Fundamentals of Forensic Science

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9780123567628: Fundamentals of Forensic Science

Fundamentals of Forensic Science offers a complete look at the core topics of forensic science.

It represents the most realistic view of the field by including areas that, while central to criminal investigation, fall outside the typical definition of criminalistics. These areas include pathology, entomology, anthropology, and other areas of scientific study unique to forensic textbooks.

Organized by the timeline of a real case, the text begins with an introduction and history of forensic science. It then covers the methods of analysis used in most forensic examinations, addressing the biological, chemical and physical elements relevant to the field, and concluding with an examination of how forensic science intersects with law. Feature boxes throughout the text contain online resource listings, historical events in forensic science, practical issues in laboratory analysis, and topics for further reading or interest.

This book is recommended for students in forensic science and professionals in the various forensic disciplines – fire, chemistry, crime scene, trace evidence, law enforcement personnel, lawyers, and defense attorneys.



- Vivid, full-color illustrations that diagram key concepts and depict evidence encountered in the field
- Straightforward unit organization that includes key terms, numerous feature boxes emphasizing resources on the World Wide Web, historical events in forensic science, practical issues in laboratory analysis, and topics for further reading
- Effective pedagogy -including end-of-chapter questions- paired with a clear writing style makes this an invaluable resource for professors and students of forensic science

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Book Description:

Introductory text that takes the most complete look at the core topics within forensic science.

About the Author:

Dr. Max M. Houck is an internationally-recognized forensic expert with research interests in forensic science, education, and the forensic enterprise and its industries. He has worked in all aspects of forensic science, including at the FBI Laboratory. Dr. Houck has published widely in books and peer-reviewed journals. His anthropology and trace evidence casework includes the Branch Davidian Investigation, the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon, the D.B. Cooper case, the US Embassy bombings in Africa, and the West Memphis Three case, among hundreds of others. He served for six years as the Chair of the Forensic Science Educational Program Accreditation Commission (FEPAC). Dr. Houck is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a founding Co-Editor of the journal Forensic Science Policy and Management.

Jay Siegel, PhD is retired Director of the Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. He was Director of the Forensic Science Program at Michigan State University for 25 years from 1980-2004 until his retirement as Professor Emeritus. Dr. Siegel is a Distinguished Member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and was named as Distinguished Alumni Scholar by his alma mater, George Washington University in 2011. He is co-editor of Forensic Science Policy and Management: An International Journal. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Forensic Science Committee from 2006-09.

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Max M. Houck; Jay A. Siegel
Published by Academic Press (2006)
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