Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $684,241)
The purpose of these funds will be used to deliver enhanced knowledge-based forensic science training to 200 trace evidence examiners. The state-of-the-art learning center will teach hands-on chemical microscopy and instrument courses in the areas of polarized light microscopy, infrared micro spectroscopy, Raman micro spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. The College of Microscopy (COM) will also offer seven instrumental forensic trace evidence courses: Introduction to Trace Evidence, White Powder Identification, Soil Analysis, Hair Identification and Comparison, Fiber Identification, Sperm Identification, and Particle Isolation and Manipulation. In most laboratories microscopy mainly falls under the category of trace evidence. In the 2002 Census of Publicly Funded Crime Labs it was estimated that 59% of laboratories performed trace analysis. At the year's end it was estimated that approximately 14,650 cases would be backlogged nationwide which averages out to 40/lab. With a small number of trace analysts this number could increase without the proper training.