UAB Magazine Weekly - Features on Courses and Programs
Forensic Program Trains Scientific Sleuths
By Claire L. Burgess
Lawyers, police officers, and doctors used to nab all the professional glory on prime-time television. That is, until 2000, when CSI: Crime Scene Investigation debuted with an addictive blend of thrilling plotlines and scientific wizardry and quickly became a runaway hit. Now you can find forensic scientists all over the cable box, including dramas such as Bones and Dexter and reality shows such as Forensic Files.
Science geeks have become crime-fighting superheroes—only in lab coats and protective eyewear instead of spandex and capes. And by generating massive exposure for a previously little-known profession, these shows are actually performing a public service. Forensic science is one of the fastest-growing jobs in the country; the need for trained investigators is projected to grow 31 percent by 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A few seasons’ worth of CSI won’t prepare anyone for the reality of criminal forensics, however. For that, interested parties can turn to the innovative new bachelor’s degree in forensic chemistry offered by the UAB Department of Chemistry, one of only a handful of programs in the country offering similarly in-depth training.
Turning the Camera on Birmingham
By Caperton Gillett
Making a short film can be a tall order. Every year, students in UAB's Ethnographic Filmmaking class scatter across Birmingham in search of untold stories. The ones they find are unforgettable—hidden fishes, graffiti artists, urban farms, ghost towns. But once they've found their subjects, the real challenge begins: How can you condense a complex issue into five minutes? See the stories unfold in this new audio slideshow.
Lessons From the Real-Estate Bubble
By Jo Lynn Orr
It doesn’t matter if they’re made from bubble gum, soap, tech stocks, or subdivisions, the invariable law of bubbles is a simple one: They burst. And when they go, they tend to leave a mess behind. But few, if any, have grown so big or spread their wreckage so far as the vast American real-estate bubble, which began in the mid-1990s and kept inflating through most of the present decade before bursting catastrophically last year.