Let’s see, there is the original TV series that started it all, CSI, and it was soon followed by spinoffs CSI: Miami, CSI: NY and CSI: Cyber, along with NCIS and its spinoffs NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS New Orleans.
It would appear Americans have a fascination with forensic science, which 2002 Lewis-Clark State College graduate Bo Smith can attest to.
Bo is the Forensic Scientist Manager for the Utah Bureau of Forensic Science in Ogden where she supervises the state’s northern and southern satellite laboratories. Among her duties is case work in the chemistry and biology sections of the lab where she analyzes physical evidence to determine the presence of controlled substances and/or analyze evidence to determine the presence of biological material.
“I love the variety of casework,” she says. “Every case is different. I also enjoy the constant learning that is needed/involved with each case.”
Now in her 12th year with the Utah Bureau, her current position also includes overseeing training programs that include Crime Scene Academy, MJ Leaf Identification, and FIDO (Field Investigation Drug Officer), and DNA Academy.
Bo says she loves her job and is thankful for the help she received at LCSC that started her down this career path.
Originally from Rogerson, Idaho, which is located about 30 miles south of Twin Falls near the Nevada-Idaho border, Bo came to LCSC after accepting a full-ride scholarship to join the rodeo team, coached by Mike and Karen Fuller.
“I enjoyed the small campus environment,” Bo says about her experience at LCSC. “And I am grateful for the lifelong friends I made while there.”
While earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry at LCSC, Bo says she has former Natural Science Division Chair and Chemistry professor Christine Pharr to thank for helping her realize how much she enjoyed the field of Forensic Science. Pharr also helped Bo land a summer internship with the FBI in its forensics lab.
Following graduation, Bo spent two years attending graduate school at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, and following graduation, she started her career with the Utah Bureau of Forensic Science as an Evidence Technician where she worked with evidence from law enforcement agencies. Five months later, she became a Forensic Scientist I/II in the chemistry section of the lab where she analyzed physical evidence to determine the presence of controlled substances. She also testified about the results in court. She spent more than seven years in that position before accepting her new title in May 2011.
Bo says hard work did pay off for her and has the same advice for others interested in Forensic Science.
“Work hard in obtaining a science degree and then never stop learning,” she says.
Bo says she her work ethic also carries over into her play time as well.
“Rodeo is still in my blood, and lucky for me, in my family's too,” she says. “My husband, myself, and all my kids compete in rodeo and we love every minute of it. We also like to hunt, fish, and camp. Pretty much anything that keeps us outside, we enjoy doing as a family.”
Family is important to Bo and while she says she is proud of all that her husband and children have accomplished, she keeps their identities private because of her line of work and the time she spends in court.
Bo Smith. Another amazing LCSC alum doing amazing things!