Forensics and Pigs and Trolls – Oh My!

Greetings from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Annual Scientific Meeting in Seattle! (A mouthful, isn’t it?) This meeting is hosted in a different city every year, during which working professionals from the criminal justice and forensic science fields gather together to share research, attend workshops, and present on special topics.

This is myself with some of my classmates here at the conference!

This is me with some of my classmates here at the conference!

I went for the second time this year with my other forensic science classmates. This conference was jam-packed with things to do, not to mention being hosted in Seattle, where there are tons of sight-seeing opportunities. I’m actually from Seattle, so it was pretty great having a school-sanctioned trip back home! I didn’t attend any workshops this year, but I did go to a number of scientific sessions. These take place over two days, where anyone from students to veteran professionals can present on their research or special topics that they find interesting. One of my favorite talks this year was about whether pigs should continue to be used as a model for human decomposition. Basically, the speaker and her research team had discovered that different species of bacteria are found on pigs than those found on human beings. Since bacteria plays a pivotal role in decomp, she suggested that pigs were not an accurate representation of human beings.

One of the best parts about the AAFS conference is that you have the chance to meet and connect with so many professionals! It really is a great networking opportunity. Plus, you can find a few famous people in your midst if you look carefully. Last year, I met Kathy Reichs, an international forensic anthropologist and the inspiration behind the TV show, “Bones”. This year, I met Richard Walter, one of the founders of the Vidocq Society and one of the creators of modern criminal profiling. There’s also a huge exhibition, aka Free Stuff Fair. I came home with many pens and other fun novelties, thanks to all the vendors present.

This is my Dad and I with Dr. Henry Lee

This is my Dad and I with Dr. Henry Lee

Here I am with Richard Walter, the world-famous forensic psychologist

Here I am with Richard Walter, the world-famous forensic psychologist

I had the most fun, I think, giving my friends a tour of the Emerald City. We visited the Space Needle, the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, the Pike Place Market, the Waterfront Piers, the Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum, the Underground Tour, the Great Wheel, the Fremont Bridge Troll, the Kerry Park Viewpoint, and the Experience Music Project Museum, all in just six days!

This is one of the many forms of public art located around Seattle. The troll can be found under the Fremont Bridge with a life-size VW Bug!

This is one of the many forms of public art located around Seattle. The troll can be found under the Fremont Bridge with a life-size VW Bug!

Even with the gray Seattle weather, you can still get some great pictures here at the Kerry Park Viewpoint

Even with the gray Seattle weather, you can still get some great pictures here at the Kerry Park Viewpoint

Needless to say, it was an exhausting but extremely fun-filled and interesting week!

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