Forensic Science

Department/Program: Forensic Science

Majors, Minors & Degrees:
Courses

Introduction to Forensic Science and its application, stressing a multi-disciplinary approach and the interface of science with ethics and the legal system. Crime scene investigation, evidence collection, questioned documents, the collection and analysis of body fluids and DNA, firearms and tool marks, and crime scene reconstruction will be included.

This class is an introduction to the basic theory of digital photography and imaging as documentation. Students will learn how to use and control a digital SLR camera, flash, studio lights and other techniques to produce images. The computer and imaging software will be used to generate images for print and electronic display. Subject matter, form and content will also be emphasized in the production of images. The course also includes specific emphasis accurately describing and presenting a scene or details visually and verbally.

See department for course description

See department for course description

As film cameras become extinct, effective digital imaging is an ever-important skill set to develop. This class introduces students to court-approved techniques for digital imaging enhancements of crime scene photography utilizing Adobe Photoshop. The students take an image from a crime scene or lab analysis, then enhance or clarify the image, and will be able to explain how and why that clarification was completed without altering the image. They are given several examples and are expected to enhance those images with little or no guidance after the lecture. The students are then tested on knowledge gained through lecture and the practical exercise.

See department for course description

See department for course description

See department for course description

See department for course description

Shooting scenes are commonly encountered by the Crime Scene Investigator and the ability to provide a proper trajectory analysis is crucial for a reconstruction of events. Trajectory analysis relies on the basic premise that bullets travel in a straight line (where gravity is not taken into account) and thus their flight path can be reconstructed by examining the objects that the projectiles impact. The class will be comprised of a lecture and test as well as a practical exercise.

See department for course description

See department for course description

See department for course description

See department for course description

Threat assessment refers to the determination of risk posed by individuals or groups against specified targets or institutions. The course examines the types of threats commonly encountered in law enforcement situations and the characteristics of approach (i.e., individuals likely to engage in threatening or disruptive face-to-face contact) vs. non-approach situations. The course examines the information used to process these risk determinations. The course will also examine the way we view and perceive threats including stalking, workplace, and school violence.

See department for course description

See department for course description

This course focuses on preparing the student to act as an expert witness in a civil or criminal trial. Expert witnesses are called to testify due to their expertise and experience in a specific subject, such as DNA analysis, scene investigation, psychology, or many other fields. Many of these subjects can be difficult to present to a lay audience, such as a jury, in a limited amount of time. This course will show students how to best prepare in order to present themselves, their credentials, and their testimony in a professional manner, and how to anticipate questions from opposing council. The students will be given preparation techniques, familiarization with trial procedures, and will participate in a mock trial exercise.

Students will review the developmental (cognitive, physical, emotional, maturational) components of adolescent development, and how these intersect with the juvenile justice system. Discussion will focus on juvenile-specific issues related to adjudication as juvenile (vs. adult), competency related to adjudication, risk assessment, treatment, and management. Recent changes in child welfare strategies, court rulings, and public policy issues will also be presented.