing Moments in Smithsonian Bone Research”? Dr. Douglas Owsley is returning to MTSU with the latest news Tuesday, March 3, in a free public lecture.

Owsley, head of the Division of Physical Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History, will speak at 6:30 p.m. March 3 in the second-floor ballroom of MTSU’s Student Union.

The free public talk is part of the university’s renowned William M. Bass Legends in Forensic Science Lectureship, presented by MTSU’s Forensic Institute for Research and Education, or FIRE. A searchable campus map with parking details is available at

Owsley, one of the world’s most recognized and consulted archaeologists and forensic anthropologists, regularly helps law enforcement agencies by examining remains in unsolved cases. The U.S. Department of Defense presented him with the Army Commander’s Award for Civilian Service for his help identifying 60 victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon.

Dr. Douglas Owsley

Dr. Douglas Owsley

He’s worked on cases ranging from the deadly 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian complex near Waco, Texas, to identifying casualties of Operation Desert Storm and of colonial and Civil War soldiers.

He teamed with MTSU professor Hugh Berryman and nine other top U.S. researchers in 2005 and 2006 to examine ”Kennewick Man,” a nearly 9,000-year-old skeleton found near the Columbia River in Washington state.

Owsley also served as the Bass lecturer at MTSU in October 2007, when he spoke on forensic cases involving the Chesapeake region of the 17th century.

His new book, “Kennewick Man: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton,” includes a chapter written by MTSU’s Berryman and will be available for purchase and signing after the lecture.

The Bass Lecture Series, named for renowned University of Tennessee forensic anthropologist Dr. William M. Bass, brings forensic science experts to the MTSU campus each fall and spring.

MTSU’s FIRE, established in 2006, also provides regular educational and training opportunities for law enforcement, medical examiners, coroners, attorneys, social workers, and other groups in forensic science and homeland security.

For more information on this lecture or other FIRE programs and events, contact the FIRE offices at 615-494-7713 or visit

— Gina E. Fann (