Category Archives: Programs

ROTC cadets begin two-week forensics internship

NFSTC is hosting 12 Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets for two-weeks of instruction on forensic science and site exploitation at the NFSTC facility in Largo. This marks the fourth year NFSTC has provided this training and experience to ROTC cadets at no cost. With an ever growing need for battlefield forensics, this program aims to help cadets understand how the U.S. military uses forensic science to gather intelligence.

From July 16th through the 26th, these cadets from around the country will take part in classroom training, hands-on demonstrations and practical scenario-based exercises on crime scene investigation, photography, biological screening, improvised explosive device awareness, post-blast investigation, trace chemistry, firearms examination, fingerprinting, and basic digital forensics.

“NFSTC takes great pride in our country’s military forces and is happy to give something back in the form of this opportunity for ROTC cadets to experience battlefield forensics in a hands-on environment,” says NFSTC CEO Kevin Lothridge. “We hope the knowledge and experience they receive here has a positive impact and helps them in their careers.”

Cadets practice evidence photography.

STEM TEC students get hands-on experience with crime scene photography

On June 26th, NFSTC hosted nearly 50 high school students from Pinellas County as part of the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM), Training for Emerging Careers (TEC): Summer Career Institute. The program introduces students between the ages of 14 and 17 to STEM careers. For the third year, NFSTC has opened its training facility to students for hands-on tours and instruction on various forensic science and crime scene investigation topics.

This year, students participated in a mini-course on crime scene photography and the High Tech Crime Institute presented information about cell phone forensics. The tours culminated with several hands-on exercises in which the students learned to document the crime scene and evidence. The scenarios included:

  • Inspecting a vehicle at a border checkpoint
  • Investigating a breaking and entering
  • Documenting a clandestine lab

“Gaining a solid footing in science and math is critical for so many reasons. Jobs are going high-tech; take DNA or cybercrime for example,” says Kevin Lothridge, CEO of NFSTC. “The key to getting these kids interested in science is not scaring them with how complex an activity might be, it is getting them engaged, and that’s what we are doing with this event. And with so many new technologies on the horizon, opportunities for exciting careers will only grow.”

The STEM TEC program, developed by Junior Achievement and WorkNet Pinellas, provides career exploration and workplace readiness training to economically disadvantaged students through a four-week summer program and year-round engagements. The program includes employer site visits to gain job shadowing experience in STEM specific fields.

For more information on the STEM TEC program, visit

Forensic pathology fellows complete death investigation training

Investigating injuries at the scene of a hit-and-run accident.

Another successful capstone session for NIJ’s popular Medicolegal Death Investigation training course wrapped up on Thursday in Largo, FL, at the NFSTC training facility. Participants in the June 2012 class included forensic pathologists completing requirements for fellowship with the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME).

The full course included both online and instructor-led curriculum for topics such as digital photography, biological evidence, explosive residue, firearms, forensic odontology, toxicology and latent prints.The instructor-led portion of the course culminated with a series of hands-on mock death investigation scenarios that tested each participant’s knowledge and skills gained throughout the training.
Scenarios included varied accidental death and homicide scenes. NFSTC strives to provide realistic hands-on experiences for students, creating realistic environments that allow trainees to practice. 
Participants assessed each scene, documented the scene, analyzed potential evidence and prepared and presented a summary of their findings.
Crime scene mannequin staged in a homicide scenario.
NFSTC wishes participants well as they complete their fellowship requirements and advance in their careers.


This training is provided under NIJ cooperative Agreement Award (#2011-DN-BX-K568).

Registration now open for Medicolegal Death Investigation Training

evidence numbers at a crime sceneThe 2012 Medicolegal Death Investigation Training Program (Forensic Sciences: An Overview for Medicolegal Death Investigators) is now open for registration.  This online training is provided by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and NFSTC at no-cost to eligible forensic practitioners involved in medicolegal death investigation, including medical examiners and coroners.

The purpose of this program is to provide medicolegal death investigation practitioners with general knowledge of the scope and application of the forensic sciences within the criminal justice system. Topics include crime scene processing and photography, latent fingerprint processing, controlled substances analysis, toxicology, forensic anthropology, forensic entomology, forensic odontology, firearm and tool mark collection and preservation, trace evidence analysis, fire debris analysis, explosives and explosive device identification, and forensic biology (serology/DNA).

Online coursework will be available April 2012 through September 2012 via the NFSTC Online Learning System (NOLS) and includes a pre-test, theoretical instruction, required reading, discussion board activities and a post-test (minimum score required 80%). Trainees should be prepared to dedicate a minimum of 16 – 20 hours to complete online coursework activities.

Earn ABMDI Continuing Education Credit Hours

The American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI) has approved Continuing Education credits for the NIJ/NFSTC Medicolegal Death Investigation online training program.  Trainees successfully completing the online coursework are eligible to apply to ABMDI for up to 16 credit hours.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for participation in this training program, applicants must:

  • Work for a U.S. publicly funded state, local or tribal agency as a medicolegal death investigator, including medical examiners and  coroners
    (Note: Federal employees and contractors are not eligible to receive training under this grant)
  • Be actively involved in medicolegal death investigation
  • Possess a reasonable level of skill in English, arithmetic, and computer keyboarding
  • Have access to the following resources at home or agency for the duration of the online coursework
    • Computer with Internet access and Flash player (Version 9.0 or higher) and Adobe Acrobat Reader 
    • Printer (optional)

To Apply:

Download the full announcement for selection criteria, application instructions and contact information:

  2012 Medicolegal Death Investigation Training Announcement

This training is provided under NIJ cooperative Agreement Award (#2011-DN-BX-K568).