“CSI Reality: Chemistry in the Crime Labs.” A short presentation followed by Q&A with speaker Jason Schaff, forensic toxicologist with the Chemistry Unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory. Event moderated by Melissa Smrz, (Ret.) Deputy Director of FBI Laboratory.
What do a mysterious white powder, a blood smear, and a moldy ham sandwich have in common? To the average person, probably not much, but to a forensic chemist, these items might tell quite a bit about what happened when, where, and why. Despite the mystical cachet of popular TV shows, forensic chemists usually need to be well-versed in the widest possible array of analytical technologies, and must be able to quickly adapt proven methods to new types of samples. Join us to learn the different disciplines within forensic chemistry, and get an in-depth perspective of day-to-day life in a forensic laboratory. Join live and you may also uncover a new secret…
View flyer as PDF
Download Presentation Slides!
What You Will Learn
- What forensic chemists really do in the lab
- How forensics differs from and relates to other chemical disciplines
- For better or for worse, CSI in real life vs. television!
- Career paths and educational expectations in forensic chemistry
- And much more…
Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011
Time: 2:00-3:00 pm ET
Meet Your Expert
Dr. Jason Schaff has worked for the last eleven years as a forensic toxicologist with the Chemistry Unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory. There he analyzes a wide variety of specimens submitted by various federal, state, and local agencies, supporting investigations of product tampering, drug-facilitated sexual assaults, public corruption, suspicious deaths of U.S. citizens overseas, and various other crimes. Dr. Schaff received a B.S. in chemistry in 1991 from Yale University and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry in 1997 from the University of Minnesota. After completing his doctorate, he spent two years on a fellowship at the Indiana University Medical Center developing methods of analysis for anabolic steroids in an International Olympic Committee-accredited drug testing laboratory.
Meet the Moderator
Ms. Melissa Smrz served as the Deputy Director of the FBI Laboratory from July 2004 until January 2011, where she oversaw the daily operations of two forensic science sections, one operational response section responsible for FBI crime scene and WMD crime scene response, and the section responsible for staffing, budget formulation, research, evidence control and quality assurance and training. She oversaw a staff of nearly 800 employees in 27 units. Ms. Smrz retired from the FBI on January 31, 2011, and is now employed as a Staff Inspector for the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB). Ms. Smrz is a single mother, having adopted her daughter, now 12, from a Russian orphanage in 2000. They enjoy traveling, soccer, basketball, playing with their pet cats and dog, and following Iowa Hawkeye football.
- “Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science” by Richard Saferstein (This is a broad overview of all forensic sciences, not just chemistry, that would probably be appropriate for a freshman undergraduate audience.)
- “Forensic Chemistry” by Suzanne Bell (Written at a level that is probably appropriate for middle-level undergraduates.)
The Fine Print
ACS Webinars™ does not endorse any products or services. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the presenters and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the American Chemical Society.