Frequently Asked Questions






Q: What happens at the NMU Forensic Research Outdoor Station (FROST)?

A: FROST is an outdoor facility and a laboratory for education and research involving postmortem changes that affect human remains.


A: At FROST, we accept self-donations and donations from an individual’s legal next-of-kin. We will not accept donations of unidentified or unclaimed bodies. We will also not accept donations from next-of-kin who have been estranged from a decedent.


Q: What would make me ineligible to donate my body to FROST after my death?

A: FROST cannot accept the donation of remains that are known to have certain communicable or infectious conditions or bodies that exceed 200 lbs. Donor bodies that have undergone organ/tissue donation and/or forensic autopsy are acceptable. All donations of human remains are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and it is the sole discretion of FROST staff to decide whether or not a donation will be accepted.


Q: Will my remains be returned to my family?

A: No. Remains donated to FROST will be permanently, respectfully curated at NMU as a skeletal collection for the advancement of research and education of students and forensic anthropologists.


Q: Can my family visit my body at FROST?

A: Once a donor has been made part of the permanent skeletal collection, arrangements may be made for family visitation at the indoor laboratory facility. Approvals for visitations at the laboratory will be made on a case-by-case basis. Visitation and tours at the outdoor facility are not permitted under any circumstances. A ceremony to honor our donors is held annually and families of the donors who have been brought to our facility over the previous year are invited to attend.


Q: What is the cost to my family if I donate my body to FROST?

A: While there is no cost for donating a body to NMU FROST/FARL, there may be costs associated with a funeral director's services (death certificate, transportation, other paperwork). All fees associated with a funeral director's services are the responsibility of the donor. If the donor’s body is known to have an infectious or communicable condition and/or exceeds 200 lbs, FROST can accept the body donation following cremation (as long as the remains have not gone through the pulverization process). Cremation costs would be the responsibility of the family.


Q: Do I get paid for donating my body to FROST?

A: No. There is no payment to the donors or families.


Q: Can I make a financial donation to FROST?

A: Yes. A financial donation can be made by visiting the Financial Donations for more information.