|| EA32710 |
|| FORENSIC GEOSCIENCE |
|| 2004/2005 |
|| Dr Nicholas J G Pearce |
|| Semester 2 |
|| Dr Debra J Croft |
|| No specific pre-requisites but students are recommended to have taken a level 2 statistics/data analysis module and a level 2 analytical lab module |
| Course delivery
|| Lecture || 16 Hours |
|| Practical || 5 Hours |
|| Seminars / Tutorials || 3 Hours |
|Assessment Type||Assessment Length/Details||Proportion|
|Semester Exam||2 Hours Examination 1 compulsory question and a choice of 1 of 2 others||50%|
|Semester Assessment|| Research project based on group work, with a short report and presentation (group mark moderated for individual input)
|Supplementary Exam||2 Hours Examination 1 compulsory question and a choice of 1 of 2 others||50%|
|Supplementary Assessment|| Submit re-written report on the group work project (to IGES office by day of exam). Marks from presentation to be carried forward.||50%|
Learning outcomesOn successful completion of this module students should be able to:
Demonstrate an understanding of the forensic science framework operating in the UK and elsewhere, and the requirements of the legal system
Describe and evaluate a range of the analytical methods available in the forensic geoscience field
Analytically assess data produced from the use of some of these methods
Identify, retrieve and utilise the information and resources available in the forensic science field
Critically assess information and summarise for other colleagues.
Specify and evaluate the requirements necessary to undertake forensic casework.
Analyse and present information to an audience, both individually and by working collaboratively in a team by undertaking a research project.
A introductory course in the specialism of Forensic Geoscience covering: the legal framework (in the UK and elsewhere), the validity of use of analytical techniques in a forensic context, issues of sampling, evidence handling and storage (including record keeping), the types of cases (criminal and civil) to which earth science techniques are appropriate, evidential sources and materials (particularly rocks and soil), an outline of the available techniques for the chemical, biological and physical characterization of samples, a more in depth look at certain techniques (including geochemistry), statistical analysis of data, reporting and expert witness testimony.
Introduction and course outline; casework examples; outline of the legal framework (UK and elsewhere); history of forensic science.
Brief outline of the many available techniques for the chemical, biological and physical characterisation of samples; history of forensic geoscience use, the validity of techniques in a forensic context. Outline of the 'Daubert Criteria' -case examples.
Criminal and civil contexts. Serious crime, pollution, engineering failure, building materials science, etc. Discussion of group case project and report.
Maps and other published data - use and limitations. Issues of sampling, evidence handling and storage (including record keeping), potential evidential sources and materials (particularly rocks and soil) to be examined.
Chemical characterisation (particularly geochemistry). Guided practical work on chemical data sets based on a case scenario.
Physical characterisation (colour, particle size, shape, grain counting). Guided practical work.
Biological characterisation (diatoms, pollen, spores, plant parts, fossils,etc.) and anthropogenic components (glass, hair, fibres, etc.). Workplace specific materials. Guided practical work.
Statistical analysis of data, weight of evidence, reporting and expert witness testimony.
Combinations of techniques and data for group case project - case examples.
K. Pye and D.J. Croft (2004) Forensic Geoscience: Principles, Techniques and Applications
Geological Society, London
S. A. Schumm (1998) To interpret the earth: ten ways to be wrong
Cambridge University Press
R.C Murray (2004) Evidence from the Earth - forensic geology & criminal investigation
Peter White (Editor) (2004) Crime scene to court : the essentials of forensic science
2nd ed.. Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge
Alan Wild (1993) Soils and the environment : an introduction
Cambridge University Press
R.C.O. Gill (1997) Modern analytical geochemistry
J.C. Davis (1986) Statistics and data analysis in geology
M. J. Singer, D. N. Munns (1996) Soils : an introduction
Prentice Hall (or later version)
B. Robertson and G. A. Vignaux (1995) Interpreting evidence : evaluating forensic science in the courtroom
G Shuirman, J.E. Slosson (1992) Forensic engineering : environmental case histories for civil engineers and geologists
R.C. Murray (2000) Devil in the Details
Geotimes, 45 (2), pp.14-17 or http://www.forensicgeology.net/science.htm
This module is at CQFW Level 6