Mignon Dunbar is an accomplished scientist based in the greater San Francisco area, with over 8 years of combined laboratory experience in analytical chemistry and molecular biology. Her broad experience includes testing soil and water samples for diesel/motor oil, identifying controlled substances and performing DNA testing on both plant and human samples. This has earned her wide recognition and respect in the forensic science community in California. Among her colleagues, Mignon Dunbar has earned a reputation as a detail-oriented and conscientious scientist, with a great interest in quality assurance and helping her co-workers.
From 2001 until 2007, Mignon Dunbar studied at the University of California – Davis. There, she earned a Bachelor of Science in genetics and a Master of Science in forensic science, which set the stage for her career in the field of science. During this time, she also served as an analyst in the United States Air Force Reserves. After finishing her studies, Mignon worked with the Los Angeles Police Department Scientific Investigations Division for one and a half years, where she utilized the scientific method, standard operating procedures, laboratory skills and critical thinking to conduct independent analyses and interpretation of over 2,000 controlled substance samples.
Mignon Dunbar then returned to northern California, where she started work with the City and County of San Francisco as a forensic scientist, and has continued to work for over 6 years. In this role, Mignon has not only conducted laboratory work, but also performed reviews of other colleagues’ work while training and mentoring other analysts. As somebody who relishes the opportunity to continuously learn and improve herself, Mignon enjoys conducting research and presenting at conferences. She did this most recently at the October 2014 California Association of Criminalists (CAC)/Northwest Association of Forensic Scientists Joint Seminar in Rohnert Park, CA.
Learn More About Forensic Science
Forensic science refers to the application of science to criminal and civil laws. Forensic scientists collect, preserve, and analyze scientific evidence during the course of an investigation. The word forensic derives from the Latin word, forēnsis, meaning “of or before the forum.” The term originated during Roman times, during which a criminal charge meant presenting the case before a group or public individuals in a forum. Both the accused and accuser would deliver speeches detailing their sides of the argument. The case would be decided in favor of whichever individual gave the best argument with the best delivery. This origin is the source of the two modern usages of the word forensic, both as a form of legal evidence and as a category of public presentation.
Learn More About Analytical Chemistry
Analytical chemistry is the study of the separation, identification, and quantification of the chemical components of natural and artificial materials. Qualitative analysis gives an indication of the identity of the chemical species in the sample, while qualitative analysis determines the amount of certain components in the substance. The field can be separated into two different methods: classical and instrumental.
Classical methods utilize separations such as precipitation, extraction, and distillation. Qualitative analysis involves color, odor or melting point. Quantitative analysis is conducting through the measurement of weight or volume.
Instrumental methods use an apparatus to measure physical quantities, which include light absorption, fluorescence, or conductivity. The separation of materials is accomplished through the use of chromatography, electrophoresis, or field flow fractionation methods.