Over the last few years, many prospective and current students have expressed interest in DNA technology and a forensic biochemistry program. In response, the NMU Chemistry Department introduced a new forensic biochemistry major a year ago. Currently 27 students are majoring in the program.
This major incorporates chemistry, biology and criminal justice courses. The four-year program prepares students for a career in the field of forensic science. It provides the science background required for working as a forensic investigator in a crime lab, especially for DNA analysis. In addition, it prepares students for entry into a graduate program in the field.
Creation of the major required two new 400-level courses: Forensic Chemistry and a forensic lab internship. Forensic Chemistry is a required course that is team taught.
During its inaugural offering three years ago (as a special topics course), we enlisted the help of a former forensic laboratory analyst from the local state police forensic crime lab as an adjunct instructor. We hope to continue using such experts as part of our teaching team to provide examples of relevant work experience during the course.
In 2003, Dr. John Ejnik joined the department faculty. Dr. Ejnik brings a wealth of forensic laboratory experience to the classroom from his years of laboratory management with the U.S. Navy.
The forensic laboratory internships will be an optional elective in the major and we hope through such training students will be better prepared for entry-level jobs in government or private forensic laboratories.