Tuesday, August 24, 2010

LAVA adds second date for CSULA crime lab outing

Second date added for exclusive LAVA CSULA crime lab event, a real-life CSI experience

WHAT: Additional date added as Professor Donald Johnson, in association with LAVA and Esotouric, presents a lecture and demonstration "The Science and Art of Forensic Investigations: Criminalistics from Test Tube to Testimony."

WHEN: Sunday, October 24, 1pm-4pm (SOLD OUT!), repeating Sunday, November 7, 1pm-4pm

WHERE: The Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center (Cal State L.A.), 1800 Paseo Rancho Castilla, Los Angeles, CA 90032

COST: $35 per person for 11/7 event, pre-reservation and payment required INFO/RESERVATIONS http://lavatransforms.org/crimelabnovember10

Turn on the TV in 2010 and odds are good you'll see white lab coats, DNA swabs and magnified fingerprints on computer screens. CSI is hot stuff, in fictional series ("NCIS: Los Angeles," "Bones," "Dexter," "CSI") and documentary programming. But it's not often that the general public gets a chance to tour a real crime lab with the forensic investigators and educators who use its tools to solve crimes and develop new research strategies.

Leave it to LAVA (The Los Angeles Visionaries Association), the creative consortium launched in February by Richard Schave and Kim Cooper, the married couple whose Esotouric bus adventures have transformed the guided tour experience, to make a real-life CSI experience accessible to interested laypersons. Working closely with LAVA's newest Visionary member, ProfessorDonald Johnson, they've developed a special three-hour introduction to Cal State L.A.'s state-of-the-art Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, presented through tours and short lectures from the scientists and educators who work there. LAVA is delighted to announce that its inaugural lecture and tour in the CSULA crime lab on October 24 was fully reserved in three hours, with hundreds of people signing up to be on the waiting list. A repeat engagement has now been scheduled for November 7, and seats are going fast.

Space is very limited and pre-reservation required for this unprecedented opportunity to tour the crime lab, learn from working forensic investigators and educators, and discover the real art and science of crime scene investigation. A portion of the proceeds from this event supports the research of Criminalistics graduate students at Cal State Los Angeles.

"The Science and Art of Forensic Investigations: Criminalistics from Test Tube to Testimony" provides an insider's view of the scientific investigation of crime, as Criminalistics faculty and graduate students will share their knowledge and insight on the theory and practice of forensic science in our criminal justice system. Attendees will also tour Cal State LA's state-of the-art teaching and research facilities at the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.

The afternoon begins with an introduction to the field of Criminalistics and the use of physical evidence in criminal investigations, hosted by Professors Donald Johnson and Katherine Roberts, followed by an overview of the academic and research programs in Criminalistics at Cal State LA.

Then, attendees will be provided with additional insight on forensic methods during breakout sessions on Crime Scene Investigation, Forensic Chemistry, and Forensic Biology. The CSI session, hosted by Donald Johnson and Katherine Scriven, highlights tools used by forensic specialists in the field and emerging technologies in CSI. The Forensic Chemistry session, hosted by Katherine Roberts and Isaac Cheney, surveys methods used for the analysis of trace evidence and controlled substances, and current research will be presented on the development of methods to detect narcotic-tampering by health professionals. The Forensic Biology session, hosted by Kristin Honig and Stacy Wilkinson, highlights body fluid and DNA analysis, with a presentation on current research on methods to improve the recovery of semen in rape cases.

The afternoon concludes with a true life investigation overview regarding the murder of a family in Los Angeles County and opportunities to ask questions. By the program's conclusion, attendees will have a basic understanding of the strengths and limitations of forensic methods used in criminal investigations, and a fresh perspective on the real art and science that takes place behind the scenes and the headlines.

ABOUT LAVA: Through participation in LAVA, a select group of creative professionals come together to promote cultural programming that speaks to the urban experience while promoting positive public space. LAVA's creative partners share a love for L.A. and unique ideas for exploring it in theirwork. Formed by social historians RICHARD SCHAVE and KIM COOPER --proprietors of Esotouric bus adventures and until recently the Director and Curator of the Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk -- LAVA brings together L.A.'s most visionary promoters, artists, writers and thinkers.

Applications from prospective LAVA members are being taken at

To learn more about LAVA, please visit

1 comment:

Christine said...

I attended the 10/24 Crime Lab outing and thought it was terrific! All of the presenters were fantastic and I learned so much! I would highly recommend it for adults-- in my opinion it was a little too intense for kids.