Introduction

Just Nature’s Patterns

Just Nature’s Patterns

← Back to Just Science Podcast

Original Release Date: February 7, 2018

In the first episode of our 2018 IPTES Season,  Just Science kicks off with our host, Dr. John Morgan, interviewing John Vanderkolk from the Indiana State Crime Laboratory. Vanderkolk discusses his belief in the importance of challenging your teachers and how nature's patterns are apparent throughout friction ridge evidence.

NIJ and FTCOE are committed to improving the practice of forensic science and strengthening its impact through support of research and development, rigorous technology evaluation and adoption, effective knowledge transfer and education, and comprehensive dissemination of best practices and guidelines to agencies dedicated to combating crime. The future of forensic sciences and its contribution to the public and criminal justice community is a motivating topic to gather expertise in a forum to discuss, learn, and share ideas. The IPTES was specifically designed to bring together practitioners and researchers to enhance information-sharing and promote collaboration among the impression, pattern, and trace evidence analysts, law enforcement, and legal communities.

2018 Impression, Pattern and Trace Evidence Symposium

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Listen to or download the episode here:

Guest Biography

Mr. John R. Vanderkolk received a Bachelor of Arts degree in forensic studies and psychology from Indiana University in 1979. He became an Indiana State Police trooper in 1979 and then a crime scene technician in 1983. In 1984, he was assigned as a criminalist in the laboratory, where he was trained in the disciplines of latent print, shoe/tireprint, firearm/toolmark, and fracture/physical comparative examinations. He was promoted to laboratory manager in 1996. He retired as a police officer in 2005, was rehired as a civilian, and is currently the manager of the Indiana State Police Laboratory in Fort Wayne. Mr. Vanderkolk has delivered many lectures and workshops related to forensic comparative science at many international or regional seminars, criminal justice agencies, and universities. Some of his other professional activities include having been a member of the Scientific Working Group on Friction Ridge Analysis, Study and Technology and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Latent Print Analysis. He is currently a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Forensic Identification and the Physics/ Pattern Scientific Area Committee for the NIST Organization of Scientific Area Committees. Mr. Vanderkolk was awarded ‘Distinguished Member’ in the International Association for Identification (IAI), was a member of the IAI’s Standardization II Committee, was the chair of the IAI’s Forensic Identification Standards Committee, and is the chair of the IAI’s Forensic Comparative Examination Committee. Mr. Vanderkolk has authored or co-authored numerous journal articles on topics related to forensic comparative science. Additionally, he authored the ‘Examination Process’ chapter of The Fingerprint Sourcebook and the book, Forensic Comparative Science – Qualitative Quantitative Source Determination of Unique Impressions, Images, and Objects. He has been collaborating with Dr. Thomas Busey of the Indiana University Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences since 2002, studying expertise in latent print examiners. He has been collaborating with Drs. Ashraf Bastawros and Barbara Lograsso of Iowa State University on fractured metal examinations. Furthermore, he was a consultant for the US Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, and addressed the erroneous determination that Brandon Mayfield was the source of a fingerprint in the Madrid bombing case.


The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this podcast episode are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Contact us at ForensicCOE@rti.org with any questions and subscribe to our newsletter for notifications.


Related Content

Physical Characteristics of Spatter Stains on Textiles

This webinar originally occurred on December 12, 2023Duration: 1 hour Overview Bloodstain pattern analysis (BPA) is a forensic technique for crime scene reconstruction, through analyzing bloodstains (e.g., size, shape, etc.) and their patterns (e.g., distribution, location, etc.) to recreate the…

The Increased Value of Forensic Science to Lead Gun Crime Investigations

← Back to Webinar Series Page ← FTCOE ASCLD All Resources Page Part I originally occurred on January 16, 2024Duration: 1 hour Part II originally occurred on January 23, 2024Duration: 1 hour Overview The United States has seen the number…