After spending years processing mock murders in the cramped confines of a small storage room inside Filley Hall, forensic science students at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln are now getting to stretch their crime scene investigation skills at the Crime Scene House on East Campus.
There was a murder in the basement of Filley Hall this semester — or at least, the staging of a homicide crime scene. Signs of struggle were obvious. A desk chair was tipped over. Blood was splattered and items and substances were strewn about. What happened?
Students in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Forensic Science Capstone class opened UNLFL Case #2021-0001, and began an investigation. They spent the better part of spring semester meticulously processing the scene, examining evidence, conducting laboratory tests and testifying in mock court.
By Erin Bauer & Kathy Schindler
The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln launched the CASNR Change Maker Competition for prospective and current students who dare to dream big and do the extraordinary to address worldwide issues. The video competition was held April 20 through May 15 and attracted more than 50 submissions, each pitching their big idea to address our global society’s grandest challenges.
On Friday, May 9th 2020 the Forensic Science Program had 17 students graduate in UNL's very first digital celebration. Due to the rigor of the program, graduating with a degree in Forensic Science at the University of Nebraska is quite an achievement and these students deserve a congratulations! The program wishes each student all the best!
Professor Bauer in the Entomology Program and Professor Barksdale in Forensic Science teamed up this past Sunday, October 6th to meet with some local Girl Scouts. They held four sessions with about 80 girls and their parents in one of the Forensic Science Labs in Filley Hall. These sessions were on how to identify insects and how forensic scientists use entomology to solve crimes.
Jenna Kacheroski was a May 2019 graduate from the Forensic Science- Biology Program and has now landed a job with AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America). AmeriCoprs is the domestic alternative to the Peace Corps. She works at a small rural clinic in Oregon that provides behavioral health, public health, and health education services to residents and visitors of the county. Her official title is Breastfeeding and Health Equity Coordinator.
The UNL Forensic and Entomology Departments has conducted pig research the last two summers to observe how insect species visit the bodies of deceased pigs in different scenarios (control, hanging, in the trunk of a car, and clothed). At a death scene, insects visit a body in a fairly predictable pattern, or succession. Knowing what insects are associated with which stage of decomposition can help law enforcement in the field determine post mortem interval and help in solving crimes.
Kate Reno earned her degree in Forensic Science with a concentration in CSI in 2016. She landed a job at Wells Fargo in Home Mortgage, which got her into the "financial realm" to eventually get a job at US Bank in the Anti-Money Laundering department. While in the AML, she reviewed customer accounts then alerted unusual activity to determine if it was indicative of potential money laundering. After about a year, she moved to the OFAC Sanctions Screening department where she reviewed individual transactions to see if there were hits against the OFAC sanctions list.
Justine Laviolette graduated from our program in Spring 2016 with a degree in Forensic Science and Insect Science and a minor in Philosophy. She landed a position working for Monsanto in the Bee Health Lab then started graduate school at UNL in 2017 in the Entomology department. Her future plans are to have a successful video program educating the public about science using puppets and parodies. She really appreciates how the Forensic Science program has given her a depth of knowledge in a variety of science backgrounds.