Criminalistics Section News – September 2015

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:  Karolyn L. Tontarski, MS, Section Secretary

Now that the abstracts submission deadline for the upcoming 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting in Las Vegas has passed and the “dog days” of summer are (hopefully) coming to an end, it is time to turn your attention to submitting your application for promotion if you now meet the requirements to do so. Please don’t wait until the last minute. You can (and should) seek to move your membership status in the AAFS forward this year if you qualify.

Are you an Associate Member of the Criminalistics Section? Have you been working in the field and held Associate Member status for two years (or will have by October 1)? Have you attended at least one annual meeting of the AAFS? Have you provided service to the AAFS through your work or research, by presenting at a meeting, or by publishing in Journal of Forensic Sciences? If so, now is the time for you to submit your application for promotion to Member.

Are you a Member of the Criminalistics Section? Have you attended at least two annual meetings of the AAFS? Have you held the status of full Member for at least two years (or will have by October 1)? While serving as an Associate Member or Member of the Criminalistics Section, have you met one or more of the requirements for promotion from Member to Fellow on three separate occasions within the last ten consecutive years as listed at

To see if you meet both the AAFS and the Criminalistics Section promotion requirements and to obtain the directions for submission, from the home page of under Quick Links, select Applicants for Promotion & Membership and look for the applicable link “Promote to Member or Fellow” and get started! The firm deadline for submission of promotion applications is October 1. We’re looking forward to receiving your promotion application.

Also of interest for the forensic biologists/DNA analysts out there…please keep in mind the November 1 deadline for the submission of questions for the DNA Mixture Interpretation and Statistics Town Hall Meeting being held during the annual meeting in Las Vegas. This special two-hour session provides an opportunity to have questions on this topic answered by the six-expert panel on matters related to difficult mixtures and certain assumptions made during interpretation such as: number of contributors (and their proportions), dropout and other stochastic effects, allele sharing/relatedness, and stutter. Please submit your general questions on mixture interpretation and/or a sample profile to Kristy Kadash at by November 1. All questions and profiles will be screened, compiled, and provided to the panelists in advance of the session.

Speaking of the annual meeting in Las Vegas, we hope you plan to attend and have already started the process of securing leave or training days to ensure you will be there!