HOOKE COLLEGE OF APPLIED SCIENCES

MEI615: Forensic Soil Examination

The Forensic Soil Examination Part 1 course covers the forensic examination and comparison of soil. The class emphasizes methods and procedures used in the forensic community for soil analysis. Part 1 covers the forensic aspects of soil analysis, sample handling and processing with only an introduction to mineral identification. Part 2 emphasizes mineral identification. Lectures and laboratory exercises are devoted to soil collection, separation and particle identification. The characterization and identification of minerals and rock fragments, botanicals, and man-made particles such as glass, paint and metals using stereobinocular and polarized light microscopy (PLM) is stressed. Instrumental techniques such as scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), infra-red spectroscopy (FT-IR), cathodoluminescence, and x-ray diffraction (XRD) are also discussed and demonstrated. Throughout the week actual case studies are used for illustration. Proper note-taking, report writing and court testimony skills round out the workshop.

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