Instructors who teach this course:

Upcoming Dates

August 05, 2019 to August 09, 2019

Credits: 3 | Pricing: $1995 | Instructor: Jeff Hollifield
8:00AM - 5:00PM
8:00AM - 5:00PM
8:00AM - 5:00PM
8:00AM - 5:00PM
8AM - Noon

Are you interested in this course, but it is either not offered or not at a time that works with your schedule?

You will be contacted once this course becomes available.

Course Details

Course Outline
  • Applications and versatility of the light microscope
  • Principles of stereomicroscopy, including illumination techniques and magnification determinations
  • Manipulation and preliminary examination of trace evidence, including techniques for counting, measuring, isolating, mounting, and recording particles
  • Preliminary analysis and preparation of a miscellaneous trace evidence mixture including paint chips
  • Mechanical and optical alignment of the polarized light microscope (PLM)
  • (Student will use the Olympus BX51 PLM polarized light microscope)
  • Using the PLM to make measurements (micrometry) and calibration of the ocular micrometer
  • Using particle morphology to characterize and identify trace evidence
  • Analysis of human hair, animal hair, and natural fibers
  • Principles of plane polarized light, including refractive index measurements, pleochroism, contrast phenomena, and dispersion staining
  • Analysis of glass particles and glass look-alikes
  • Principles of crossed polarized light, including isotropy and anisotropy, extinction angles, retardation, and birefringence determinations using the Michel-Levy interference color chart
  • The use of compensators and how to determine sign of elongation
  • Analysis of synthetic fibers
  • Integration of microscopical methods as applied to trace evidence analysis and the identification of practice samples
  • Report writing and court testimony
What You Will Learn

Upon satisfactory completion of this course, the student will

  • Use a stereomicroscope for the initial examination of trace evidence
  • Perform general trace evidence sample preparation
  • Skillfully operate a polarized light microscope to obtain optical data for samples in question
  • Employ the theory and techniques of polarized light microscopy to the analysis of trace evidence
  • Observe, interpret, and record optical data obtained using light microscopy
  • Examine, characterize, and identify trace evidence commonly encountered in the crime lab
Who Should Enroll

• Inexperienced forensic scientists and criminalists with new responsibilities for trace evidence analysis.
• Newly assigned trace evidence examiners.

Student Learning Resources
  • Detailed course manual
  • Essentials of Polarized Light Microscopy by John Gustav Delly
  • Olympus BX51 microscope with polarized light capabilities
  • Olympus Stereomicroscope
  • The McCrone Atlas of Microscopic Particles, a free online reference aid to substance identification
  • Modern Microscopy, a free, peer-reviewed online journal for the professional microscopist.
  • All instrumentation, materials, and supplies necessary for successful completion of this course will be provided onsite by the Hooke College of Applied Sciences. 
Suggested Prerequisites
  • None—This course is designed as a basic introduction to microscopy and trace evidence analysis
Satisfactory Completion Requirements

Students are expected to successfully complete a variety of tasks in the form of hands-on exercises, laboratory exercises, identifications of unknowns, and quizzes. Students are notified at the end of the course whether or not they have successfully completed the requirements of the course based on:

  • 100% Attendance
  • Class participation
  • Completion of all course material
  • Completed and signed student evaluation form

Upon successfully meeting these requirements, a student is awarded a certificate of completion and CEU credits, if available. Those who have not successfully passed the course requirements do not receive a certificate or CEU credits.

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