Hooke College of Applied Sciences Present Workshop for Forensics Experts at The American Academy of Forensic Sciences 63rd Annual Scientific Meeting
Westmont, IL (Feb 28, 2011) – Instructors from Hooke College of Applied Sciences (HCAS), the education division of The McCrone Group, presented a two-day Microscopy Workshop for Trace Evidence Examiners and Forensic Serologists at the 63rd Annual Scientific Meeting of The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). The meeting, held February 21-26, 2011 in Chicago, IL, is the world’s largest gathering of forensics professionals.
The two-day four-session workshop, held February 21-22, was specifically designed for forensic scientists who must recover and analyze microscopic evidence. The workshop attracted 30 trace evidence examiners and forensic serologists.
Workshop participants were led by HCAS instructors through various particle handling, sample isolation and imaging techniques. Using hands-on instruction, a hallmark of the HCAS curriculum, participants left with the understanding and real-world experience in the analysis of microscopic-sized forensic evidence, including trace evidence and DNA evidence.
Trace evidence and DNA collection and analysis continue to be an essential part of crime scene investigations. From fibers to gunshot residues, paint pigment to skin particles, when properly isolated, characterized and analyzed these microtraces can place a victim or a perpetrator at the scene of the crime or accident –– evidence that has proved to be a strong factor in the solution of many cases. As research leads to more sensitive analytical techniques, the proper handling of the microscopic evidence becomes even more crucial.
The McCrone Group’s analytical division, McCrone Associates (MA), and instrument sales division, McCrone Microscopes & Accessories (MMA), were also in attendance. MA scientists, Kirsten Kelley-Primozic and Bianca Vigil, presented a tape lift study that identified which adhesives were most successful in collecting microscopic trace and biological evidence. Senior Research Scientist Craig Schwandt, Ph.D. presented a soil characterization technique that would improve quantitative soil comparison by using a wavelength dispersive spectrometer X-ray mapping method. Scott Stoeffler, Senior Research Microscopist, will be holding a session summarizing the current state of forensic science education and ways on which to improve it.
MMA exhibited its line of forensic microscopy and trace evidence analysis instrumentation, including the JEOL NeoScope benchtop scanning electron microscope and Olympus Polarizing microscopes.
About Hooke College of Applied Sciences
Hooke College of Applied Sciences provides education and training to government and industry scientists and technicians worldwide. In addition to an undergraduate program offered in collaboration with Concordia University Chicago, Hooke College of Applied Sciences has more than 45 specialized continuing education courses in materials analysis. Topics covered include light and electron microscopy, spectroscopy, sample preparation, chemistry and laboratory safety, and image analysis. The new 40,000 square foot learning center at Hooke College of Applied Sciences contains classrooms and laboratories with state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation, as well as a 140-seat auditorium. Hooke College of Applied Sciences is a member of The McCrone Group, which is internationally known as the premier microscopy resource, based in Westmont, Illinois. For more information, visit
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