Oglebay Hall Laboratories
Oglebay Hall is the home of the Department of Forensic and Investigative Science at West Virginia University. The building was fully renovated in 2007 and houses the faculty offices as well as all of the teaching and research labs dedicated to the students of the FIS program. Teaching and learning laboratories for the following disciplines are located in Oglebay: microscopy, forensic chemistry, latent prints, questioned documents, DNA, and trace evidence.
View photos and a description of each of the labs below or use the menu on the side to navigate through each laboratory individually.
The microscopy laboratory contains 24 polarizing light microscopes and 6 comparison microscopes. Students learn the principles and techniques of microscopy and analyze glass, hairs, fibers, and other types of trace evidence.
Forensic Chemistry Laboratory
The forensic chemistry laboratories contain both preparation and instrumentation areas. Students learn to properly prepare samples, then analyze and interpret the data using scientific methods and instruments commonly found in crime laboratories such as FTIR, GC-MS, ICP-MS, LC-MS, and LIBS. The program focuses on controlled substances, pharmaceuticals, arson, explosives and toxicology.
Latent Print Laboratory
The latent print laboratory houses three alternative light source dark rooms for latent print enhancement and imaging, as well as two cyanoacrylate fuming chambers. Students gain hands-on experience with the different techniques that are used to process latent prints on evidence collected from a crime scene.
Cogent Systems Laboratory
The Cogent Systems Laboratory in Oglebay Hall houses a state-of-the-art AFIS system comprised of 24 workstations and a teaching station. The 24 student workstations are comprised of 12 ten-print stations and 12 latent print stations. In addition there are three live-scan devices for electronically capturing ten-prints. The teaching station comprises both a ten-print and latent workstation. An IBIS system is also available for the analysis of bullets and bullet casings. The lab was made possible by a generous gift from Cogent and Mr. Ming Hsieh.
Questioned Documents Laboratory
This laboratory is dedicated to examining handwriting forgery and counterfeit reproductions using microscopy and a Video Spectral Comparator (VSC2000). There is also an Electrostatic Detection Apparatus (ESDA) that allows for the visualization of indented writing without damaging the document.
The DNA Laboratory has separate rooms for presumptive testing of biological fluids, the processing and extraction of biological samples. After extraction, DNA is analyzed using a Biosystems DNA Sequencer in the post-PCR facility. The instrumentation and associated software in the DNA Laboratory were upgraded in Spring 2016 through the support of Applied Biosystems. Students now have access to the latest technology in the field.
Trace Evidence Laboratory
The trace evidence laboratory is a suite of rooms where fibers, paint, and other forms of trace evidence are prepared and analyzed. It is equipped with a GC-MS, FT-IR with an attached microscope, a Glass Refractive Index Measurement System (GRIMIII) and a UV-VIS Spectrometer.