Forensic science is a vital part of our justice system. The development of this field enables law enforcement officers to bring society’s dangerous criminals to justice. But further, it provides law enforcement officers the opportunity to provide answers to those who have experienced injustices in hopes that it brings them some sort of closure.
The education necessary to achieve a forensics degree requires critical understanding of forensic science and technology, as well as problem solving skills. Aspirants must learn to think backwards; given the results, what are the causes? Forensic science training includes courses in areas like the effects of drugs, forensic and post-mortem toxicology, and crime scene photography. Often, students receive hands-on field experience in areas such as forensic archaeology and blast-scene recovery. Forensic science training programs also teach students how to handle cases involving victims of sexual assault, and develop student’s courtroom testimonial skills. More broadly, students study the integral steps and elements in the process of solving a crime.
The crime scene. Crime scene training teaches students the proper procedures for investigating, such as gathering evidence. Students learn how to identify the crime and interpret the scene for signs of evidence.
The autopsy. Here, students learn about time, cause and manner of death. Students also learn about signs that indicate violence, and how to log and store evidence.
The suspects. Forensic science training teaches you how to compile a list of suspects and narrow that list down to one using psychological profiling, fingerprinting, handwriting, and other forms of evidence. Additional techniques to determine the perpetrator’s identity, or confirm that a suspect committed the crime, involve the use of hard science. Students learn about facial reconstruction, DNA and dental matching, forensic anthropology, and blood analysis.
The evidence. Evidence is a crucial part of any investigation. Students learn how to gather and interpret environmental clues, and later analyze these materials in a forensic lab.
The weapons. Forensic science training has a weapons component so that students will be able to learn specific signs and effects of different weapons including commons weapons, arson, explosives, etc.
The digital age. Digital crimes are on the rise. Thus, students study computer crimes and those related, like counterfeiting.
After receiving a degree in forensic science, graduates can begin to use the skills they’ve mastered to help keep their communities safe. They will continuously experience learning opportunities, as crimes are rarely the same from one to the next. And they will be able to further their education as the science they use evolves.
BIO: The Center for Forensic Science Research & Education aims to provide high quality educational resources for forensic scientists. The Center offers top-of-the-line facilities and equipment and focuses on cross-discipline training.