Register for Forensic Soil Microscopy Class

Comparative Microscopy of Soils

Held on December 8-12, 2014          

Taught by Skip Palenik
Developed and taught by leading forensic microscopist Skip Palenik, this advanced forensic microscopy course covers the basic principles of soil comparison. Students will study the composition and origin of soils and approaches to scientific soil comparison through lectures, demonstrations and laboratory exercises.

Small soil samples are literally taken apart and separated into clay, silt- and sand-size fractions, light and heavy minerals, and concentrates of pollen, spores, diatoms and phytoliths. At each stage, appropriate methods of analysis are explained and demonstrated before students conduct their own laboratory exercises. Interpretation of the result is based on geological and forensic principles, which are explained as students progress through the week-long course. Proficiency in polarized light microscopy is required.

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