Dr. Kate Spradley, an anthropologist at Texas State University, writes about her team’s mission: examining and identifying migrant skeletons found in mass graves in Texas.
Kate Spradley is a professor of anthropology at Texas State University specializing in forensic anthropology, and her most recent work includes a collaborative project documenting migrant cemeteries and what she terms “invisible graves” in South Texas. Since 2013, she has directed a humanitarian and human rights project called Operation Identification, housed within the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State, with the goal of identifying and repatriating unidentified human remains found near the Texas/Mexico border through community outreach, forensic anthropological analysis, and collaboration with governmental and nongovernmental organizations. Through Operation Identification, Kate helps train the next generation of forensic anthropologists to work within a human rights context. Kate is also co-founder and board member of the Forensic Border Coalition whose mission is to support families of missing migrants searching for their loved ones and to address problems related to the identification of human remains found near the US/Mexico border.