This book provides fundamental training in geoscience as developed though the lens of its forensic applications. It incorporates a range of topics including geophysical methods of grave detection, the mineralogy of art, identification of microfossils, and comparison of soil trace evidence samples. Each topic is introduced using core concepts that are developed with increasing complexity in order to give readers an understanding of the underlying scientific principles involved and a taste of the wide range of possible forensic uses. A variety of detailed reference tables have been compiled for the text and each chapter contains lists of references to applicable textbooks and journal articles. Examples of real criminal cases are also presented in each chapter to make the connections between theory and real world application. The goal of this book is to give readers a familiarity with the wide range of ways in which geoscience principles and geological materials can be utilized forensically.
Chapter 1. A Brief, Selective History of Forensic Science with an Emphasis on Geoscience
Chapter 2. Minerals: The Basic Building Blocks of Geology
Chapter 3. Rocks: The Story Books of the Earth
Chapter 4. Maps: Getting a Sense of Place
Chapter 5. Sand: To See the World in a Grain of Sand
Chapter 6. Gems and Gemstones: Those Most Precious of All Minerals
Chapter 7. Soils: Getting the Dirt on Crime
Chapter 8. The Geology of Art
Chapter 9. Fossils and Microfossils: Traces of Life
Chapter 10. Geology and People: Forensic Anthropology and Forensic Archaeology
Chapter 11. Environmental Forensics: Tracking Pollution to its Source
Elisa Bergslien is an Associate Professor at Buffalo State College. With a background in contaminant hydrogeology, she has been involved with the environmental law aspects of geology for years. In 2005, she begin teaching a Forensic Geoscience course as an elective for a well established Forensic Chemistry program and has been involved in research developing the science behind many of the assumptions used in forensic trace evidence examination. She is currently serving as the Information Officer for the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) Initiative on Forensic Geology.
... I was struck by its detail, both description of relevant interesting case studies and the very extensive description of geoscientific analysis of materials and techniques, together with an associated impressive amount of data, information and interpretive techniques. Being a chartered geologist with five years of forensic geoscience investigations behind me, I can say I was hugely impressed with such an extensive textbook, and feel I could recommend it to forensic geoscientist practitioners and undergraduate students alike.
- Dr Jamie K Pringle, Keele University