790 Fletcher Drive
Elgin, IL 60123-4755
Phone: (847) 742-9909
Fax: (847) 742-2160
Microtrace is licensed to handle
DEA controlled substances
(schedules 1, 2N, 3, 3N, 4, 5).
Founder and Senior Research Microscopist
Resume (Download PDF)
Please note that this is not necessarily current. For a current
copy, please contact Microtrace.
Skip Palenik has had a lifelong
fascination with the microscope that started when he received his first
instrument at the age of eight.
Since then he has devoted himself to increasing his knowledge of
analytical microscopy and microchemistry and applying it to the solution
of real world problems, especially those of forensic interest.
He was fortunate in having worked closely with his mentor, Dr.
Walter McCrone, for thirty five years and to have studied forensic
microscopy with Dr. Max Frei-Sulzer of Zurich,
a disciple of Dr. Edmond Locard of Lyon.
Skip has been teaching analytical microscopy to forensic
scientists for more than thirty years and has published numerous
scientific articles and book chapters on the applications of chemical
and forensic microscopy.
His most recent contribution is a chapter on the use of heavy minerals
in forensic science. He has
also played a significant role in numerous criminal investigations
including the Atlanta Child Murders, the Air India Bombing, Jon Benet
Ramsey case, Narita Airport bombing (Tokyo), Hillside Strangler (LA),
Oklahoma City bombing, Ivan the Terrible (Jerusalem), Assassination of
Dr. Martin Luther King (reinvestigation by U.S. House Select Committee
on Assassinations), Unabomber, the disappearance of Helen Brach, The
“Kiki” Camarena Murder Case and the Green River Serial Murders.
He established Microtrace in 1992 to provide a resource for
organizations and individuals in need of scientific services involving
the analysis of microscopic trace evidence.
His special research interests are the identification of single
small particles, small amounts of complete unknowns and tracing dust and
soil back to their origins.