Slideshow: Students learn forensic process during laboratory tour
by Chynna Lockett |
What happens to crime scene evidence after it’s collected? Students from the Forensic Science and Criminal Justice course saw the process in action during a tour of the Alaska Department of Public Safety Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory. They learned how to collect and analyze common types of evidence found at crime scenes including fingerprints, footprints and DNA.
The course, taught by Brad Myrstol from the Justice Center, is an introduction to criminal forensics. It’s a versatile course that helps students who aren’t pursuing a degree in science understand the forensic process. Students who are majoring in science can learn how their fields intersect with criminal justice. Brad Myrstol said the course helps students understand the transformation of scientific facts into legal facts.
“The design is relatively unique within the context of the Justice BA curriculum. It is intensely focused on the practice of forensic science, and then how the results of forensic analyses are used as evidence in criminal legal proceedings.”
Myrstol continued, “Activities like the tour of the Crime Lab allow students to see, firsthand, the context in which the many forms of forensic evidence are analyzed, and to interact with the scientists and technicians who perform those analyses. They can then bring that knowledge back into the classroom with them to better understand both the contributions and limitations of forensic evidence and forensic science in the criminal justice system.”