Matching Items (23)

133713-Thumbnail Image.png

Shark conservation and the impact of forensic science on current conservation efforts

Description

Marine conservation faces the unique challenge of trying to assess and protect species, like sharks, that have long migration tracks and are often targeted by fishing vessels in open and international waters. Over the last two decades, several large predatory

Marine conservation faces the unique challenge of trying to assess and protect species, like sharks, that have long migration tracks and are often targeted by fishing vessels in open and international waters. Over the last two decades, several large predatory shark populations have been greatly depleted despite local and international organizations designed to help regulate and prevent predator removal to avoid disturbing the food web those sharks balance (Myers, Baum, Shepherd, Powers, & Peterson, 2007). Forensic science is a powerful tool that could give shark conservation efforts an edge on identifying shark species currently being targeted by unsustainable fisheries in international waters. Allowing offenders who break international conservation laws to be prosecuted for their crimes. Unfortunately, this unique and powerful tool has not been given the opportunity to be utilized as it should be. An overview of national and international agencies, organizations, and laws disclosed a strong foundation for wildlife conservation. However, current international organizations and laws that govern international waters leave much to be desired in regards to protecting shark species that are threatened due to being popular targets for fishing vessels. This paper examines the level of forensic science involvement in shark conservation efforts through a literature review, revealing a severe lack of real-life application of forensic science to marine conservation cases. Current issues that marine wildlife forensic science encounters while attempting to increase forensic capability. And finally, presenting proposals for the future, and new challenges, which aim to strengthen the relationship between forensic science and marine conservation.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

133871-Thumbnail Image.png

Calculative Thought with a Meditative Purpose: Forensic Science and Hermeneutic Thought

Description

As human beings we go through the world interpreting – seeing a situation, gathering context, and making a decision on the meaning of the thing we just experienced. The philosopher Martin Heidegger calls this way of being hermeneutics – a

As human beings we go through the world interpreting – seeing a situation, gathering context, and making a decision on the meaning of the thing we just experienced. The philosopher Martin Heidegger calls this way of being hermeneutics – a practice of interpretation. This method of approach does not ignore a person’s bias, instead bias is highlighted, understood, and possibly even overcome. In the following pages the basic definition and process of hermeneutics will be discussed. Leading into the difference between calculative and meditative thought – scientific and philosophical – in order to later discuss the possibility and need to merge the two in the field of Forensic Science. Forensic Scientist uses hermeneutic thought by way of merging calculative and meditative thinking. In order to support this claim artistic renderings of ‘the pieces of an unknowable whole’ were created to literally illustrate this truth.
Forensic science is tasked with using calculative thinking with scientifically accepted methods of measurement and detection as well as the meditative task of applying their data to messy, real-world events. In order to support my supposition of forensic scientists being hermeneutical workers, three paintings were created. The three paintings can be considered a tryptic of sorts due to the context in which they are presented: forensic science. They each tell a story that is weaved within each other – spatter indicating violence long past, the empty void of a body gone, and the cold decomposition of a victim found. It is the forensic scientist that must interpret each piece separately and is tasked with finding how and why they are put together. The hermeneutical work of the forensic scientist interpreting a crime scene uses the same methods as one who interprets text. A forensic scientist opens possibilities of meaning in the same way that Martin Heidegger’s hermeneutic circle does. There is interplay between the interpreter (the forensic scientist) and the text (the crime scene), questions are formed (what happened here?) and responses are made (evidence found at the scene). This question and response outlook is what make the forensic scientist a hermeneutic thinker.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

133101-Thumbnail Image.png

Observer #9

Description

The culture surrounding death in America is one of science and silence. When possible, death is hidden away from the public view. When exposure to death is unavoidable, it is sensationalized, made into a spectacle. Our dying are put into

The culture surrounding death in America is one of science and silence. When possible, death is hidden away from the public view. When exposure to death is unavoidable, it is sensationalized, made into a spectacle. Our dying are put into hospice care, nursing homes, and other hidden spaces, or else they are plastered over the news and internet. So, we get one of two views of death: the sterile, silent death that happens in the presence of medical professionals or the bloody, tragic deaths that are constantly reported across news outlets and social media or sensationalized on entertainment platforms such as movies and video games. Entire genres of television and movies are created on the foundation of bloody deaths and we are exposed to the concept of death constantly.

Despite the consistent coverage of death on a large scale, the average person is not often exposed to death on a personal level in this day and age. The deaths we see on television or in the movies are not typically connected to people with whom we are attached and so we are not required to work through our emotional response and experience. We are afforded the space to be a casual observer in most of the deaths that we see—we do not need the emotional and mental tools to cope with death on a personal level. While this distance from death may be true of the American whole, it is not entirely generalizable. Professionals in select fields are required to deal with death on a much more regular basis than the average person, including, but not limited to, healthcare and forensic professionals. In these professions, death is a fundamental aspect of the job—either as an expected risk or a necessary precursor. These professionals deal intimately with death, its causes, and its effects on a regular basis because of their chose line of work and, in doing so, are regularly exposed to death and other trauma which has the potential to affect them on both a professional and personal level. In doing so, these professionals are required to, as scientists, analyze and record these experiences with death through the lens of objectivity. These professionals are expected to maintain a professional distance while also being required to give an empathetic response to other’s trauma. The potential effect of this secondary trauma on these professionals is only sharpened by the culture of machismo in these science-based fields that prevents many professionals from expressing emotions regarding their job and getting the social support they need from others within their community.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-12

133370-Thumbnail Image.png

Soil Changes from Exposure to Human Cadavers Over a One-Year Period

Description

The focus of human decomposition studies has traditionally been on how external factors affect the decomposition of a body. There is much less literature on how the decomposition of a human cadaver affects its local ecosystem. This study attempts to

The focus of human decomposition studies has traditionally been on how external factors affect the decomposition of a body. There is much less literature on how the decomposition of a human cadaver affects its local ecosystem. This study attempts to address the knowledge gap in current literature regarding how the decomposition of human cadavers affects the bioavailability of essential plant nutrients (P, K, Ca, Fe, C and N) as well as toxins (As and Pb) in soil. By studying the bioavailability of plant nutrients, especially nitrogen, and toxins, this research hopes to inform new technologies and techniques for locating clandestine gravesites. The objectives of this study were twofold: 1) determine whether soils exposed to cadaveric decomposition can be visually distinguished from one another via macroscopic and microscopic observation and 2) observe general changes in nutrient and toxic element bioavailability and changes in carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios over time as well as spatially across a body. Visual analyses of soil samples, both macro- and microscopically did not show potential in distinguishing soil exposed to cadaver decomposition from unexposed soil. Relative bioavailability as well as overall bioavailable concentrations of both plant nutrients and toxins were highly elevated after 12 months. Toxins, such as As and Pb, tended to have greater bioavailable concentrations at the near-torso positions, though no consistent spatial trends between nutrient bioavailable concentrations were observed between the three individuals. Nitrogen concentrations and nitrogen isotope (δ15N) ratios show strong potential as markers of clandestine graves throughout the study period. While this research demonstrates further need to uncover what factors influence bioavailability of elements in gravesoil, it shows that the bioavailability of plant nutrients and toxins as well as δ15N ratios are greatly affected by cadaver decomposition, and emerging technologies in gravesite detection based on plant or soil changes have a solid foundation.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

133529-Thumbnail Image.png

Distinguishing Post Mortem Faunal Predation from Intentional Sharp Force Trauma

Description

Due to the nature of animals, even domesticated pets, animal scavenging of human remains is an important taphonomic factor. This area of study has, however, been undercounted in the current literature. The purpose of this study was to begin the

Due to the nature of animals, even domesticated pets, animal scavenging of human remains is an important taphonomic factor. This area of study has, however, been undercounted in the current literature. The purpose of this study was to begin the first step in creating a taphonomic profile for urban / household animal scavenging as distinguishable from manmade tool marks. Using volunteered animals and regularly available tools, alterations were made on beef ribs in order to characterize the distinguishing profiles between the two groups. It was found that animal scavenging alterations, in the short term (20 minutes used in this study) have a distinctly different appearance than tool mark alterations. Animal scavenging has less visible alterations, consistent bite morphology across different species, and symmetrical cut marks along the midsection of the long bones. Ultimately, this study was a successful first step in furthering taphonomic alteration database research across various biomes and conditions.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

133284-Thumbnail Image.png

Possibility VS Practicality; A Study of the Sequential Processing of Fired Cartridge Casings

Description

There are unrealistic expectations of the forensic science discipline by the public today. More specifically about the types of evidence that can be recovered from a fired cartridge casing. The common misconception with the evidence that can be recovered from

There are unrealistic expectations of the forensic science discipline by the public today. More specifically about the types of evidence that can be recovered from a fired cartridge casing. The common misconception with the evidence that can be recovered from a cartridge casing is that all three types of evidence: DNA, latent prints, and firearms can be recovered from the same cartridge casing. However, just because some analyses are possible does not mean that they are practical. The definition of possibility is that an event can happen. However, the definition of practicality is not only that it can happen, but that the event should occur to optimize the efficiency of a given task. Through literature review of previous studies as well as experimental data, each discipline (DNA, latent prints, and firearms and toolmark analysis) were evaluated. For the experimental trials, three total experiments were carried out. Experiment one focused on the possibility aspect, so in experiment one the best conditions were simulated to receive a positive result. Experiment two focused on creating conditions that would occur at a crime scene, and experiment three refined those variables to serve as middle ground. After evaluation, each discipline was classified as possible and/or practical. These results were then used to determine practical sequential processing for a fired cartridge casing. After both experimentation and review, it was determined that the best possible sequential processing path for a cartridge casing collected at the crime scene to get the quickest information back is as follows: Firearms, DNA, Latent Prints.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

133559-Thumbnail Image.png

The Impact of Forensic Science on Society

Description

The Impact of Forensic Science on Society examines the relationship between forensic science and society. Before 2009, society believed forensic science to be a important investigative tool. When the National Academy of Sciences released a report in 2009 detailing the

The Impact of Forensic Science on Society examines the relationship between forensic science and society. Before 2009, society believed forensic science to be a important investigative tool. When the National Academy of Sciences released a report in 2009 detailing the issues within forensic science, society's opinion changed. This thesis analyzes factors that influenced the change in the relationship between forensic science and society, specifically focusing on the 2009 report, the CSI effect, the Innocence Project, and the role of the media. It also looks at how we can continue to improve forensic science, as well as how to strengthen the relationship between forensic science and society.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

131893-Thumbnail Image.png

"ForenSICK Science​" and the Use of YouTube as a Tool in Alternative Forensic Science Education

Description

Forensic science is the application of science to matters of law, especially criminal investigation and procedure.​ ForenSICK Science​, on the other hand, is an educational YouTube channel. It was created in early 2019 after listening to two people on a

Forensic science is the application of science to matters of law, especially criminal investigation and procedure.​ ForenSICK Science​, on the other hand, is an educational YouTube channel. It was created in early 2019 after listening to two people on a podcast confidently preach surprisingly inaccurate information about forensic science. My goal in the creation of the channel was to give people the proper information regarding the practice. This goal grew to encompass several different fields including continued education practices, informal and nonformal learning, and combating “science speak.” Using YouTube as a tool in this journey was the first step in combating forensic inaccuracies.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2020-05

Gender Variability in Latent Fingermark Degradation Studies

Description

Fingermarks have been used by law enforcement agencies to identify suspects in criminal activity. Although fingermarks remain persistent over time, the degradation pattern of latent fingermarks remains unknown. Previous studies examined the morphology of friction ridges on a two-dimensional scale,

Fingermarks have been used by law enforcement agencies to identify suspects in criminal activity. Although fingermarks remain persistent over time, the degradation pattern of latent fingermarks remains unknown. Previous studies examined the morphology of friction ridges on a two-dimensional scale, but recently 3D technology has been employed to examine how the height dimension degrades overtime. The Sa statistic was formulated to monitor the aging process of friction ridge heights from 6 donors. Fingermarks were deposited on two nonporous substrates (glass or plastic) and aged under dark or light exposure for 98 days. Pressure, time of contact, and treatment of finger prior to deposition were held constant while temperature and humidity were monitored throughout the study. Experimental variables included substrate and light exposure. Females exhibited slower degradation than males. For fingermarks deposited on glass, faster degradation was seen under light exposure. This finding was consistent for fingermarks deposited on plastic, but instrument contamination may have been possible. Slower degradation was seen on glass under both light exposures. This study indicates the Sa statistic is valuable for assessing fingermark degradation of friction ridges. However, due to a small sample size and variability in the rate of degradation between donors, genders, under different lighting and substrate conditions, the age of latent fingermarks cannot be determined at this time.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2020-05

134377-Thumbnail Image.png

The Effects of Serial Killers on FBI Policies & Investigations By: Joseph Muzupappa

Description

Serial killers have had a profound impact on the United States' most powerful law enforcement agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Through a brief history of the FBI, the birth of the Behavioral Analysis Unit is highlighted and criminal profiling

Serial killers have had a profound impact on the United States' most powerful law enforcement agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Through a brief history of the FBI, the birth of the Behavioral Analysis Unit is highlighted and criminal profiling is realized as a tool to apprehend these serial killers. Four serial killer cases are presented as important representations to illustrate the contributions that were made to the FBI's investigatory procedure. As serial killings make up only one percent of the murders in the U.S. each year, it is still evident that these cases have had a profound impact on the U.S.'s top law enforcement agency. The FBI has been able to react to each case more effectively than the last. Constant learning on the job, as each impactful case happens within a short time span from the last, has been a necessity for investigators and has been a prime strength of the FBI. There is no way to tell when an individual will begin to commit serial murder, so while the FBI's methods are not perfect, the Bureau has been able to respond in full to each challenge a new serial killer case has presented and arrest the guilty party. Through an analysis of the criminal profile, stereotypes attributed to serial killers, and the application of forensic evidence to serial killer investigations, the impact of the investigations of these cases by the FBI is examined. A real world application of the FBI's recommended procedure for a serial killer investigation is spotlighted and analyzed to determine its practicality in modern-day investigations.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2017-05