Overview of ENTO 431/432: Forensic Entomology
 
Description: The course will explore the use of information about insects and other arthropods in the science of Forensics, particularly as this information pertains to investigations of human and animal deaths and abuse, food and other product contamination, thefts, the illegal drug trade, and unethical entomological practices and the subsequent use of this information in court-of-law proceedings that may result form such investigations. (Lecture Section/431: 3 Credit Hours; Laboratory Section/432: 1 Credit Hour)
 
Prerequisites: None, save students must be concurrently enrolled in ENTO 431 or have previously taken ENTO 431 to be enrolled in ENTO 432
 
Text: Catts, E.P. and N.H. Haskell (Eds.). 1990. Entomology & Death: A Procedural Guide. Joyce’s Print Shop, Inc.: Clemson, SC. 182 p.
 
Instructor: Adrienne Brundage
           
            Office: HPCT 516
            Phone:
            Email: Brundage@ForensicEntomologist.Com
            Office Hours: M 5:00-6:00, W 2:00-5:00, (by appointment at other times)
            Website: www.ForensicEntomolgist.com
 
Teaching Assistant: Micah Flores
 
            Office: Room 3, Medical Ento. Lab (Bldg 1043)-Urban Ento Center (W. Campus)
            Phone: 979-845-8682
            Email: tennis_micah@tamu.edu
            Office Hours: By appointment
 
Course Schedule:  Lec (ENTO 431): M, W, F; 12:40-1:30 PM KLCT 113
                                    Lab (ENTO 432): M; 1:50-4:40 PM HPCT 210

 

Course Goal: Students successfully completing this course will have a working knowledge of how entomological information is gathered, interpreted, recorded, preserved and used in forensic types of investigations
 
Course Objectives: 1) To provide a broad understanding of the biologies of the ecological roles played by the specific insect and other arthropod groups of invertebrates most commonly involved in forensic investigations; 2) To provide insight as to the collecting, analyzing, preserving, and using of entomological information in forensic investigations; 3) To provide experiences in the identification of various life stages of insects and other arthropods of importance to the field of Forensic Entomology; and 4) To provide insight as to how entomological information of a forensic nature is presented and otherwise used in formal proceedings in courts of law.
 

 

Student Evaluation and Course Grades
 
1)   ENTO 431 (Lecture): Three (3) equally-weighted examinations (100 points each) given over material presented during the lecture periods, ten (10) five-point participation quizzes, as well as one (1) written group assignment (150 points) will be used as the basis for evaluating student learning in this aspect of the course. The final grade will be the percentage of points earned out of 450 total points possible.
2)   ENTO 432 (Laboratory): Three (3) laboratory practical examinations and two (2) special graded exercises (50 points each) will serve as the basis for evaluation of student learning in this aspect of the course. The final grade will be the percentage of points earned out of 500 total points possible.
 
Grading will be based on: A = 100-90%; B = 89-80%; C = 79-70%; D = 69-60%; F = 59-0%
 
Makeups: No makeups are given without a University Approved Excuse
Makeup exams must be taken within 2 weeks of missed date or a “0” will be given
Participation quizzes cannot be made up
 
Syllabus Outline Spring 2008
Note: This schedule is subject to change according to guest speaker availability. Students will be notified at least 1 week in advance of any change
 
Lecture
Date
Description
1
1/14/08
Overview of Course: Description, Objectives, Grading, etc.
2
1/16/08
Focus of Forensic Entomology
3
1/18/08
History of Forensic Entomology
--
1/21/08
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, No School
4
1/23/08
Introduction of Wikipedia Assignment
5
1/25/08
General Entomology & Arthropod Biology
6
1/28/08
General Entomology & Arthropod Biology
7
1/30/08
General Entomology & Arthropod Biology
8
2/1/08
Diptera of Major Forensic Importance: Overview of the Order
9
2/4/08
Diptera of Major Forensic Importance: Family Calliphoridae (Blow Flies/Bottle Flies)
10
2/6/08
Diptera of Major Forensic Importance: Family Calliphoridae (Blow Flies/Bottle Flies)
11
2/8/08
Diptera of Major Forensic Importance: Family Calliphoridae (Blow Flies/Bottle Flies)
12
2/11/08
Diptera of Major Forensic Importance: Family Sarcophagidae (Flesh Flies)
13
2/13/08
Diptera of Major Forensic Importance: Family Muscidae
14
2/15/08
Diptera of Major Forensic Importance: Other Fly Families
15
2/18/08
Collection, Preservation & Rearing of Dipteran Samples
16
2/20/08
Summary and Conclusions, Exam Review
17
2/22/08
Guest Speaker: Dr. Vaughn Bryant, Professor of Anthropology TAMU; Forensic Palynology (pollen)
18
2/25/08
First Lecture Exam (Over material covered in Lectures 1-16)
19
2/27/08
Beetles of Major Forensic Importance: Overview of Coleoptera
20
2/29/08
Beetles of Major Forensic Importance: Families Staphylinidae (Rove beetles) and Silphidae (Carrion & Burying beetles)
21
3/3/08
Beetles of Major Forensic Importance: Families Histeridae (Clown/Histerid beetles), Dermestidae (Skin/Dermestid beetles) and Nitidulidae (Sap/Nitidulid beetles)
22
3/5/08
Beetles of Major Forensic Importance: Families Scarabidae (June/Dung/Scarab beetles), Cleridae (Checkered/Ham/Clerid beetles), Carabidae (Ground beetles), and Tenebrionidae (Darkling beetles)
23
3/7/08
Other Arthropods of Forensic Importance
--
3/10--14
Spring Break (Have a great week!)
24
3/17/08
Decomposition of Human Remains
25
3/19/08
In Class Group Meetings: Finalize Articles for Wikipedia
26
3/21/08
Special Reading Day: No Class
27
3/24/08
Faunal Succession on Cadavers & Other Carrion: Arthropodan Waves (Seres) of Succession on Exposed Corpses
28
3/26/08
Factors Affecting Succession: Immersion in Water
29
3/28/08
Factors Affecting Succession: Burying, Wrapping, Burning, etc.
30
3/31/08
Factors Affecting Succession: Geographical Location
31
4/2/08
Factors Affecting Succession: Natural Controlling Factors
32
4/4/08
Second Lecture Exam (Open Note) (On Lectures 17-31)
33
4/7/08
Factors Affecting Succession: Temperature
34
4/9/08
Factors Affecting Succession: Moisture, Wind and Light
35
4/11/08
Factors Affecting Succession: Food Availability and Competition
36
4/14/08
Aging Insects: Degree Days, Length, Width, etc.
37
4/16/08
Entomotoxicology
38
4/18/08
DNA Typing and Insects
39
4/21/08
Blood Stain Analysis and Entomological Artifacts
40
4/23/08
Summary and Conclusions, Exam Review, Discuss Depositions
41
4/25/08
Evidence Depositions by ENTO 432
42
4/28/08
Evidence Depositions by ENTO 432
43
4/30/08
Evidence Depositions by ENTO 432
--
5/5/08
10:30 AM-12:30 PM Final Exam (On Lectures 33-43)
 
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