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FOS 101
Major Assignments and Due Dates

Required Homework Assignments

 

#1: Research a local, state or federal crime lab and describe whether the lab is part of a police department or independent, the services offered and special units within the crime lab, whether or not the lab has a crime scene unit, and any other pertinent details. Include how your information was obtained. Due 1/30

 

#2: Discuss and compare the perspectives of the attorney (Chapter 31) and the scientist (Chapter 30) regarding science and the law. What are the similarities and differences? Due 2/6

 

#3: Complete a sketch of a “crime scene” that you will set up (in your home, etc.) A handout will be distributed in class detailing the requirements for your sketch. Due 2/13

 

#4: Research the medical examiner or coroner system of a state other than Maryland (you may use Wash, DC). Describe the system, including how long it has been in place, what types of positions people hold, and what the educational/ experience qualifications are for employment for those positions. Include how your information was obtained. Due 2/0

 

#5: Research a case that applies forensic anthropology to archeological evidence, and describe the methods used to identify human remains. Turn in a photocopy of the article with your assignment. Due 2/27

 

#6: Find an article concerning forensic serology in the Journal of Forensic Sciences (located in the Library). Write an account of the techniques used and the cases and/or research cited. Turn in a photocopy of the article with your assignment. Due 3/6

 

#7: Find an article from a newspaper, magazine, journal, or the Internet concerning a case involving DNA evidence. The article must be recent - dated after 2000. Describe the facts of the case, what type of DNA testing was conducted, and the outcome of the case (was the suspect charged, exonerated, etc.) Turn in a photocopy of the article with your assignment. Due 3/13

 

#8: Research and analyze a case involving hairs, fibers, glass, paint, or other trace evidence. Include the parties involved, the date and location, a brief summary of the facts, and how forensic science was utilized to resolve the case. Turn in a photocopy of the article with your assignment.  Due 3/20

 

#9: Research and analyze a case involving terrorism and explosives as forensic evidence (WTC, plane crashes, etc.)  Describe what agency(s) investigated the case and how, and describe the forensic evidence involved. Turn in a photocopy of the article with your assignment. Due 3/27

 

#10: Complete a handout of fingerprint comparisons. Due 4/3

 

#11: Complete a handout of shoewear examination questions. Due 4/3

 

#12: Research and describe a case involving firearms evidence. Discuss the type of forensic evidence examined, and what types of examinations were conducted. Turn in a photocopy of the article with your assignment.  Due 4/24

 

#13: Complete a handout of questioned document examination questions Due 5/1

 

#14:.Research and describe the types of drug tests conducted at a local, state, or federal toxicology lab. Include which is the most common drug received and tested. Turn in a photocopy of the article with your assignment. Due 5/8

 

#15: Using the Internet, create a “Top Ten Web Sites” list for a particular topic within forensic science (do NOT use the topic “forensic science”). Include a web site address, a description of the site, and your evaluation based on it’s usefulness for research and information. Due 5/15 – the class of the final exam.

 

Interview Project

Conduct an interview with an employee of a local, state or federal crime lab. A handout of suggested questions will be given. Note: begin contacting your sources early so that you may complete this assignment on time. Interviews may be conducted in person, or via phone, fax or email. Since you have several months to complete this project, I expect a thorough interview, typed, in Q and A format. This assignment is worth 100 points of your grade.

 

 

Extra Credit Assignments

 

Each extra credit assignment is worth 20 marks

 

You may do each of the three assignments only once for a total of 60 marks

 

The specifics of each assignment should be discussed with me prior to attempting the assignment.

 

bullet Select a major contributor to the field of forensic science and explore that person’s career and ideas. Give biographical information, discuss the impact this person had in the field, and include a bibliography of the person’s writings.

 

bullet Select a non-fiction book on a specific topic in forensic science and write a critical review.

 

bullet Attend a session of the Maryland District Court or Circuit Court and report on the testimony of an expert witness.

 

All extra credit assignments are due by 5/8