Criminalistics November 2014 News Update

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Academy News are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Academy.

Source: John J. Lentini, BA, Section Secretary

The Section Program Committee, consisting of Chair Karolyn Tontarski and Co-Chair Vincent Desiderio (and many volunteers), have put together an excellent program for the 2015 Annual Meeting.

The Committee has worked to embrace President Martell’s meeting theme while putting together our scientific sessions. With a focus on Celebrating The Forensic Science Family, you’ll see the family theme woven throughout the program from the co-presentations given by our real-life forensic families to the names of the sessions. You’ll also note three multidisciplinary sessions on the schedule: one with Anthropology that explores emerging technologies highlighting the intersection of the missions of both sections; another with the General and Questioned Documents Sections that allows us to learn from each other with respect to pattern recognition evidence; and our own (inbred) session involving the complementary nature of trace and biology. With over 200 papers comprising our oral and poster sessions, attendees will have plenty of interesting and informative papers to choose from. And, if that were not enough, as with any large family, we expect that other sections within the Academy will be competing for your attention with topics that are of interest to criminalistics-minded folks!

In addition, the program sessions have been structured to highlight President Martell’s sub-themes. Accordingly, there are papers that touch on the topic of mentoring which support the concept that mentors can come from anywhere, including one’s own family (“Honoring Our Mentors”). Many sessions are structured to include “multigenerational” presentations with papers from our newbie and newer forensic scientists as well as our, ahem, “established” forensic scientists – note that no one is calling anyone old (“Stimulating the Future”)! And via our multidisciplinary sessions mentioned above, we will be seeking to “Learn from Each Other.”

As always, the Criminalistics Section program will be full, so plan to hit the ground running on Thursday. Wear comfortable shoes so you’ll have the energy and wherewithal to take in all the meeting has to offer! Lovers of all things forensic biology and drug chemistry/instrumental analysis should plan to stay through Saturday since there are some excellent papers in store especially for you on that day! As an added incentive, the second annual “You Got DNA From What?” session will be presented again on Friday evening.

Forensic science educators are reminded that their students who are not members of the Academy can obtain free registration if they volunteer to serve at the meeting. Volunteers accomplish an array of administrative and gatekeeping tasks throughout the week. Volunteers who are not members of the Academy may receive complimentary registration to attend all non-ticketed sessions of the meeting by signing up for a minimum of eight hours of volunteer service at the meeting. Volunteers may apply online through the AAFS Account Web system or by completing the Volunteer Form available in this newsletter on page16. Applications need to be submitted to AAFS Volunteer Coordinator Samantha Roach no later than December 31. Applications are handled on a first-come first-served basis, so avoid waiting until the last minute.