This is an introductory level course exploring the area of fish and wildlife forensic sciences. Fish and wildlife forensic science is the application of the principles of science to collecting, analyzing, and interpreting relevant evidence related to the protection of fish and wildlife resources in a manner suitable for presentation in a court of law. This course covers taxonomy, basic characteristics of fish and wildlife species, laws regarding their protection, how to process fish and wildlife crime scenes, and collecting, packaging and analysis of evidence.
Cost: $0-225. This course takes 16 hours to complete, on average.
Fall Term starts 8/1/2013 and ends 2/28/2014.
Registration Starts 7/15/2013 and ends 12/14/2013.
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
Define fish and wildlife forensic science and explain how it is different from traditional forensic investigations
Explain characteristics of fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds
Discuss federal and state laws regarding wildlife species
Explain how to manage and process crime scenes
Explain common forms of evidence found in wildlife investigation scenes, including how to collect, preserve, and analyze.
Course Structure and Schedule
This is a non-credit course offering 3.58 ILUs. (What is ILU?) Average completion time for the course is 16 hours. The course cost is $225 per registration (with the exception of public lab employees, law enforcement, public attorneys, and federal employees – please see "Registration Information" below). A certificate of completion will be issued to students successfully meeting course requirements.
Table of Contents
Unit 1: Introduction to Fish and Wildlife
Unit 2: Taxonomic Identifications
Unit 3: Marine and Freshwater Fish
Unit 4: Inland Species
Unit 5: Crime Scene Investigation
Unit 6: Crime Scene Investigation Techniques
Unit 7: Wildlife Poisonings
Unit 8: Biological Evidence
Unit 9: Projectile, Impression, Pattern and Trace Evidence
Unit 10: Endangered and Threatened Species
Unit 11: Case Studies
Unit 12: Resources
There are no prerequisites for this class. A printable version of the course content is available in PDF format in the course library for future reference. Course readings are also available in PDF format.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why was a correct answer on a quiz, marked incorrect?
Answer: Quizzes are graded automatically by the computer. However each quiz will be reviewed by the instructor in order to double check the system. The instructor is able to update your grade if necessary.
Do I have to respond to the discussion questions?
Answer: Yes, all discussion questions for this course are required and are graded.
Who do I contact if I’m having problems with the course?
Answer: If you are having trouble with registration or accessing the online course, please call OIT at 304-293-4444. Make sure you state that you are a non-credit eCampus student.
If the problem is related to the course material, please email the instructor who will respond to your email as soon as possible.
Can I look at the material while taking the quiz?
Answer: Yes, the quiz open in a new window so you can review the course information.
Mozilla Firefox (recommended) or Internet Explorer
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Macromedia Flash Player
(Free software plug-ins are available in the Getting Started area of the course.)
Basic computer skills required (i.e. turning on your computer, navigating to websites, etc.). The course is user-friendly but support is available if needed.
Samantha Neal is the Instructional Coordinator for the Forensic Science Initiative, a program that develops research, scientific resources, and professional training for forensic scientists and related professionals. Her primary responsibilities are the development and coordination of online continuing education courses in forensic science and continuing education programs. She has undergraduate degrees in both Forensic and Investigative Sciences and Chemistry.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 304-293-5836
Sarah is a Instructional Coordinator with Forensic Science Initiative. She has a Bachelor's in Biology from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Sarah has also earned her Master's in Forensic Science from Towson University. During her graduate studies, Sarah was involved in research funded by the NIJ. The project focused on finding new serological tests using DNA as the substrate. Her responsibilities include assisting with online classes, developing a relationship with vendors, and helping with training. Sarah is a native of Wyckoff, NJ. Contact: email@example.com, 304-293-9540.
Please read below to determine your eligibility. If you have any eligibility questions please contact Forensic Science Initiative at FSI@mail.wvu.eduBEFORE you register. Registration is accepted year-round for this course.
For general FAQs for the FSI online courses please click here.