Sunday, October 25, 2009

What des it take to be a forensic scientist and how?

Well to start with it will take better care of your diction!If you want to become a medical examiner and coroner and do autopsy's you will have to become a MD a pathologist - a studier of diseases of the human body, and that is not and easy task in itself.Then you will be required to examine dead bodies and extract physical specimens from corpses. You got a stomach for that?? After which, you will be required to perform autopsies on the corpses, in necessary and determine the cause of death - It all ain't the glimmer of Quincy!
The skills and the ability to become one. It's marvelously simple for an intelligent person.
Sadly, I saw a book called "Forensic Science for Dummies" in Barnes and Noble last week. It has a lot of good info on what is involved in getting into the career and what to expect while in it.
First, you will need a bachelor's degree in a science-related field of study. Second, you will have to earn a masters of forensic science degree (available at many universities around the US).
Actually it's not as complicated as everyone is making it seem. It also isn't as good as CSI makes it look. Define Forensic Scientist. That could be a coroner, fingerprint analysist etc. Believe it or not you can do many forms of forensic science by simply completing a program at a junior college. Look into it.
It all depends on what you want to do in the forensic field. There are lots of different jobs. The first big group is under the heading Comparative Sections. This includes:
Latent Fingerprints
---print development and ID
---shoe/tire track impression
Firearms (not ballistics)
---distance determination
---serial # restoration
---toolmark impressions
---weapon function tests
Questioned Documents
---authenticity of handwriting/typewriting
---indented handwriting - ESDAThe other big group is the Analytical Sections. This includes:
Microanalysis (or Trace Evidence)
---hair, fibers, glass, paint, etc
---drugs, alcohol, poisons, arson, explosives
---body fluid determination
---species origin tests (human or animal)
---DNA profiling
Computer Evidence Recovery
---computer crimesThen there are the Support Sections. This includes:
Evidence Intake
---proper packaging and handling of evidence
Crime Scene Response Unit
---travel to crime scene
---reconstruct crime scenes
---develop pictures taken by CSRU
---enhance video/picturesDifferent sections require different qualifications. For instance you will need a chemistry background to do anything in Toxicology. However, a criminal justice degree will be essential for Latent Fingerprints. Sometimes places will want you to have experience in both fields. Many colleges and universities offer criminal justice as a major now so if you're not sure just yet, take a couple classes and see how it goes. Talk to professors about pros and cons of different jobs.

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