Dr. Ed Waldrip has been associated with the Southern Institute of Forensic Science since 1987. During his term as Director SIFS has provided courses at Missouri Western State University, The University of New Orleans, and Christian Brothers University. SIFS is currently in negations to form partnerships with the University of Florida, and Tulane University.
After twenty seven years of teaching and serving as Coroner of Lamar County, Mississippi for fourteen years he retired to give more time to the revitalization of the Southern Institute of Forensic Science. Dr. Waldrip’s educational experience has given him a background in both forensic pathology and forensic anthropology. This has allowed him to develop a series of unique one-week courses not available to most colleges and universities. These courses are made available through a joint arrangement between the Southern Institute and the sponsoring institution to provide these courses to students and practitioners. These courses meet the requirements to provide registrants with three hours of undergraduate credit and graduate credit at selected locations.
Dr. Richard W. Merritt is currently University Distinguished Professor Emeritus and previous Chair of the Department of Entomology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. Dr. Merritt's major research interests focus on the feeding ecology, animal microbial interactions, population dynamics and influence of environmental factors on immature aquatic insects. He also has conducted research in medical entomology, specifically on black flies and mosquitoes. His most recent research has concentrated on the ecology and transmission of a neglected emerging disease, Buruli Ulcer, in West Africa.He is also interested in the field of Forensic Entomology and assists police departments with crime scene investigations involving insects. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Entomology (ABFE) and a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.He has published over 300 scientific articles and co-edited four editions of a textbook entitled, "An Introduction to the Aquatic Insects of North America," as well as a book entitled, " Black Flies: Ecology, Population Manangement, and Annotated World List." He has served as Associate Editor for three journals, The American Midland Naturalist,Freshwater Invertebrate Biology, and the Journal of Medical Entomology. Dr. Merritt teaches two main courses, one in Aquatic Entomology and the other in Forensic Entomology. He received the MSU University Distinguished Faculty Award for 2004, and received a Fulbright Scholar Award in l986 and spent a sabbatical in London, England where he was made an Honorary Research Fellow at University College, London. In 2011, he was awarded the title of MSU University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University.
Dr. Byrd is an Associate Professor and Associate Director of Forensic Medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine. A Board Certified Forensic Entomologist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Entomology, Dr. Byrd instructs courses in forensic science at the University of Florida's prestigious Hume Honors Program. Twice elected President of the American Board of Forensic Entomology, he is the first person to be elected of both North American Forensic Entomology Associations. Dr. Byrd also serves as a Medicolegal Death Investigator within the National Disaster Medical System, Disaster Mortuary Response Team, Region IV. Additionally, he serves as the Commander for the Florida Emergency Mortuary Response System.
Dr. Rick Snow is President of Forensic Anthropology Consulting Services, Inc. Prior to forming his consulting company, Dr. Snow was the forensic anthropologist with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in Decatur, Georgia for over six years. He worked in Kosovo excavating mass graves as an agent of the United Nations and also spent eight months in Bosnia excavating mass graves for the International Commission on Missing Persons.
Shortly after returning from Bosnia he was called to Noble, Georgia to work the Tri-State Crematory incident, in which a crematory left 334 bodies to decompose in the woods rather than cremating them. In 2005 Dr. Snow spent three weeks in Thailand as a Coordinator in the Thailand Tsunami Victim Identification Information Management Center.
He lectures extensively throughout the country and teaches short courses and workshops to law enforcement and government organizations. In 2009 he was appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Georgia. Also, in 2009 the Governor of Georgia appointed him to the Council on American Indian Concerns. He worked for seven years as a patrolman with the Dekalb County Police Department in Decatur, Georgia. Dr. Snow received his Master’s and Ph.D. in Anthropology from The University of Tennessee.
Sergeant W. R. (Rudy) Flores is a veteran of Texas law enforcement with over 31 years of service. He has served as a sheriff's deputy, police officer, and a Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper, Sergeant and Texas Ranger. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Excelsior College and is a graduate of the Leadership Command College at Sam Houston State University. His certifications include Master Peace Officer, Instructor, Firearms Instructor and Special Investigator from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. Sergeant Flores instructs Bloodstain Pattern Analysis, Investigation and Reconstruction of Shooting Incidents and Crime Scene Reconstruction at the University of Northern Colorado and Missouri Western State University. He is a founding member of the Crime Scene Investigation Working Group assigned to design, implement and instruct advanced crime scene investigation techniques for the Texas Rangers. Sergeant Flores is a member of the Sheriff’s Association of Texas Cold Case Review Team, a “think tank” which assists law enforcement agencies in unsolved major crimes. .
Sergeant Nick Webb retired with over two decades of service as a municipal police officer. Nick’s last position was the Palestine (Texas) Police Department Patrol Division Commander at the rank of Lieutenant. Nick holds an Associates of Science degree from Trinity Valley Community College. Sergeant Webb is a graduate of the 238th session of the FBI National Academy. He is licensed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and holds certifications as a Master Peace Officer, Instructor and Firearms Instructor. Nick has been a Texas peace officer since 1990; having previously served as an officer, narcotics agent and detective at the Athens (Texas) Police Department. Nick is a crime scene specialist and has been accepted in state court as an expert witness in latent fingerprint examination, collision reconstruction, shooting reconstruction and bloodstain pattern analysis. Nick has taught crime scene investigation and digital police photography for police officers, academies and agencies across Texas. In 2010, Nick returned to law enforcement as a Sergeant in the criminal investigation division, sex crimes unit, of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office in Athens, Texas.
For nearly four decades, Tom Hensley has demonstrated a commitment to the highest standards of excellence and dedication in public service. This public service has benefited countless individuals and communities at the local, regional, state, national, and international levels.
Tom began his work as an Emergency Medical Technician and advanced to Paramedic in 1979. Tom then served 3 terms in the elected position as the Clinton County, Mo., Coroner, and Deputy Coroner for Northwest Missouri. Beginning in 1991, Tom dedicated his amassed knowledge and experience to The Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office as the one of the first Medicolegal Death Investigator in Kansas City rising to the rank of Senior Death Investigator, Deputy Chief Investigator and ultimately Chief of Forensic Operations and Investigations where he continues to serve. Locally, Tom is a member of KCRMORG, a Kansas City Metro mass fatality response group that covers a 9-county area around Kansas City, MO.
State wide participation dates to 1993 when Tom deployed with Missouri Funeral Directors Disaster Response Team to the Hardin Cemetery Disaster to retrieve unearthed caskets/vaults and examine decedents for ID purposes. The Missouri River had washed away more than 600 graves at the cemetery. He currently serves the State of Missouri as the Deputy Commander for the Missouri Disaster Response System – Mortuary Division (MODRS). This mass fatality response group responds to requests for service in Missouri.
Tom's service has not been limited to the State of Missouri. Tom is very active at the federal level. He is a member of the federal mass fatality team, Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT). He has been deployed to the 2001 American Airlines Flight 587 crash in New York City, the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center attacks, August 2005 Hurricanes Rita and Katrina in Louisiana and a plane crash in Guam (Nimitz Hill) in 1997. He was deployed to the 2011 tornado in Joplin, MO.
He also was appointed to “The Medicolegal Death Investigation Subcommittee of OSAC”. This federal forensic science subcommittee develops and vet documents (standards, guidelines, code of practice) for federal approval through the Scientific Area Committees and Forensic Science Standards Board. They will focus on standards and guidelines related to sudden, unnatural, unexplained, or suspicious deaths, including homicides, suicides, unintentional fatal injuries, drug-related deaths, and other deaths that are sudden or unexpected; determination of the cause and manner of death for federal standards.
Tom was re-elected to and currently sits on the board of directors for the National Association of Medical Examiner (NAME). This organization accredits medical examiner and coroner offices nationwide. He is one of two non-physicians that is elected to the board of directors.