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.