The Basics of Investigating Forensic Science : A Laboratory Manual book cover
2nd Edition

The Basics of Investigating Forensic Science
A Laboratory Manual





ISBN 9780367251529
Published July 16, 2021 by CRC Press
218 Pages 97 Color Illustrations

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USD $44.95

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Book Description

The Basics of Investigating Forensic Science: A Laboratory Manual, Second Edition presents foundational concepts in forensic science through hands-on laboratory techniques and engaging exercises. The text offers numerous lab projects on a range of subjects including fingerprinting, shoeprint analysis, firearms, pathology, anthropology, forensic biology and DNA, drugs, trace evidence analysis, and more.

This Second Edition is fully updated to include extensive full-color photos and diagrams to reflect current best-practices focussing on laboratory procedure, techniques, and interpretation of results. Each laboratory illustrates processes and concepts, and how the equipment should be set up for a given exercise. Many of the exercises can be done with minimal laboratory equipment and material while certain exercises also have additional options and advanced lab exercises—for those education institutions with access to more specialized or advance laboratory equipment. While the sequencing of laboratory exercises in the book is designed to follow The Basics textbook, the lab exercises are intentionally modular can be performed in any sequence desired by an instructor.

The Basics of Investigating Forensic Science, Second Edition is an excellent resource for introduction to forensic sciences courses, including the companion textbook it was designed to accompany, Forensic Science: The Basics, Fourth Edition (ISBN: 9780367251499). The book can be used alongside any textbook, and even serve as a stand-alone text for two- and four-year college programs, as well as course at the high school level.

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface.............................................................................................................................xv

Authors.......................................................................................................................... xvii

UNIT 1 Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation

Lab 1. Introduction to Crime Scene Investigation: Solving the Puzzle.............................. 3

Lab 2. Locard’s Exchange Principle: Transfer of Evidence............................................... 7

Lab 3. Physical Matches................................................................................................11

Lab 4. Evidence Collection: Making an Evidence (Druggist) Fold...................................15

Lab 5. The 3Ls: Locating, Lifting, and Logging Evidence...............................................19

Lab 6. Classifying Evidence: Is This Class or Individual Evidence?................................ 25

Lab 7. Basic Crime Scene Sketch................................................................................. 29

Lab 8. Crime Scene Investigation................................................................................. 37

UNIT 2 Patterns and Impressions

Lab 9. Fingerprints....................................................................................................... 43

Lab 10. Questioned Documents..................................................................................... 49

Lab 11. Firearms Identification Web Quest..................................................................... 55

Lab 12. Basic Firearms Identification: Examining Bullets and Cartridge Casings............. 59

Lab 13. Basic Toolmark Identification............................................................................. 69

Lab 14. Shoeprints......................................................................................................... 75

UNIT 3 Forensic Biology

Lab 15. Serology............................................................................................................81

Lab 16. Basic Bloodstain Pattern Analysis...................................................................... 89

Lab 17. DNA Analysis.................................................................................................... 99

Lab 18. Pathology: The Autopsy...................................................................................105

Lab 19. Forensic Anthropology: Determination of Stature............................................. 111

Lab 20. Hairs................................................................................................................ 115

Lab 21. Measuring the Diameter of a Human Hair.........................................................121

UNIT 4 Forensic Chemistry

Lab 22. Inks..................................................................................................................127

Lab 23. Illicit Drugs.......................................................................................................131

Lab 24. White Powder Testing.......................................................................................137

Lab 25. Calculating Blood Alcohol Concentration: The Widmark Formula.....................141

Lab 26. Fibers...............................................................................................................145

Lab 27. Polymers..........................................................................................................149

Lab 28. Fire Debris.......................................................................................................153

Lab 29. Explosives........................................................................................................165

UNIT 5 Forensic Physics

Lab 30. Accident Investigation: Skid to Stop Mathematics.............................................171

Lab 31. Glass................................................................................................................177

Lab 32. Forensic Analysis of Glass: Identifying the Type of Glass..................................183

Bibliography.....................................................................................................................193

Index................................................................................................................................195

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Author(s)

Biography

Kathy Mirakovits is a retired high school teacher of forensic science and physics. She currently teaches

forensic science and physics at Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Kathy

holds an MS in science education from Western Michigan University, a bachelor’s degree in science education

from Miami University, and has completed over 15 graduate hours in forensic science. She has taught

general science, physical science, chemistry, biology, earth science, and physics at the high school and twoyear

college level for a total of 30 years. Additionally, Kathy conducts workshops across the United States

for teachers who wish to learn the application of forensic science in a school curriculum. Information on

those workshops can be found at her website: www .forensicscience -ed .com. She has developed numerous

forensic science educational products for a national science supplier and has led workshops at the National

Science Teachers Association (NSTA) in forensic science.

Kathy has served as president of the Michigan Chapter of the American Association of Physics Teachers

(AAPT) and as a curriculum writer for the Michigan Department of Education. Kathy has served as the

high school director and the membership director for the Michigan Science Teachers Association. She has

received the RadioShack Science Teaching Award and has been a two-time state finalist for the Presidential

Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

Gina Londino-Smolar earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Ball State University in Muncie,

Indiana. She then attended graduate school at Purdue University, Indianapolis, where she earned a master’s

degree in chemistry. While in graduate school, her main focus was in forensic analysis of pigmented ink

using pyrolysis gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Gina is currently a senior lecturer in the Department

of Chemistry and Chemical Biology teaching in the Forensic and Investigative Sciences program at Indiana

University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, where she has been teaching introductory courses in forensic

science, forensic chemistry, and forensic microscopy since 2006. She has designed multiple courses in

forensic science, including a variety of beginner-to-advanced laboratory exercises. Gina also serves as a faculty

fellow with Teaching and Learning Technologies at Indiana University and has been directly involved

in designing online content for both credit and non-credit courses. Gina has created multiple online courses

in forensic science, both lecture and laboratory, in order to reach out to other student populations and uses

the universal design for learning. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS)

and a member and 2021-2023 president of the Council of Forensic Science Educators (COFSE).