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M - Microscopy and Trace Program

Hair Examination for the DNA Analyst

Class Code: 
M213

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
Various
Class Description: 

This course is intended to provided education and training in microscopical hair examination relevant for the biology/DNA analyst. The course will cover the forensic utilization of hair evidence, the recognition of human hair, the identification of root growth phases, the identification of body origin, and the recognition of hair contaminates. An overview of the microscopical comparison of hair will be discussed so that the student has sufficient information to make good management decisions regarding the sequences of analysis of hair evidence. POST Plan IV Reimbursement

Instructor: 
Faye Springer
Objectives: 
The goal is to encourage the proper handling of hair as a multidisciplinary type of evidence in order to provide the criminal justice system with the most relevant and significant information possible.
Tuition: 
No cost to POST-supported or State of California based Law Enforcement agencies. A $360.00 tuition fee will be required of all other public agency, private sector, or out-of-state applicants.

Course Contact:

Identification of Building Materials

Class Code: 
M212

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
Various
Class Description: 

This five-day (38-hour) course will provide students with an understanding of forensic building materials analysis. The class will consist of a systematic analysis of building materials commonly encountered in microanalysis casework. The class will cover the composition of cement and concrete, fibrous and non-fibrous insulation products, wood, paper and composite materials, architectural paint extenders, plastics, adhesives, caulks, putties and glues. The particle characterization approach will be employed with emphasis in stereo-binocular microscopy and polarized light microscopy. The course is intended for criminalists whose assignments include the examination of trace evidence, firearms/toolmarks examination and crime scene response. Detailed instruction and practical exercise in particle characterization of building materials will make the course profitable for both the experienced and novice forensic materials analyst. Each class is limited to 12 students. This course is POST reimbursable, Plan IV.

Instructor: 
Bill Schneck, Microvision Northwest
Teaching Methods: 
Classroom lectures, Powerpoint presentations, video demonstrations, and practical workshops.
Objectives: 
Students will be required to demonstrate their proficiency in practical and written tests.
Prerequisites: 
Basic Practical Microscopy (M101) or its equivalent.
Preparation: 
A pre-reading package may be assigned.
Tuition: 
No cost to POST supported or State of California based Law Enforcement agencies. A $600.00 tuition fee will be required of all other public agency, private sector, or out-of-state applicants.

Course Contact:

More Information: 

Fiber Identification and Comparison

Class Code: 
M202

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
Various
Class Description: 

This one-week (40 hour) course will provide students with a basic understanding of fiber analysis. This class will cover the man-made and natural fibers, production methods, dyeing, fiber identification by microscopic methods, cross-sectioning, dye extraction and comparison and evaluation of fiber evidence. In addition, there are short sections on photomicrography of fibers, Micro-FTIR and SEM/EDS. This course is intended for criminalists whose assignments include examination of fibers. This course intends to focus on the identification and comparison of fibers. Each class is limited to 12 students. This course NOT currently POST reimbursable.

Instructor: 
Faye Springer, Sacramento District Attorney's Forensic Science Laboratory
Teaching Methods: 
Classroom lectures, video recordings, and practical workshops.
Objectives: 
Students will be required to examine known and unknown fibers, measure various optical properties, conduct comparisons, prepare a written report of their findings, and present and defend their conclusions, as well as pass a written test.
Prerequisites: 
Basic Practical Microscopy (M101) or its equivalent. Micro-FTIR and SEM/EDS are desired.
Tuition: 
No cost to POST supported or State of California based Law Enforcement agencies. A $600.00 tuition fee will be required of all other public agency, private sector, or out-of-state applicants.

Course Contact:

More Information: 

Hair Examination and Comparison

Class Code: 
M201

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
Various
Class Description: 

This one-week (38-hour) course will provide students with a basic understanding of hair analysis. This class will cover the examination and comparison of human and animal hairs. Topics will include the evaluation of hair as evidence, microscopical features of human and animal hair and the evaluation of hair as DNA evidence. This course is intended for criminalists who identify hair and microscopically compare hairs to suspected sources and those who microscopically screen hairs for evidential value prior to DNA analysis. Each class is limited to 12 students.

Instructor: 
Faye Springer, Sacramento District Attorney's Forensic Science Laboratory and Skip Palenik, President and Senior Research Microscopist, Microtrace, Elgin, IL
Teaching Methods: 
Classroom lectures, PowerPoint presentations, video recordings, and practical workshops.
Objectives: 
Students will be required to examine known and unknown hairs and document various properties, as well as pass a written test.
Prerequisites: 
Recommended: Basic Practical Microscopy (M101) and familiarity with the polarizing microscope.
Preparation: 
Pre-course reading material may be assigned.
Tuition: 
No cost to State of California-based Law Enforcement agencies. A $600.00 tuition fee will be required of all other public agency, private sector, or out-of-state applicants.

Course Contact:

More Information: 

Headlamp Examination

Class Code: 
M115

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
Various
Class Description: 

This three day (24 hour) course will provide students with an understanding of forensic examination of vehicle lamps. They will learn how to examine and evaluate headlights (sealed beam and halogen), taillights, and other vehicle lamps to determine if the lamps were on at the time of an accident. The course material will cover information on filament manufacture, bulb design and assembly, normal filament failure, and manufacturing irregularities in filaments. Students will conduct hands-on examination of an extensive collection of exemplars, and will perform experiments and exercises regarding filament deformation. Recent research on halogen headlights in crash sled tests will be presented and students will have the opportunity to examine the halogen bulbs involved in the tests. This course is intended for criminalists who have a beginning interest in lamp examination and for more experienced criminalists who wish to expand their background in this area of forensic examination. Each class is limited to 12 students. POST certification Plan IV.

Instructor: 
TBA
Teaching Methods: 
Course presentation will be a combination of lectures, audiovisual presentations, demonstrations and active student participation.
Objectives: 
Students will learn how to conduct a forensic examination of vehicle lamps in accident cases and will develop a background basis for interpreting filament deformation relative to natural variations and normal filament failure. They will have personally examined a broad base of know exemplars representing a range of filament conditions and configurations. Hands-on examinations and experiments with filament distortion under controlled conditions will provide each student with a personal reference base from which to interpret their observations in casework.
Prerequisites: 
Students should have some general criminalistics background and be familiar with the theory and practice of forensic comparative analysis. This course will involve the use of a stereozoom microscope.
Tuition: 
No cost to POST supported or State of California based Law Enforcement agencies. A $360.00 tuition fee will be required of all other public agency, private sector, or out-of-state applicants.

Course Contact:

More Information: 

Basic Practical Microscopy

Class Code: 
M101

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
Various
Class Description: 

This one-week (38 hour) course will familiarize students with the microscopy equipment common to most modern crime labs. The course will enable students to select the most appropriate equipment and techniques and to make basic observations of the physical and optical properties of common evidential materials. This class will focus on the proper use and operation of the compound microscope. This course is intended for criminalists involved in microscopy and trace evidence work. Note: This class or its equivalent is a prerequisite for CCI courses on Hair, Fiber, and Advanced Microscopy classes. Each class is limited to 12 students. POST Plan IV reimbursement.

Instructor: 
Bill Schneck, Microvision Northwest
Teaching Methods: 
Classroom lectures, 35mm slides, video demonstrations, and practical workshops.
Objectives: 
Students will be required to demonstrate their proficiency in practical and written tests.
Preparation: 
A prereading package may be assigned.
Tuition: 
No cost to POST supported or State of California based Law Enforcement agencies. A $600.00 tuition fee will be required of all other public agency, private sector, or out-of-state applicants.

Course Contact:

More Information: 

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