Troy Ernest and Jason Beckert speak about career development in Trace Evidence by sharing some of their experiences in this exciting field of forensic science.
Troy Ernst is a Forensic Scientist in the Trace Evidence Unit at the Michigan State Police Grand Rapids Forensic Laboratory. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Forensic Science, both from Michigan State University. Troy has been employed with the Michigan State Police for 24 years, with casework involving glass, paint, fibers, fire debris, tape, footwear impressions, bloodstain pattern analysis, and miscellaneous materials. He was the 2003 recipient of the Floyd R. Bell Jr. Civilian of the Year Award for the Michigan State Police. He is a member of OSAC (Trace Materials), MAFS, AAFS, and ASTEE, and serves on the editorial board for ASTEE’s online publication. Troy has co-authored eight peer-reviewed publications, has provided practical workshops, and has given presentations on a variety of trace evidence disciplines, including glass, fibers, fire debris, and ceramic frits.
Jason Beckert is a Research Microscopist at Microtrace where he enjoys solving analytical questions that require the amalgamation of information from a wide variety of scientific disciplines. His current duties involve identifying and interpreting various types of particles through microscopical, microchemical, and instrumental techniques. Studying and working under Dr. Peter De Forest, he acquired his M.S. in forensic science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He is the recipient of the college’s Jerome Metzner Graduate Award for academic excellence. An internship with the NYPD’s Crime Scene Unit gave him the opportunity to assist the examination of a diverse array of environments for physical evidence and provided first-hand knowledge regarding proper evidence collection. He has taught several courses and presented numerous papers at scientific meetings.