Northeastern Section–41st Annual Meeting (20–22 March 2006)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 1:05 PM


ANDREWS, Sarah, Sonoma State Univ, P.O. Box 1521, Sebastopol, CA 95473,

Forensic geology is alternatively defined as legal geology, or more simply put, geology that goes to court. This includes both criminal and civil cases. On the microscopic end of the equation, forensic geology involves the examination and interpretation of microscopic evidence--termed trace evidence by FBI geologist/forensic examiners--which includes both natural geologic materials and man-made (i.e., concrete and glass). On the macroscopic end, forensic geology is the art and science of context, which requires a geoscientist's experience and approach to crime and controversy and an insider's view of industrial applications of the science. Geologists are well suited to these tasks, being detectives by nature and by training who have a marked talent for thinking in four dimensions and a special capacity for working with discontinuous and ambiguous data.