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Forensic Science II: More Secrets of the Dead

Forensics Specialist
Career Pathway Course Units

Unit 1: Drug Evidence

The illegal drug trade has been a major concern within North America for law enforcement and the criminal justice system. It is not surprising, then, that this area also presents a major area for forensic science. Forensic scientists play an important role in investigating and solving drug cases. Not only do they help to identify whether illegal drugs are present at a crime scene, but they also help identify the particular drugs and how they may have been involved in different crimes.

Unit 2: Forgeries & Document Examination

During crime investigations, forensic scientists may be called upon to determine whether a paper, signature, or other created document is authentic or whether it is fake. In this unit, we will examine the area of document examination. Document examination may include comparing the handwriting of several samples, linking documents to the particular machines that created them, and identifying counterfeit papers and money. We will discuss some of the aspects that document examiners look for in comparing documents and some of the techniques they use to find alterations in documents.

Unit 3: Forensic Toxicology

Arsenic, cyanide, and strychnine have all been used to try to harm other individuals throughout the course of history. Although poisoning may not be the most common way of trying to kill someone, it does happen, and forensic scientists play an important role in determining what has occurred. In this unit, we will explore some of the poisonous substances that exist and how forensic scientists test for and identify poisons.

Unit 4: Paint, Soil, & Trace Evidence

Trace evidence left at a crime scene can yield important clues about the victim, perpetrator, and the crime scene. In this unit, we will examine some of the trace forms of evidence that forensic scientists may use to help them solve crimes. These may include paint chips, pieces of metal, soil, and so on. In doing so, we will examine some of the techniques that forensic scientists use to identify and compare these pieces of evidence.

Unit 5: Forensic Entomology

In some criminal investigations, forensic scientists examine insects and other arthropods. In this unit, we will explore the area of forensic entomology and its use in criminal investigations. We will learn about the history of forensic entomology and the types of insects commonly encountered in crime investigations. We will also examine some of the tests and techniques used to study the insects.