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Jack Hietpas

Jack Hietpas

Main Content

  • Interim Director
  • Lecturer/Assistant Professor
329A Whitmore Lab
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 863-5260

Websites

Biography

Education

Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
Ph.D. Geology-Radiogenic Isotope Geochemistry 2009 - 2012
Dissertation: Utilizing Detrital Mineral Isotopic Compositions and Crystal Chemistry as Provenance Indicators.

Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
M.S. Geology 2006 - 2009
Thesis: Assessing the Utility of Detrital Zircon and Monazite as Provenance Indicators.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice New York, NY
M.S. Forensic Science - Criminalistics 2000 - 2004, (2010)
Thesis: The Optical Characterization and Physical Properties of the Exotic Explosive Triacetone Triperoxide (TATP).

University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI
B.S. Pharmacology-Toxicology 1995 – 2000

Employment

Pennsylvania State University State College, PA
Lecturer (Assistant Professor) Biochemistry
& Molecular Biology Fall 2016
Responsible for teaching criminalistics courses to undergraduate and graduate students, performing research, and writing grant proposals. Specific research areas include: forensic geology, geolocation metrics, automated methods for trace evidence analysis and interpretation, optical crystallography, shooting scene reconstruction, trace element and isotopic studies, the characterization and attribution of explosives, and multivariate statistical analysis of large datasets.

Federal Bureau of Investigation Quantico, VA
Post-Doctoral Fellow - Counterterrorism
& Forensic Science Research Unit 2013 – Present
Responsible for performing scientific research, writing proposals, and presenting briefings to internal and external case-workers/ stakeholders. Specific research areas include: investigating microchemical, microscopical and automated micromorphometric techniques for the attribution of explosives, understanding the fundamental phenomenology of human hair decomposition (postmortem root banding), and assessing the strengths and limitations of various metrics for geolocation of soil and dust samples.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Gaithersburg, MD
NRC Post-Doctoral Researcher 2012 - 2013
Developed a high-throughput method for forensic mineral identification. Investigated the utility of 87Sr/86Sr ratios and microscopy for the provenance of calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN). Investigated the forensic potential of automated micromorphometry for the characterization of smokeless powders derived from IEDs.

Microtrace Elgin, IL
Forensic Microscopist 2004 - 2006

Responsibilities were focused on the chemical analysis and identification of non-routine materials and complete unknowns from a variety of sources including pharmaceutical and industrial contaminants, and forensic investigations. Obtained extensive training in light microscopy, microchemistry, micro-technique, micro-FTIR, micro-Raman, and SEM-EDS. Applied theoretical and practical polarized light microscopy and optical crystallography to problem solving.

Forensic Consultants Ardsley, NY
Consultant 2001 - 2004

Aid to Dr. Peter De Forest in a variety of cases and research projects. Duties included case document review, evidence examination-documentation, photography, and crime scene examination-documentation.

The Rockefeller University New York, NY
Research Assistant 2000 - 2004

Performed independent and supervised research on several molecular virology projects. Proficient at molecular cloning including primer design, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), cloning of genes and expression in bacterial and tissue culture systems. Proficient in both purification and fluorescent dye-labeled sequencing of nucleic acids.

Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory
Summer Intern 2000

Analyzed float glass samples from known sources of manufacture via the double-variation refractive index method. Measured automotive paints by micro-FTIR for inclusion into the FBI's nation-wide database.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Ahlquist Lab
Research Assistant 1996 - 2000

Performed independent and supervised molecular virology research projects. Performed molecular cloning including gene knockout, plasmid assembly, and transfection in yeast systems. Performed a variety of general laboratory duties including common reagent and media preparation.

Professional Society Activity/ Membership

Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC)- Geological Materials sub-committee
Chairperson Criminalistics Arson Explosives session- NEAFS 2015
Chairperson Trace Evidence session- NEAFS 2010
American Society of Trace Evidence Examiners (ASTEE)
Geochemical Society
Northeast Association of Forensic Scientists (NEAFS)
Geological Society of America (GSA)
Mineralogical Society of America (MSA)
Microscopical Society of America (MSA)
New York Microscopical Society (NYMS)
American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS)

Instrumentation/ Software

Instrumentation: scanning electron microscopy with energy- and wavelength- dispersive x-ray spectrometry (SEM-EDS/WDS), polarized light microscopy (PLM), laser-ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP/MS), thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS), secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), ultramicrotomy, micro-FTIR, and micro-Raman. Software: LaTex, Inkscape, GIMP, Image Pro Plus, CalcZAF, DTSA-II, R-statistical package, and Arduino microcontroller.

Selected Publications

Hietpas, J., Buscaglia, J., Richard, A., Shaw, S., Castillo, H., Donfack, J., In Press. Microscopical and ultrastructural characterization of known postmortem root bands. For. Sci. Int. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2016.07.009

Speir, J. and Hietpas, J. 2014. Frequency filtering to suppress background noise in fingerprint evidence: Quantifying the fidelity of digitally enhanced fingerprint images. For. Sci. Int. Vol. 242 p. 94-102.

Hietpas, J., Samson, S.D., Speir, J., and Moecher, D. 2013. Assessing detrital garnet chemical composition as a quantitative provenance tool: A multivariate statistical approach. Journal of Sedimentary Research. Vol. 83 no. 12 p. 1181-1197. doi: 10.2110/jsr.2013.83

Satkoski, A.M., Wilkinson, B.H., Hietpas, J., and Samson, S.D. 2013. Likeness among detrital zircon populations- an approach to the comparison of age frequency data in time and space. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. Vol. 125 no. 11-12 p. 1783-1799. doi: 10.1130/B30888.1

Mukherjee, A., Bickford, M.E., Hietpas, J., Schieber, J., Basu, A. 2012. Implications of a newly dated ca. 1000 Ma rhyolitic tuff in the Indravati Basin, Bastar Craton, India. Journal of Geology. Vol.120, No. 4, pgs 477-485; doi: 10.1086/665796

Hietpas, J., Samson, S.D., and Moecher, D. 2011. A direct comparison of the ages of detrital monazite versus detrital zircon in Appalachian foreland basin sandstones: Searching for the record of Phanerozoic orogenic events. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Vol. 310, pgs. 488-497. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2011.08.033

Bickford, M.E., Basu, A., Mukherjee, A., Hietpas, J., Schieber, J., Patranabis-Deb, S., Ray, R., Guhey, R.,Bhattacharya, P., and Dhang, P. 2011. New U-Pb SHRIMP zircon ages of the Dhamda Tuff in the Mesoproterozoic Chhattisgarh Basin, Peninsular India:Stratigraphic implications and significance of a 1 Ga thermal-magmatic event. Journal of Geology. Vol. 119, issue 5, pp. 535-548. doi: 10.1086/661193

Hietpas, J., Samson, S.D., and Moecher, D. 2011. Enhancing tectonic and provenance information from detrital zircon studies: assessing terrane-scale sampling and grain-scale characterization. Journal of the Geological Society of London. Vol. 168, pgs. 309-318. doi: 10.1144/0016-76492009-163.

Moecher, D., Hietpas, J., Samson, S., and Chakraborty, S. 2011. Insights into southern Appalachian tectonic history from ages of detrital monazite and zircon in modern alluvium and bedrock sources. Geosphere. Vol. 7, no. 2, pgs. 1-19; doi: 10.1130/GES00615.1.

Hietpas, J., Samson, S.D., Moecher, D., and Schmitt, A. 2010. Recovering tectonic events from the sedimentary record: detrial monazite plays in high fidelity. Geology. Vol. 38, n. 2, pgs. 167-170; doi:10.1130/G30265.1

Hietpas, J. 2006. Di_erentiation of dolomite and calcite using dispersion colors. The Microscope. Vol. 54, n. 1,pgs. 37-41.

Hietpas, J., McMullan, L., Mindel, D., Hanson, H., and Rice, C. 2005. Keeping track of viruses in Microbial Forensics. Elsevier-Academic Press.

Presentations

Hietpas, J., Baldaino, J., Buscaglia, J., McMahon, G., Stern, L. 2016. The application of geochemistry and geochronology to forensic and intelligence problems. Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Sciences (MAAFS) Annual Meeting, Richmond, VA.

Hietpas, J., Baldaino, J., Buscaglia, J., McMahon, G., Stern, L. 2016. Assessing the utility of detrital quartz surface textures and feldspar mineral chemistry for forensic and intelligence applications. American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Las Vegas, NV.

Diaczuk, P., Hietpas, J., and Law, X.S. 2016. Performance and richochet characteristics of frangible ammunition. American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Las Vegas, NV.

Meikeljohn, K.A., Jackson, M.L., Hietpas, J., Stern, L., and Robertson, J.M. 2016. Using DNA barcoding to assess DNA viability in plant and insect fragments isolated from forensic soil samples. American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Las Vegas, NV.

Fleming, J.N., Castillo, H.S., Drummond, E.J., Jabbour, R., Deshpande, S., Steadman, D.W., Jantz, L.M., Hauther, K., Hietpas, J., Shaw, S.D., Buscaglia, J., Eckenrode, B., Donfack, J. 2016. In vitro experiments using human cadaver head hairs to investigate the formation mechanism of postmortem hair root bands (PMRBs). American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Las Vegas, NV.

Baldaino, J, Ommen, D., Dettman, J., Parrott II, R. Hietpas, J., Buscaglia, J. 2016. Characterization of aluminum (Al) powders in explosives utilizing particle micromorphometry. American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Las Vegas, NV.

Jackson, M.L., Meiklejohn, K.A., Hietpas, J., Stern, L., Robertson, J.M. 2016. From fragment isolation to DNA amplification: A detailed protocol for using plant and insect material in forenics. American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Las Vegas, NV.

Hietpas, J., Buscaglia, J., Richard, A., Castillo, H., Shaw, S., Donfack, J. 2015. A microscopical and ultrastructural analysis of postmortem hair root bands. Inter/Micro, Chicago, IL.

Diaczuk, P., Hietpas, J., and Law, X.S. 2015. Performance and richochet characteristics of 9 mm frangible ammunition. Inter/Micro, Chicago, IL.

Hietpas, J., Diaczuk, P., and Anstett, A. 2015. Assessing the utility of automated image analysis for the characterization of small arms propellants. Northeast Assoc. of Forensic Scientists, Hyanis, MA.

Mann, J.L., Malloy, T., Malloy, J.L., Jerome, S., Buscaglia, J., Pfeuffer, K., Hietpas, J., Leggit, J., Kelly, T.D., Turner, D., McClory, J.W. 2015. Surrogate Post-Detonation Urban Debris (SPUD): standard reference material. Methods and Applications of Radionanalytical chemistry (MARC X), Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Hietpas, J., Dettman, J., Parrott II, R., and Buscaglia, J. 2015. Assessing the forensic utility of particle micromorphometry for the characterization of aluminum powders in explosives. Invited speaker, Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives (ATF), Beltsville, MD

Hietpas, J., Baldaino, J., Buscaglia, J., McMahon, G., Stern, L. 2015. Assessing the utility of the light mineral fraction of soils for forensic applications. Eastern Analytical Symposium, Somerset, NJ.

Diaczuk, P., Hietpas, J., Law, X.S. 2015. Characteristics and impact dynamics of frangible ammunition. Eastern Analytical Symposium, Somerset, NJ.

Hietpas, J. and Diaczuk, P. 2015. Assessing the forensic potential of small arms propellant micromorphometry as an aid in the investigation of improvised explosive devices (IEDs): A pilot study. American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Orlando, FL.

Hietpas, J., Buscaglia, J., Richard, A., Castillo, H., Shaw, S., Drummond, E., and Donfack, J. 2015. The investigation of potential mechanisms for the formation of postmortem hair root bands: A detailed microscopical and ultrastructural analysis. American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Orlando, FL.

Hietpas, J., Dettman, J., Parrott II, R., and Buscaglia, J. 2015. Assessing the forensic utility of particle micromorphometry for the characterization of aluminum powders in explosives. American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Orlando, FL.

Wiley, A., Hietpas, J., Chang, C., and Kavlik, M., 2014. Improving the forensic analysis of touch DNA recovered from copper. Promega-ISHI, Phoenix, AZ.L.

Chang, C., Hietpas, J., Wiley, A., and Kavlik, M., 2014. Improved DNA swabbing and DNA recovery from swabs. Promega-ISHI, Phoenix, AZ.

Hietpas, J., Buscaglia, J., Castillo, H., Shaw, S., Richard, A., Drummond, E., Donfack, J., 2014. Microscopical Characterization of the Ultrastructure of Postmortem Hair Root Bands and Implications for the Mechanism of Formation. Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Sciences Annual Meeting, State College, PA.

Hietpas, J., and Davis, J. 2013. The development of an SEM-EDS based method for forensic mineral identification. Abstracts with Programs. Inter/Micro, Chicago, IL.

Samson, S., Hietpas, J., and Moecher, D. 2012. Recording orogenesis: multiple minerals, multiple methods. Abstracts with Programs #210251. Geol. Soc. America, Charlotte, NC.

Hames, W., Moore, M., Priester, C., Samson, S.D., and Hietpas, J. 2012. Diversity is a beautiful thing: A test of combined 40Ar/ 39Ar muscovite, Th/Pb monazite and U/Pb zircon ages in modern stream sediment to characterize the southwestern Blue Ridge. Abstracts with Programs #212042. Geol. Soc. America, Charlotte, NC.

Heffran, K., Samson, S., Hietpas, J., Admou, H., Inglis, J., Saquaque, A., and Heywood, N. 2012. An ~604 ma depositional age for the Tiddiline Conglomerate, Bou Azzer Inlier, Morocco based on U-Pb dating of detrital zircon. Abstracts with Programs #204832. Geol. Soc. America, Charlotte, NC.

Speir, J., Hietpas, J. and Fikes, T. 2012. Fast Fourier Transformation and Frequency Filtering to Suppress Background Noise in Fingerprint Evidence: Quantifying the Fidelity of Digitally Enhanced Fingerprint Evidence. Online Poster: Impression and Pattern Evidence Symposium (IPES), Clearwater Beach, FL.

Hietpas, J., Samson, S., Moecher, D., and Schmitt, A. 2012. The Crystallization Ages of Detrital Minerals as Proxies for Sediment Provenance. Annual Workshop on SIMS. Philadelphia, PA.

Hietpas, J., Samson, S., and Moecher, D. 2011. A multivariate statistical analysis of detrital garnet major element chemistry as a tool for quantitative sediment provenance. Abstracts with Programs #196162. Geol. Soc. America, Minneapolis, MN.

Samson, S., Hietpas, J. and Moecher, D. 2011. Age and Nd isotopic composition of detrital monazite crystals: Tectonic events recorded in high fidelity. Abstracts with Programs #194344. Geol. Soc. America, Minneapolis, MN.

Samson, S., Hietpas, J. and Moecher, D. 2011. The good, the bad, and the ugly: Assessing the utility of detrital minerals in provenance analysis. Abstracts with Programs #194797. Geol. Soc. America, Minneapolis, MN.

Hietpas, J., Samson, S., and Moecher, D. 2011. Investigating the utility of detrital monazite crystallization ages and Sm-Nd isotopic compositions as provenance indicators. Invited lecturer. Colgate University, Hamilton, NY.

Diaczuk, P. and Hietpas, J. 2011. Bullets as trace evidence. Abstracts with Programs. Am. Acad. Forensic Sci. Chicago, IL.

Hietpas, J. and Diaczuk, P. 2010. Morphology of particles derived from hand tools. Abstracts with Programs. Northeast Assoc. of Forensic Scientists. Manchester, VT.

Hietpas, J., Samson, S., and Moecher, D. 2010. Complete sediment donor terranes... Careful whom you ask. Abstracts with Programs. Northeast-Southeast Sec. Geo. Soc. of Am. Baltimore, MD.

Moecher, D., Hietpas, J., Samson, S., and Chakraborty, S. 2010. Insights into southern Appalachian metamorphism from ages of detrital monazite and zircon in modern alluvium and bedrock sources. Abstracts with Programs. Northeast-Southeast Sec. Geo. Soc. of Am. Baltimore, MD.

Nath, C., Hietpas, J., Samson, S. 2010. Assessing detrital garnet crystal chemistry as a provenance tool- an example from the French Broad River. Abstracts with Programs Northeast- Southeast Sec. Geo. Soc. of Am. Baltimore, MD.

Hietpas, J. Microscopy of Geologic Materials. 2009. Invited speaker. Abstracts with Programs. Eastern Analytical Symposium. Somerset, NJ.

Hietpas, J. and Miller, R. 2009. Identification of the gunstock wood from selected _rearms of World War II- an update. New York Microscopical Society. Microscope Symposium. New York, NY.

Hietpas, J. 2008. Utilizing soil evidence for provenance determination. Invited lecturer for forensic geology course. Colgate University, Hamilton, NY.

Hietpas, J., Samson, S.D., Chakraborty, S., Moecher, D. 2008. Zircon-based provenance studies: Going all the way requires more than just a date. Abstracts with Programs. Northeast Sec. Geo. Soc. of Am. Buffalo, NY.

Hietpas, J. 2007. Utilizing detrital heavy minerals for geochronology and source rock prediction. Abstracts with Programs. Inter/Micro. Chicago, IL.

Diaczuk, P., Miller, M., Hietpas, J., and Desiderio, V. 2006. Chemical reaction bombs. Abstracts with Programs. Northeast Assoc. Forensic Sci. Rye Brook, NY.

Hietpas, J. and Miller, R. 2006. The microscopical identi_cation of gunstock wood from selected firearms of World War II. Abstracts with Programs. Inter/Micro. Chicago, IL.

Diaczuk, P., Hietpas, J., Palenik, S., and Palenik, M. 2005. The optical characterization of TATP. Abstracts with Programs. Northeast Assoc. of Forensic Sci. Newport, RI.

Hietpas, J., Diaczuk, P., Palenik, M., and Palenik, S. 2005. The optical characterization of the mother of satan (triacetone triperoxide TATP). Abstracts with Programs. Midwest Assoc. of Forensic Sci. St. Louis, MO.

Palenik, C. and Hietpas, J. 2005. Forensic trace evidence: use and misuse. Guest Lecture. Northwestern Law School. Chicago, IL.

Hietpas, J. and Palenik, S. 2004. Analysis and identi_cation of an unknown powder: An example of the application of chemical microscopy in the modern analytical laboratory. Abstracts with Programs. Inter/Micro. Chicago, IL.

Hietpas, J., Speir, J., Diaczuk, P., and De Forest, P.R. 2004. Elucidating the relative dependence of propellant pattern-based muzzle-to-target distance determinations on variables of weapon and ammunition. Abstracts with Programs. Am. Acad. of Forensic Sci. Dallas, TX.

Diaczuk, P. and Hietpas, J. 2003. An Introduction to the fundamentals of _rearms. Workshop, Northeast Assoc. of Forensic Scientists. Pitts_eld, MA.

Herschman, Z., Diaczuk, P., Pizzola, P., Hietpas, J., and De Forest, P.R. 2003. A novel model to study blood spatter in firearms cases. Abstracts with Programs. Am. Acad. of Forensic Sci. Atlanta, GA.

Diaczuk, P., Hietpas, J., Nicolosi, F., Tota, A., Mayer, G., and De Forest, P.R. 2003. Microscopical comparison of bullets from di_erent methods of recovery. Abstracts with Programs. Am. Acad. of Forensic Sci. Chicago, IL.

Hietpas, J., Diaczuk, P. and De Forest, P.R. 2002. A soap box system for bullet recovery. Abstracts with Programs. Northeast Assoc. Forensic Scientists. Atlantic City, NJ.

Hietpas, J. 2002. An introduction to forensic microscopy. New York Microscopical Society. Microscopy Symposium. New York, NY.

Research Interests

My research interests are focused on investigating the provenance of materials by utilizing microscopical, isotopic, chemical and biological analyses.  I am particularly interested in the development of novel methodologies to assist in terrorism/counterterrorism investigations.