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Trying to be a forensic entomologist. Any tips?

entomology forensics college tips help classes school

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8 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Here for the honeypots - Posted December 15 2015 - 8:11 PM

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So as a career, I'd like to become a forensic entomologist. Do you guys know what classes and such I should be taking to get there? What should I be studying? I'm considering going to University of Tennessee for it when my time comes, I was told they have a really great program for it.
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#2 Offline James C. Trager - Posted December 16 2015 - 6:28 AM

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Meanwhile, take every science course you can and study hard.


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#3 Offline Here for the honeypots - Posted December 16 2015 - 12:36 PM

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Cool thanks. I'm debating though on taking AP biology, AP environmental, or chemistry
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#4 Offline Mdrogun - Posted December 16 2015 - 2:13 PM

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I feel pretty much the same way as you. I went into my high school this year as a freshman. I have completed one semester of chemistry. Next year I am going to be taking honors biology and I am going to try and take AP physics in place of an elective. My thought is if I can graduate with mostly weighted classes in science and have 7 credits in science (only 2 are required to graduate at my high school). I am going to be a prime candidate for colleges that teach entomology or any other science related course.


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Ready for Nuptial flights!


#5 Offline Kunphushun - Posted December 16 2015 - 7:10 PM

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Take it from someone (me) who has a BS in natural science with a minor in biology.  If you want to be an entomology major(especially forensic) you need to gear yourself towards that early.  Entomology is NOT an easy field simply from a volume standpoint.  Do all your research papers on insects or the use of insects in forensics.  Take every general biology, micro and macro biology, plant biology, animal and human biology, entomology, forensic, forensic entomology, chemistry, botany(yes plants), and even history of "enter all those classes here," that you can take before you begin college.  Then take every law enforcement, criminal laboratory, etc, etc, etc, class you can as well. 

 

The more you learn about any of these subjects, the better prepared you will be to hit the books.  I do not in any way mean to scare you away by saying this so take it for what its worth...the truth.  You WILL be studying every night you are in school for this career.  Think about just insects with a few facts. 

 

There are over one million identified insect species on earth, and each one of those has multiple life cycles, and each of those life cycles can be affected by many variables such as weather, climate(not the same as weather), pollution, geographic location, competitive and symbiotic species, etc. etc. etc. Then factor in the variables of human, or animal decomposition, heat, humidity, pH, cellular metabolism/breakdown/chemistry. THEN factor in the how the variables for the insects AND the human/animal decomposition affect each other, and you can see just how complex it can get. 

 

It can be a rewarding career no doubt, but don't expect to graduate in 4 years as a forensic entomologist.  More likely you'll find a position in a crime lab some where(rewarding in its own right), and do the grunt lab work until your fingers bleed from pipetting, and making/performing experiments, all the while maintaining a library of knowledge in your head and in physical references.  Then you'll find that you need to go back to school and continue to achieve a masters and finally a PhD of Forensic Entomology.  Likely by this time you will be in your late 20s to early 30s with a few years of work under your belt, multiple minor degrees, and possibly more then one major.

 

THEN, you'll be ready to become "Mr. Here for the honeypots, forensic entomologist, PhD." and begin your search for a crime lab or precinct within which to plant your roots as such.

 

I wish you well in your educational adventure, keep your head down in the books, and learn all you can about everything you can.  Ill tell you what no one told me going in...YOU CAN NOT BE OVER PREPARED!

 

Good knowledge, sir! 


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#6 Offline antmaniac - Posted December 16 2015 - 10:45 PM

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I thought by then he will become "Dr. Here for the honeypots, forensic entomologist, PhD." Regardless, in short, take advice from Dr. James C Trager and take every science course you can and study hard.



#7 Offline Here for the honeypots - Posted December 17 2015 - 7:13 AM

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Wow. That's awesome information. Great help from you. I really appreciate that. I will follow your advice like a bible and start employing the healthy habits I need to prepare to be studying every night hard. I appreciate it.

Edited by Here for the honeypots, December 17 2015 - 7:19 AM.


#8 Offline Foogoo - Posted December 17 2015 - 8:05 AM

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Have you talked to any Forensic Entomologists? In highschool I would call random people/companies of careers I found interesting and ask if I can volunteer or shadow them and ask questions. Give it a shot, and it's an opportunity for early networking/experience.


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#9 Offline Here for the honeypots - Posted December 18 2015 - 11:34 AM

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I recently talked to a vet who said he has some friends who do it and he recommended it and it got me interested. I will do though, thank you.





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