Workshop: Introduction to Hair and Fiber Microscopy
Thursday – Friday, June 11 – 12, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Taught by Nicholas Petraco Sr., Ph.D.
This two-day workshop will concentrate on the characterization of common mammalian hair and man-made fibers. Participants will employ stereomicroscopy and polarized light microscopy, including sample preparation techniques for reference collections. The first day will be devoted to the macroscopical and microscopical characterization and identification of common synthetic fibers and their generic classes. On the second day, the class will study hair structure and morphology of humans, wild and domestic animal hairs, and furs.
Nicholas Petraco Sr., Ph.D. is a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, specializing in statistical pattern recognition of trace evidence, quantum chemistry, and mathematical chemical physics. He teaches forensic science, microscopy, microchemical and instrumental analysis. As an independent forensic consultant since 1990, Dr. Petraco has aided hundreds of investigations. He also served as police laboratory detective/criminalist and senior trace evidence forensic microscopist for the New York City Police Department. He has worked in diverse art investigations, thousands of prosecutor and defense attorney death investigations, and he has given expert testimony in more than 500 trials. Dr. Petraco is the author or co-author of more than 100 journal articles and notes, five books, and nine book chapters. He lectures and instructs on the use of light microscopy, specifically stereomicroscopy and polarized light microscopy, in identifying paint pigments, binders and finishes, synthetic and natural fibers and hair, and other substances of interest.