BIOL 4053, Sec. 050, 3 credit hours
Syllabus - PDF
Please see the syllabus for complete information regarding the course.
Course Description: Forensic Entomology is the application of entomological principles and collection of
entomological data in such a manner that it can be used as evidence in courts of law to help
resolve legal issues that are either criminal or civil in their nature. Lecture will explore the use
of insects in the science of Forensic Entomology and its impact on death scene investigation,
neglect or abuse; contamination of food products and other marketable goods and subsequent
litigation. Lab will focus on collection, preservation, and identification of forensically important
arthropods, a research project, and a death scene investigation.
Objectives:At the end of this course, you should be able to:
1) Understand the ecological roles that necrophilous arthropods play in forensic entomology.
2) Collect and identify insect and non-insect groups associated with carrion.
3) Perform the standard techniques and procedures at a death scene.
4) Rear insects associated with carrion.
5) Analyze forensic entomological data to determine postmortem interval (PMI), time between
death and discovery of the body.
6) Conduct research on a death scene; prepare a scientific paper and presentation.
Textbook. Carrs, E. P. and N. H. Haskell (eds.). (2008). Entomology and Death: A Procedural Guide, 2nd edition. ISBN: 0-9628696-0-0 $29.00 plus tax (do not purchase the 1st
edition) - prices subject to change
Course Packet.The course packet will be posted on D2L. It is recommended that you
print the packet BEFORE going to the Biological Station. The course packet includes:
a) course information (i.e. syllabus, lists, etc…)
b) lecture / lab powerpoint handouts
c) lab materials
d) death scene investigation
Digital Camera. You will need to take pictures of your death scene.
3-Ring Binder. You will need to place your course packet in a 3-ring binder. You may wish to
get some tab dividers as well.
Calculator. You will need a basic calculator.
Learn@OU. learn.ou.edu (also known as Desire 2 Learn and D2L) is a web-based
program. We will be using this tool to supplement our traditional course.
Highly recommended materials
Rubber boots & old clothes. You may wish to keep an extra pair of pants or purchase a pair of coveralls
that can be easily slipped on and off over your existing clothing and a pair of rubber boots
ESPECIALLY if you are susceptible to poison ivy. After class, you may want to shower with TechNu
soap to remove any poison ivy oils you may have come into contact with. You should also wash your
• Attendance is expected. Students will not be dropped by the instructor for lack of attendance. It is the
student’s responsibility to contact the instructor regarding past or anticipated absences. If you are
going to miss a lecture for either a religious holiday or university event, you must notify the instructor
prior to your absence! If a student chooses to drop the course, it is that student’s responsibility to
complete the drop. Failure to do so could result in a grade of F in the course.
• Excused absences. Only religious holidays, university events, or medical problems are acceptable
excuses for absences and must be documented in writing. It is the policy of the University to excuse the
absences of students that result from religious observances and to provide without penalty for the
rescheduling of examinations and additional required class work that may fall on religious holidays.
• Safety is extremely important, please be aware of those around in, especially in lab and in the field.
• Cell phones, pagers, and other electronics must be disengaged and stored out of view to both the
student and instructor during class! If you need to leave your cell phone or pager engaged, please
discuss this with the instructor prior to class.
• Academic Dishonesty. OU does not tolerate cheating, plagiarism or other acts of dishonesty.
Regulations and responsibilities stated in the Student Code and Faculty Handbook will be followed in
the event of academic dishonesty. For a summary of what academic honesty means, see the provost’s
and Univ. Oklahoma Student Association’s summaries at www.ou.edu/provost/integrity and
ANY FORM OF ACADEMIC DISHONESTY WILL RESULT IN AN
“F” IN THIS COURSE!
As defined by section 1.2.1(b) of the Academic Misconduct Conduct Code,
plagiarism consists of: “the representation of the words or ideas of another as one’s own, including:
1) direct quotation without both attribution and indication that the material is being directly quoted;
2) paraphrase without attribution;
3) paraphrase with or without attribution where the wording of the
original remains substantially intact and is represented as the author’s own;
4) expression in one’s own
words, but without attribution, of ideas, arguments, lines of reasoning, facts, processes, or other products
of the intellect where such material is learned from the work of another and is not part of the general
fund of common academic knowledge;”
ALL PAPERS SUBMITTED IN THIS COURSE WILL BE EVALUATED FOR
PLAGIARISM USING TURN IT IN SOFTWARE.
• Withdrawal policy. If a grade of W or I is requested, University policy will be followed.
• Students with disabilities. OU is committed to providing reasonable accommodation for all students
with disabilities. Students with disabilities who require accommodations in this course are requested to
speak with me as early in the semester as possible. Students with disabilities must be registered with the
Office of Disability Services (Goddard Health Center, Suite 166, phone 405-325-3852) prior to
receiving accommodations in this course.
Reasonable Accommodation: The University of Oklahoma is committed to providing reasonable accommodation for all students with disabilities. Students with disabilities who require accommodations in this course are requested to contact the professor, Heather Ketchum, as well as Donna Cobb, UOBS, (405) 325-7430, well in advance to the start of class. Students with disabilities must be registered with the Disability Resource Center prior to receiving accommodations in this course. The Disability Resource Center is located in Goddard Health Center, Suite 166, or by calling (405) 325-3852 or TDD only (405) 325-4173.
The University of Oklahoma
Department of Zoology
730 Van Vleet Oval
Norman, OK 73019-6121
Phone: (405) 325-4353