History of the Development of the
IUGS Task Group on Forensic Geology

Compiled by Dr. Laurance Donnelly, Chair

A brief history of the recent events leading up to the development of the IUGS Task Group on Forensic Geology is as follows:

 

1975
Publication of Forensic Geology (Murray and Tedrow).

1992
Publication of Forensic Geology (revised) (Murray and Tedrow).

1975-2002
Before 2002, Forensic Geology was fragmented in the UK, USA and internationally, with a few geologists working with the Police and Law Enforcement.
Forensic Geologists usually worked in isolation of each other. There was no common organization or forum specifically aimed at Forensic Geology.

2002
A presentation on Forensic Geology took place in the House of Commons, Westminster Palace, London, as part of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Earth Sciences. This presentation fueled UK interests in, both the media and academia, on the applications of geology to the investigation of crime (Donnelly).

2003
An ideas begins to develop a new, specialist working group on Forensic Geology in the Geological Society of London (Donnelly).

2004
The Geological Society of London holds its first Forensic Geoscience Conference (Pye & Croft).
Publication of Evidence from the Earth (Murray).

2005
Discussions take place for the establishment of a the Geological Society Forensic Geology Group and a case was presented to the Geological Society of London (Donnelly).

2006
Permission was granted by the Geological Society of London for the setting up of a new specialist to be called the Geological Society of London, Forensic Geosciene Group (FGG) (Donnelly).
FGG holds its inaugural meeting and conference (Ruffell, Pirrie and Donnelly).
Establishment of an international network and series of meetings (2006-2010): Geoforensics and Information Management for crime Investigation(GIMI) (Dawson and Miller).
Geological Society of America holds a technical meeting/conference on Forensic Geology in Philadelphia (Bergslien).
First International Soil Forensics meeting held in Australia (Fitzpatrick).

2007
Geological Society of America holds a technical meeting/conference on Forensic Geology in Denver. The Public Forum at the GSA Annual Meeting is on Forensic Geology. (Bergslien).
Second International Soil Forensics meeting held in Edinburgh (Ritz, Dawson & Miller).

2008
FGG holds technical meeting/conference on Geoscientific Equipment at Crime Scene (Donnelly)
Geological Society of America holds a technical meeting/conference on Forensic Geology in Houston.
Publication of Geoforensics (Ruffell & McKinley).
Publication of Criminal and Environmental Soil Forensics (Ritz, Dawson & Miller).

2009
International Working Group Forensic Geology became established, at a meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay, as part of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), Commission for Geoenvironmental Management (GEM) (Donnelly).
The Geoforensic International Network (GIN) became established as part of the IUGS-GEM, Working Group on Forensic Geology (Donnelly).
First Ibero-Americano course on Forensic Geology held in Colombia (Molina Gallego).

2010
At a IUGS-GEM Forensic Geology Working group meeting in Windhoek, Namibia, two IUGS Executive Committee members recommend the Forensic Geology Working Group may be elevated to an IUGS Initiative (Donnelly).
Third International Soil Forensics meeting held in California (Stam & Dawson).
Interpol conference in Paris attended by FGG & IUGS-GEN members (Ruffelly & Ritsuko).
FGG hold technical meeting/conference on Criminal & Environmental Forensics (Pirrie & Ruffell).
Publication of Guidelines for Conducting Criminal and Environmental Soil Forensic Investigations (Fitzpatrick & Raven).
Forensic Geology Course, Mexico (Molina Gallego)
Forensic Geology Session, New Zealand (NZ2010) (Nobes & Donnelly)

2011
A case was accepted by the IUGS Executive Committee, at a meeting held on 22nd February 2011, at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, for the Forensic Geology Working group to be elevated to Initiative status with immediate affect. This led to the establishment of a new IUGS Task Group on Forensic Geology (Donnelly).
Consideration for the establishment of the International Association of Forensic Geology as part of the IUGS Task Group on Forensic Geology (Donnelly).