All posts by Michelle Chernicoff

Leaving a mark on the St. Petersburg Science Festival

Kids at the St. Petersburg Science FestivalIt’s always a great day for science, but this Saturday was a perfect day to celebrate the sixth annual St. Petersburg Science Festival. NFSTC staff, Pinellas Park High School Criminal Justice Academy students and a University of South Florida St. Petersburg ROTC Cadet shared their knowledge with thousands of children on the USFSP campus.

In our expanded three-tent booth, kids were able to solve the puzzle of fingerprints; examine their own loop, whorl or arch; match the tire print; and check their cyber awareness. Once again, the highly coveted evidence bags were supplied by Lynn Peavey and were gone Louis the pug at the St. Petersburg Science Festival before we packed up.

Even our furry friends had a chance to check out the “CSI: Largo” tent.

If you missed out on the fun, visit our Facebook and Twitter accounts for more great action shots. You can also download our at-home activity guide to continue the investigation year-round.

  At-Home Chemistry Activities


  At-Home CSI Activities

Join us for Forensic Science Week

National Forensic Science Week Aug. 7-13, 2016In celebration of National Forensic Science Week’s fourth year, have a full week of highlighting the vital need for the industry as a public service. Forensic science has been in the spotlight and the hot seat. The truth is, when the science is properly used it can and will service justice.

All this week, we’ll be talking about the essentials for crime scene investigation, from the basics to what’s next in the field.

  • Monday– Crime Scene Photography: Not just another selfie
  • Tuesday– Forensic DNA: What we can and can’t see
  • Wednesday – Digital forensics: The tell-all cellphone
  • Thursday – Forensic chemistry: Street drugs, death and the science of it all. We’ll also be hosting our second Reddit AMA, featuring Kevin Lothridge, CEO, taking questions about street chemistry.
  • Friday– What’s next in CSI?

For the third year in a row, the city of Largo, home to our Florida home office, has ordered a proclamation in honor of this week.

If you aren’t already, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube for all the latest information this week and throughout the year!

Women, Science and the Uniform

Cadet swabs for DNAEleven Cadets will fall in this month for the annual Biometric and Forensic Internship at the National Forensic Science Technology Center. For the first time in the Largo, Florida based program’s eight year history, females will outnumber their male counterparts; a growing trend in the forensic science community.

A recent survey of accredited collegiate forensic science programs found women comprise nearly 80% of students[1]. The seven female Cadets arriving at NFSTC are in a unique cross section of military and forensic science. “These Cadets are really making their mark in what was traditionally a male dominated career field just a decade ago,” Kevin Lothridge, NFSTC’s CEO, explains.

Lothridge says the trend in the year’s ROTC class could be felt in the organization’s other military trainings. “It is an exciting time to see more women not only interested in STEM fields in general, but building careers in forensic science. We are honored to help guide the next generation of Army leaders.”

2015 Cadets at IED Awareness“I am most excited to see how the forensic field works with the military,” says Jordan Erisman, University of Tampa ROTC Cadet. “I had never really thought there was much overlap between the two until I started looking into the internship at NFSTC.”

The 19-year-old Forensic Science student plans to join the Army’s Chemical Corps or Military Intelligence after graduation. “This opportunity directly correlates with my career aspirations of working in a forensic laboratory.”

When Cadet Stormy Lindsay graduates from the University of South Florida, she will join more than 39,000 other female officers in military[2]. “This internship fits perfectly with my current track of becoming a military police officer, once commissioned,” Lindsay explains. “I’m looking forward to seeing how the forensic field correlates to our nation’s success on the battlefield.”

When the Cadets graduate, they will also have new military career opportunities available to them. Earlier this year, the Department of Defense opened all positions to women, including infantry and special operations.

Since 2009, NFSTC has offered the Biometric and Forensic Internship to up-to 12 Cadets at no cost to them or command. The two weeks focuses cutting-edge biometric and forensic identification and collection techniques. In addition, the ROTC Cadets build skills such as leadership, decision-making, and prioritizing actions under pressure.

We’d like to thank our generous sponsors for their donations for the 2016 internship:

Sponsors:

  • John Allison, NFSTC Board Member
  • James Cali, NFSTC Board Member
  • Suzanne and Gary Grant
  • John and Diana Ives
  • Carol Koch
  • Laura and Kevin Lothridge
  • Mitchell Morrisey, NFSTC Board President
  • Chris Vivian

In-kind Donors

  • Lynn Peavey
  • Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
  • Net Bio
  • Eagle 32
  • Global SOF
  • Tampa Bay Yacht Charters
  • John Boscia
  • Training Team Solutions

NFSTC will host a photo gallery that captures the cadets in action throughout the two-week course on Facebook, so log on and follow along!

[1] Houck, Max M. “Is Forensic Science a Gateway for Women in Science?” Forensic Science Policy & Management: An International Journal 1.1 (2009): 65-69. Web.

[2] “Women in the Military.” Women’s History Month 2016. Department of Defense, Mar. 2016. Web. 12 July 2016.

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NFSTC expands in-house subject matter experts

The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) has expanded their in-house subject matter expert capabilities with two new team members. The new hires will focus on an emerging sector of forensic science: digital evidence and forensics.

Stephanie Thompson brings nearly a decade of media exploitation (MEDEX) to her new position. Previously with the National Media Exploitation Center in Washington, DC, Thompson’s first-hand experience in triaging computers and digital devices will be beneficial to military trainees at NFSTC.

“I can teach our military and civilian students based on my real-world knowledge, not just how exploitation works in the textbooks,” explains Thompson. “I’m excited to take the next step in my career at NFSTC.”

Retired Army Sergeant First Class Rick Ruckman spent six years with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency focusing on counter-proliferation. Upon retirement, he operated as a Sensitive Site Exploitation (SSE) Field Service Technician and Trainer for U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). At NFSTC, Ruckman will focus on cellular exploitation (CELLEX) instruction for military law enforcement.

NFSTC has been conducting exploitation training for the military since 2008. The company’s Largo office is now home to 27 employees, with a national employee count of 47.

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About NFSTC:

The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) provides quality forensic services including training, consulting, technology evaluation to the justice, forensic science and defense communities.  NFSTC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation headquartered in Largo, Florida. www.nfstc.org

Morgan Spurlock goes inside NFSTC for CNN series

kevin lothridge and morgan spurlockMorgan Spurlock, award-winning documentary film maker, talks with the National Forensic Science Technology Center in tonight’s airing of the CNN original series “Inside Man.”

The series premiered its four season earlier this month. The episode “CSI: Spurlock” focuses on how crime scene investigations are conducted in the real world and the professional training available for law enforcement.

“This will be one of the few times I’ll say you can believe what you see on TV,” says Kevin Lothridge NFSTC CEO. “We were pleased to host Morgan and his crew and show them what’s it’s really like inside the CSI training community.”

morgan spurlock at nfstcAccording to promos for the episode, Spurlock also trains at the ATF facility in Alabama and visits a body farm in Texas.

Inside Man airs Friday, June 24, 2016 at 10 p.m. EST on CNN.

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About Warrior Poets Productions:
Warrior Poets is a New York based multiplatform production company founded in 2004 by Academy Award® nominated filmmaker Morgan Spurlock.  Since its creation, Warrior Poets has produced multiple award winning films and television programs.  Films include One Direction: This Is Us, POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Comic-Con: Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope, Mansome, Where in the World is Osama bin Laden? and Freakonomics.  Television projects include the award-winning FX series 30 Days, the IDA award-winning CNN series Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man, Showtime’s 7 Deadly Sins, ESPN’s The Dotted Line, Emmy and Writer’s Guild nominated The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special in 3D on Ice! and Sky Atlantic HD’s Morgan Spurlock’s New Britannia. Digital projects include Hulu’s A Day in the Life, Yahoo’s Mansome, Failure Club,Losing It with John Stamos, AOL’s Connected and Refinery29 and Maker Studios’ What We Teach Girls. For additional information, please visit: http://warrior-poets.com.

About CNN Original Series:
The CNN Original Series group develops non-scripted programming for television via commissioned projects, acquisitions and in-house production. Amy Entelis, executive vice president of talent and content development, oversees CNN Original Series and CNN Films for CNN Worldwide.  Lizzie Kerner, vice president of current programming, supervises production of all CNN Original Series.

About NFSTC:
The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) provides quality forensic services including training, consulting, technology evaluation to the justice, forensic science and defense communities.  NFSTC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation headquartered in Largo, Florida. www.nfstc.org   

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