URI Forensic Seminar Series to address bomb threats, DNA analysis, psychiatry

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KINGSTON, R.I. – September 20, 2016 – Handling bomb threats, training bomb dogs, and DNA analysis are among the topics that will be explored during the University of Rhode Island’s Forensic Science Seminar Series for the fall of 2016.

On Fridays, through Dec. 9, the seminars will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the new Richard E. Beaupre Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences, 140 Flagg Road, room 100, the Victor J. Baxt Lecture Hall. All seminars are free and open to the public. The speakers and their topics are:

Sep. 23: Eric Gahagan, founder of OPS15, “Handling Bomb Threats.” OPS15 is a network of professionals from the law enforcement and military community that collaborates with chemists to help prepare others for threats to their safety.

Sep. 30: Mark Linhard, Connecticut State Police Trooper, “Training Bomb Dogs.” Linhard will share his knowledge about accelerant and electronic storage detection in regards to canine training.

Oct. 7: Marcela Najarro, will discuss the NIST Trace Contraband Detection Program. Najarro has been a research chemist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology since 2005. She focuses on forensic chemistry/toxicology and the detection and identification of drugs and abuse. She is also developing trace explosives standards.

Oct. 14: Michael Sigman, will present Validating Forensic Inference: A Likelihood Ratio Approach. Sigman is associate professor of chemistry at the University of Central Florida. Sigman spent 12 years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee conducting research in environmental photochemistry explosives. He then moved to the University of Central Florida where he also serves as assistant director for physical evidence at the National Center for Forensic Science.

Oct. 21: Al Hazen of St. Joseph University, will discuss The Various Forensic Sciences Used in Solving Criminal Cases.

Oct. 28: Daniel Greenfield, professor of neuroscience at Seton Hall University, “Forensic Psychiatry in a Nutshell.” He will discuss medicine, psychiatry and the law.

Nov. 4: Doug Klapec, “Bureau of Alcohol Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.” Klapec will share stories from his work at the ATF forensic science laboratory.

Nov. 11: Holiday

Nov. 18: Ed Pierce, former member of the Warwick Police Department,

“Law enforcement Issues with Non Traditional Groups.”

Nov. 25: Holiday

Dec. 2: Melissa Taylor of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, “Human Factor.” Taylor will deliver a lecture that discusses human factors and forensic science.

Dec. 9: Vincent Desiderio, forensic chemist with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, “Using Science to Protect the US Postal Service & Its Customers.” Desiderio will discuss how the postal service detects unsafe materials being sent through the mail. He will talk about the steps taken by the postal service to ensure the safety of the U.S. mail and its customers through the use of science.

Joshua Reyes, an intern in the University’s Department of Marketing and Communication and a public relations major, wrote this release.