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Forensic Science Students Delve into Crime Scene Investigation

At the scene of the crime, they photographed, sketched, and seized the evidence.

It was all in a day's work for the students in the first class of the Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science program, who explored mock crime scenes set up at Trent University's Argyle Street location on November 15.

For the mock crime scene activity, the students put themselves in the shoes - or more aptly, the protective booties - of forensic investigators. Applying what they've learned so far this year, the students collected evidence that they will then see through a mock court process, explains Professor Greg Connolley. Evidence in one case, included a blood splattered wall and kleenex, along with a kitchen knife.

This assignment was part of the first-year forensics course that also includes mock trials, case studies and bloodstain pattern analysis, among other activities. The course mirrors the full four-year program providing students with insight into everything from crime scene investigation to the laboratory environment and the legal system. The Trent degree, designed and taught with the support of the Centre for Law and Justice at Fleming College, is unique in that it exposes students to this advanced activity and course of study early on.

Dr. Paul Wilson, assistant professor in Trent's Biology department, and forensics supervisor, Natural Resources DNA Profiling and Forensics Centre, teaches the course with Prof. Connolley, a retired OPP officer, from Fleming's Centre for Law and Justice.

The Forensic Science degree, new this year, integrates the study of investigative practice and theory, science and law. Courses and teaching methods used in the program are current and contemporary, and content is shaped by the latest forensic theory and practice, thanks to partnerships with an array of forensic practitioners.

This new program will further enhance Peterborough's readiness to expand as a centre for excellence through the Greater Peterborough Region DNA Cluster. Similarly, DNA research and partnership activity will strongly support the curriculum.

Posted November 15, 2004

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