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Special Programs Office
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 4701
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8102
301-975-2756 or

NIST Forensic Science — Crime Scene

 Crime Scene
Credit: iStock
Crime scene investigation includes everything that happens to document, locate, preserve and collect bits of evidence, whether charred by fire or hidden from sight. NIST scientists are developing tools, techniques and standards to help forensic investigators study arson cases, compare bullets and casings, and assess many other items that may be found at a crime scene.

Research Projects

  • Read about an industry collaboration that could lead to improved 3D scanning of crime scenes.
  • Experts from NIST and the University of Delaware found a lack of consistency in commercially available rulers often used as reference scales in forensic photography. Read their study.  (link opens a pdf)
  • NIST studies building disasters and failures including fires that result in a significant number of deaths. See our Fire Forensics website for study reports. 
  • Preserving biological evidence: NIST and the National Institute of Justice convened a technical working group to recommend best practices for evidence handlers. Their report is available online.

NIST Publications

Data and Standards


Scientific Staff Members