Forensic Science Course Syllabus (CHE100)

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1 Forensic Science Course Syllabus (CHE100) Contact Information Instructor: Dr Lynn Fowler Office/phone: 214T / Office hours: as posted or by appointment Course description This course is designed to provide an overview of the basic science concepts and techniques used in a forensic laboratory. The nature and significance of physical evidence and the underlying chemical and biological principles of the scientific techniques employed for analysis and the interpretation will be emphasized. Topics covered include hair, fiber and paint analysis, forensic toxicology and serology, blood spatter, arson and explosives, fingerprinting and forensic DNA analysis techniques. Text and media requirements Richard Saferstein (2004) Criminalists : An Introduction to Forensic Science, 8 th edition Prentice Hall. ISBN Laboratory Laboratory attendance is MANDATORY. Attendance and participation is a portion of your grade. You MUST have a bound laboratory notebook (NOT spiral bound!). You should record all pertinent data and observations for each experiment in this notebook. You will also write a full lab report for each experiment in this notebook. These books should NOT be rewritten. They will be kept as if you planned to use it in a court of law. Correct documentation and writing a lab report will be reviewed in class. Attendance Policy You must attend all laboratory classes. Only one excused absence (with a doctors note) will be allowed from laboratory classes. - students who miss three (3) or more classes before midterm will be automatically withdrawn from the course. - students who miss six (6) or more classes during the semester will be automatically withdrawn from the course. Homework Throughout the semester you will be required to TYPE all assignments. These assignments should have a cover page and a bibliography of all sources in APA format. Homework that is not typed will not be accepted or graded. These assignments will NOT BE ACCEPTED AFTER THE DUE DATE. Your grade will be based on the typed answers and your class participation. 1

2 Plagiarism: Each written assignment should be the original work of the student. Students should cite sources for all significant facts, ideas and evidence that they did not have before they came upon the material. If in doubt, the best policy is to cite the reference. You should check the college catalog for the policy on plagiarism. Quizzes and Examinations Quizzes will be given on topics as they are covered throughout the semester. Mid term examination will cover material from the beginning of the semester (weeks 1-8). Final examination will cover the material from midterm to the end of the semester (weeks 9-16). Annotated Bibliography & presentation You must have completed all five parts for credit, (1-3) 3 annotated bibliographies (3 references in each) will be assigned during the semester, (4) the final collated list of all references and (5) oral presentation will be due at the end of the semester. You will select a topic for you final oral presentation at the beginning of the semester. Three times throughout the semester you will read at least three articles about the subject and hand in an annotated bibliography on the assignment dates. We will review how to write the citation in class. Final oral presentation will take place at the end of the semester. At this time you should hand in: 1. an outline of your presentation 2. a list of all references used as information for your talk. This should include, but NOT be limited to, your annotated bibliography references. Additional Information Please feel free to contact me at any time. My office hours are posted outside my door or I can be contacted by phone or . If you have, or suspect you may have, any type of learning problem that may require any extra assistance or special accommodations, please speak to me privately as soon as possible so I can help you obtain any assistance you need to successfully complete this course. You should also contact Laurie Bethka, Room 420M in the Academic Assistance Center, for further assistance. 2

3 Grading ITEM POINTS % of Final GRADE Annotated Bibliography 15 points each = 45 points Citations Compiled annotated 35 points bibliographies and library research. Outline of oral presentation. Oral presentation 35 points 15% Laboratory: attendance/participation, laboratory reports. Homework and class discussion Laboratory reports will be randomly selected and graded 20% 15% Quizzes 20% Midterm exam 15% Final exam 15% TOTAL 100% SCORE (%) FINAL GRADE / A- / A / / B- / B / B / / C- / C / C / D / D+ BELOW 600 F 3

4 Course Objectives Interpret and analyze scientific information. Develop hypotheses based on the observation of natural phenomena. Explain experimental design based on a testable hypothesis as a result of observation and prediction. Record and organize data resulting from quantitative measurement using tables and graphs. Interpret and analyze data and come to conclusions based on the evidence presented. Calculate an initial unit of measurement to another unit using conversion factors from the unit of an equality. Describe the characteristics of an element using the periodic table and the combination of elements to form simple compounds. Describe several basic analytical techniques for the identification of organic and inorganic substances. Describe the optical principles of different microscopes and their application in examining various types of forensic evidence. Describe the characteristics of hair, fibers and paint and the different techniques used in a forensic examination to determine a probability match. Describe and give examples of the different classes of drugs and their physiological and psychological effects in humans as they relate to drug dependence. Describe the characteristics of alcohol toxicity and its detection in the breath and blood using forensic analysis tools. Describe the forensic aspects of arson and explosion investigations. Describe the forensic serology techniques used to characterize and individualize biological evidence. Describe the DNA typing techniques used to link with certainty the origin of biological evidence to a single individual. Describe the fundamental principles of fingerprints and the techniques used for detection and classification in the forensics laboratory. 4

5 L. Fowler, Ph.D. (1/06) 5

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