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Viewing: ENT 305 : Introduction to Forensic Entomology

Last approved: Wed, 27 Sep 2017 08:02:27 GMT

Last edit: Wed, 27 Sep 2017 08:02:27 GMT

Catalog Pages referencing this course
Change Type
Major
ENT (Entomology)
305
023146
Dual-Level Course
Cross-listed Course
No
Introduction to Forensic Entomology
Intro Forensic ENT
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Entomology & Plant Pathology (11ENT)
Term Offering
Fall Only
Offered Every Year
Fall 2017
Previously taught as Special Topics?
No
 
Course Delivery
Face-to-Face (On Campus)

Grading Method
Graded with S/U option
3
16
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Lecture3.0
Course Attribute(s)
GEP (Gen Ed)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
No
 
 
Michael H Reiskind
Assistant Professor

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Enrollment ComponentPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments
Lecture2424NoWe usually fill up, and the room only holds 24 max.
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote

Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
No
This course provides a broad overview of forensic entomology-a specialized field of entomology employed in medicocriminal investigations. Forensic entomology relies on knowledge of insect ecology, biology, taxonomy, physiology and development to elucidate the circumstances surrounding death. The role of arthropods associated with decomposed human remains is one of several valued disciplines in forensic sciences. Understanding the general principles of forensic entomology and their application will be the focus of this course.

No changes made - updating NS status


No

Is this a GEP Course?
Yes
GEP Categories
Natural Sciences
Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 
1. Proficiency and knowledge in the collection and analysis of entomological data for legal investigations.
 
 
1. This objective is assessed both by exams and project work. Exams are a combination of multiple choice, short and long answers. Projects include rearing flies from egg to adults, an insect collection of forensically important arthropods involving visits to decaying carcasses (of pigs), calculations of post-mortem interval (PMI), and the review of primary scientific literature in forensic entomology.

Example Question from exam: Essay 1: Post-mortem Interval Calculations.
You are called out to investigate a suspicious death in southern North Carolina, near Pembroke, in a wooded area. The body is in a state of active decay (with an wound to the neck). You collect insects from several parts of the body. You come back to your lab with many vials of preserved maggots from several parts of the decedent’s body, which were collected between 3-4pm on August 15, 2015. You identify the following insects:
Neck: 14 post-feeding (empty crops), third instar Phormia regina (Calliphoridae), 127 active feeding (full crops), third instar P. regina, 600 second instar P. regina, 10 third-instar (full crops) C. macellaria, 250 second instar Cochliomyia macellaria, and 314 second instar Lucilia coeruleviridis.
Face: 320 active feeding (full crops), third instar P. regina, 120 second instar P. regina, 36 third-instar (full crops) C. macellaria, 27 second instar C. macellaria, and 31 second instar L. coeruleviridis.
Groin: 674 second instar C. macellaria, 325 second instar Sarcophagidae: Unk. Unk., and 27 second instar Scatophaga stercoraria (Scathophagidae)
Body: 10 post-feeding (empty crops), third instar P. regina, plus several Necrophilia americana (Silphidae), Creophilius maxillosus (Staphylinidae), and Saprinus pennsylvanicus (Histeridae).
SPECIES
EGG
1stInstar
2ndInstar
3rd Instar (feeding)
3rd Instar (post-feeding)
Pupae
P. regina
16.5
18
26
58
122
134
C. macellaria
18
23
34
52
90
125
L. coeruleviridis
NO DATA
NO DATA
NO DATA
NO DATA
NO DATA
NO DATA
Table 1. Growth data, in hours, for different stages of P. regina, and C. macellaria at 25° C.
Date
Daily Average (°C)
8/15/14
26
8/14/14
27
8/13/14
27
8/12/14
25
8/11/14
24
8/10/14
24
8/9/14
23
8/8/14
27
8/7/14
28
8/6/14
29
8/5/14
23


Table 2. Weather data from University of North Carolina-Pembroke weather station for the 10 days previous to the discovery of the body.






Your task is to provide calculations for the post-mortem interval. Use the preceding data to make the most accurate possible calculation, and show your work (partial credit will be given):
You also must talk about what assumptions you are making in providing the best possible estimate of PMI.
 
 
1. Proficiency in the expression of entomological (and scientific, more generally) data in a legal framework, both written and verbal.
 
 
1. Students write an evidenced-based, expert case report as if they are writing it for a lawyer. They also then provide (in group work) a mock testimony in front of two opposing counsels (yes, I get a couple of real lawyer friends) and are cross examined. This provides both a written and verbal assessment of their mastery of the articulation of forensic entomology in setting similar to the real world.
Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
&
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:
 
 

 
 

 
Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Requisites and Scheduling
100
 
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.
 
None
 
b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?
 
None
 
List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.
 
None
 
List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)
 
None
Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
 
Title and author of any required text or publications.
 

 
Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.
 

 
List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.
 

This is an existing course, already part of my course load.

This three-credit class will examine the application of entomology (the study of insects) to legal proceedings.  The subject matter is divided into three areas: crime scene investigation (evidence collection), basic entomology (systematics, ecology, and physiology), and how entomology and the legal system interact (includes proper collection and treatment of evidence, crime scenes, evidentiary system and testifying).  Although forensic entomology has applications in a number of legal areas, including civil cases of liability, a major focus will be issues surrounding suspicious death, and the recreation of the circumstances of death using arthropods as witnesses.  


Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:



  1. collect and analyze entomological data for legal investigations.

  2. explain and defend entomological data in a court of law.

  3. describe the role of arthropods in decomposition.


Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Multiple exams300
Exams I and II will be a combination of multiple choice, short and long essay. They will cover any aspect of the material for a given section of the course. Exam I will be worth 100 points, while exam II will be cumulative for the whole course and worth 200 points.
Written Assignment150Case Report: Writing is a critical skill for anyone planning on being a professional. This includes people going into science, law or criminology. To become a better writer it takes practice. So, we will have a short writing assignment in this class, taking the form of a case report. Each of you will be assigned a case in which you will be given entomological information regarding a legal situation. You will then be responsible for writing a brief, well-crafted, crystal clear distillation of the data to be read by a judge. We will spend part of one day (in the next few weeks) talking about what this will entail, and details about the assignment will be provided in a separate document. The case report will go through a peer-review process and then will be graded by your instructor on content, structure, clarity of writing, and overall expression. The breakdown of points: 100 points will be based on the instructor grade of the case report, 25 points based upon the quality of the peer review effort, and 25 points will be based upon the quality of the group presentation during the mock trial.
Participation150Participation will involve attendance in class, active participation in discussions, and feedback during the mock trial. By definition, the use of cell phones or other social media in class is not participating in class, and will result in the loss of five participation points. Although I will allow the use of lap-tops in class, if I become aware they are a distraction I will deduct five participation points from your grade. Participation will account for 25 points. In addition there will be five assignments to be done on your own time, worth 25 points each (a total of 125 points). These should be fun, or at least somewhat interesting, assignments. They will require some effort and writing, and will be graded primarily on effort, although a little on quality as well. Individual assignments detailed in syllabus.

aeherget (Thu, 10 Aug 2017 18:04:10 GMT): AECHH: Uploading updated syllabus at instructor and liaison's request via email 8/10/2017.
aeherget (Mon, 18 Sep 2017 17:58:24 GMT): AECHH: Uploading updated syllabus at instructor and liaison's request via email 9/18/2017.
Key: 5755