Spotlight on the Regional Associations—August 2020

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Sources: Vincent P. Villena, MS, RAC Chair, and Lori B. Seman, MS, MAAFS Representative to the RAC

The fifth organization we are featuring in this month’s Regional Association Committee (RAC) update is presented by their Meeting Planning Chair, Lori Seman, of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists (MAAFS).

The first meeting of the MAAFS was held in July of 1972 and the Association’s constitution was officially adopted the following spring. The MAAFS was formed with the objectives of encouraging the exchange and dissemination of ideas and information, improving contacts between persons and laboratories engaged in the forensic sciences, stimulating research and development of new and/or improved techniques, and promotion of high standards of performance and professional ethics for those in the field of forensic sciences.

The MAAFS membership draws primarily from, but is not limited to, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. Membership is available to individuals who are actively engaged in the field of forensic sciences or who have made a significant contribution to the literature of forensic sciences. Opportunities for associate membership also exist for students who are studying forensic sciences. Membership is divided into three sections, each led by a Section Chair, to provide training and educational opportunities in their area of study. These sections are Biology (serology and DNA), Criminalistics (drug chemistry, toxicology, trace evidence), and Questioned Documents.

The MAAFS meetings are held annually, typically during the month of May. The meeting travels throughout the Mid-Atlantic region to facilitate attendance by members at least once every four years. The MAAFS annual meetings include two days of workshops covering a variety of topics in each of the sections, the MAAFS business meeting, followed by two days of presentations by a selection of practitioners, students, vendors, and a keynote speaker. A scholarship opportunity is available for students who wish to present their research. There are also plenty of opportunities for networking. The MAAFS annual meeting is open to both members and non-members.

Visit the MAAFS website ( to learn more about joining the organization and attending the annual meeting.