While techniques relying on Geographic Information Science (GIScience) have been applied to a number of fields over recent decades, there are still many fields wherein experimental work on applied spatial modeling is just now opening up opportunities for advancing scientific knowledge. For the last six years, I have had the honor of working with some ground-breaking, forensic anthropologists to advance scientific knowledge surrounding humanitarian aid issues. Specifically, we examine how to use GIScience and spatial statistics to model wartime killer behaviors. Accurate, precise models of these behaviors may help identify lost burial sites and eventually allow families to recover the remains of loved ones – the missing civilians and soldiers. This work has involved research on acts of violence committed in political emergencies in many complex scenarios such as the former Yugoslavia and in enduring conflicts like Nagorno-Karabakh. I have had the chance to personally work with some amazing collaborators in this field, including Dr. Derek Congram, Hugh Tuller, Matt Vennemeyer, Michael Kenyhercz, and several current and former staff at the ICRC (financially supported this work). In fact, many of authors in this edited collection have inspired and informed our research.
The below article represents a small sample of lessons learned from these collaborations and our experimental work. This article is an accepted manuscript for the Forensic Science International special issue on “Humanitarian Forensic Action”. Accepted manuscripts are under a 12-month embargo for many academic sharing sites, but can be immediately shared on author’s personal website. Links will be updated (DOI, journal publication link, etc.) as available. Additional licensing details for accepted manuscripts to FSI can be found here. © 2017, this manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.