Masters, Nancy E (World of Forensic Science)
FORENSIC LATENT PRINT ANALYST
For more than thirty years, Nancy E. Masters has made significant contributions to the field of fingerprint identification. As a latent print analyst, she has participated in crime scene investigations and testified as an expert in court trials in accordance with her extensive training in examining fingerprints found at crime scenes. Masters also has developed curriculum, written books, and lectured nationally and internationally on the subject of latent print techniques.
Masters attended Sacramento State University, Sacramento, California, earning a bachelor's degree in political science in 1969 and a secondary teaching credential in 1972. She launched her career in forensic science immediately, working for the California Department of Justice (CDJ) in its Fingerprint Program from 1967 to 1981. Masters then moved into the CDJ's Latent Print Program, as a latent print analyst, for the next seven years. During this time, and throughout her career, Masters continued her training and education in the field by attending seminars and programs run by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the International Association for Identification, and the CDJ. She was awarded the California Governor's Safety Award in 1987.
In 1988, Masters began working with the CDJ's Criminalistics Institute. As an instructor there, she developed curriculum for courses on latent print techniques, latent print comparisons, and specialized latent print techniques, including physical, chemical, photographic, and laser techniques. Using her experience and knowledge, she has instructed law enforcement personnel throughout the world.
Masters has also significantly contributed to literature on the subject of fingerprint identification. In 1995, she wrote the textbook Safety for the Forensic Identification Specialist, with a second edition released in 2002. In the book, Masters instructs technicians on safety issues while dealing with fingerprint evidence, physical evidence, and crime scene hazards. She was also a contributing author to the Clandestine Laboratory Manual of Instruction and Procedure, used by law enforcement agencies in the United States.
Since 1996, Masters has continued her work in fingerprint identification as a consultant for the CDJ and other entities. She has also worked as a speaker and article author, contributing to trade journals such as the Journal of Forensic Identification and the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. In 2004, she won the John A. Dondero Award from the International Association for Identification.
SEE ALSO Careers in forensic science; Evidence.