Dr. Fox will be explaining how forensic science has been used throughout time and the roll the LLNL Forensic Science Division plays in the detection of Weapons of Mass Destruction and other important aspects of monitoring for the presence of molecules we can not see. He will also be talking about how this information is used in court. A review of the possible career pathways in this field will be explored.

Today you will learn

  • What is forensic science?
  • What are some of the many ways that forensic science can be applied?
  • How has forensic science been used in the past?
  • How can we detect chemicals and organisms in the environment?
  • What do I need to know and be able to do in order to be a forensic scientist?


The goal of this morning's presentation is to introduce you to some of the ways forensic science is used to detect harmful substances and the role LLNL plays in their detection.

Student Lecture Notes

The lecture notes contain the key points for this lecture. Add details to your lecture notes as you follow the talk. If you are earning credit from your teacher for participating in this lecture, have your lecture notes stamped.


1. What is forensic science?


2. What are some legal issues?



3. What are the two major practical applications of forensic science?


4. What are other disciplines that use forensic science?


5. What types of evidence can be admissible?


6. Forensic science uses science and technology to answer….


7. What is attribution?


8. What are weapons of mass destruction?

What are their unique signatures?


9. What are chemical threats?

A. How have these been used in the past?

B. How about in the present?

10. What are biological threats?

A. How have these been used in the past?

B. How about in the present?

11. Sketch the Biological Attack Timeline


12. Sketch the Chemical Attack Timeline


13. What are the types of radioactive/nuclear threats?


14. What are some current national security issues?

15. What are four of the major jobs of the forensic science center at LLNL?


16. What is the difference between Pre-event monitoring and Post-event monitoring?


17. What are the analytical methods used by the center?


18. How did Dr. Fox get to his career position?


19. What are some jobs and degree requirements?

Speaker Bios

Dr. Glenn Fox

Dr. Glenn A. Fox is currently Deputy Division Leader for Science and Technology in the Chemical and Chemical Engineering Division of the Chemistry and Materials Science Directorate. He has been involved and trained in inorganic, organic and polymer synthetic chemistry for the last fifteen years. After receiving his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Colorado, he was a postdoctoral research associate at Northwestern University. Dr. Fox joined the research staff at LLNL in 1992. Current projects include the synthesis of new low density materials utilizing dendritic methodology and organic-functionalized quantum dots.

Kirk Brown

Biology Teacher
Tracy High School

Kirk Brown teaches International Baccalaureate Biology at Tracy High School in Tracy, California. He has 15 years of experience as a teacher and has served as a Mentor Teacher for Tracy Unified School District. He founded the Agricultural/Scientific Academy at Tracy High School, and has worked on science education projects with the California Department of Education, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), San Joaquin County Office of Education, Access Excellence (Genentech), and the Exploratorium and has an on-going partnership with Biorad Laboratories. Kirk is also an adjunct faculty member of San Joaquin Delta College. He has his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biological Science with a concentration in Entomology from California State University Stanislaus and his Master of Arts Degree in Education from the University of the Pacific. While working with LLNL, Kirk worked with other teachers to co-author the Biotechnology Education Program, Laser Science & Optics for the Classroom, and Past Director of the Student Research Academy, and Teacher Research Academy. These programs focus on teacher or student development and training, with a strong focus on integrated instruction. More recently, he has been involved in the development and implementation of a summer research program for high school students at LLNL. Currently, Kirk is the Director of the Biotechnology Pillar at the Edward Teller Education Center. Kirk has worked at the District level writing new K-12 goals, desired learning_s and benchmarks that integrate the National and State standards. Kirk has been named teacher of the year and has won numerous awards including the Milken National Educator Award and most recently, California_s Outstanding Biology Teacher for 2003 by the National Association of Biology Teachers.