Digital & Multimedia Section Mid-Year Update and Abstract Submission Reminder

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Source: Marla E. Carroll, BS, Section Chair

The AAFS annual meeting in Seattle was a great success. Our workshops and scientific sessions were well attended and received excellent reviews. Special thanks to Program Chair Mary Horvath and Co-Chair Douglas White, as well as to all members of the Program Committee for their time and efforts in putting together such an informative and diverse program. Kudos and appreciation to the members of the Awards, Planning, and Membership Committees, who work during the year and during the annual meeting to accomplish their respective tasks. Thanks also to Alan Brill, who provided us with a very lively and interactive session as our Section Luncheon speaker.

We elected both a new Section Director and a new Section Secretary this year. I am honored to serve as your Chair, and I am so thrilled to be working with your new Secretary, Jason Paroff. Committee Chairs and Co-Chairs for the 2018-2019 year are: Mary Horvath and Douglas White, Program Committee; Marcus Rogers and Jason Lewis, Planning Committee; Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar and Patrick Eller, Membership Committee; and Walter Hart and David Baker, Awards Committee. At the Academy level, Douglas Lacey continues in his position on the Board of Directors, and of course our own Zeno Geradts is the President-Elect of the AAFS.

The deadline for abstract submission is quickly approaching. As of this writing, there are less than two weeks until the August 1 at 11:59 p.m. (MDT) deadline. This is a firm deadline with no wiggle room. AAFS President Sue Ballou’s theme for the 2019 meeting in Baltimore, MD, is Diligence, Dedication, and Devotion. Please be sure to get your submissions in, and consider the following:

  1. We highly recommend there be at least TWO presenting authors for each abstract. If for some reason one author cannot attend the meeting, ONLY another presenting author may present the material.
  2. We are always looking for interesting workshops. Full-day workshops will be given higher priority in our request to the Academy. We are looking for presentations that have broad interest, particularly those that may have importance to members of other disciplines, as well as topics that are specific to our subdisciplines.
  3. Be sure to self-identify on the abstract submission if you would like the presentation to be considered for either the DMS Outstanding Research Award or the DMS Outstanding Case Study Award. Qualifications for these awards can be found starting on page 130 of the AAFS Policy and Procedure Manual (
  4. WE ARE CELEBRATING! 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of our becoming our own section of the Academy. As we look back at our history as a section, we’d like to also look into the future by having (at least) one block of our program that showcases the very latest in technology. Artificial intelligence, electronic currencies, deep-fakes video/audio/imaging, social media, drones… What is the cutting edge of today’s DMS forensics, and where are we heading?
  5. Let’s do LUNCH. In addition to being the DMS Section Chair, I am also the 2019 Luncheon Program Chair. If you have an interesting or unusual presentation or case study, especially one that has interdisciplinary appeal, please think about offering it as an Academy Luncheon presentation by checking that box on the abstract form. Only two presentations are selected from those submitted Academy-wide, with the Luncheons being on Thursday and Friday. These are approximately 45 minutes of talk time, rather than the 20-25 minutes allocated for our scientific program presentations. There must be at least two presenting authors on these abstracts, even if one is only a back-up in case the primary presenter must cancel at the last minute. Please folks, help me out here. We know how interesting our work is … this is an opportunity to show our stuff!

Somehow, we are already nearly half-way through the year to the next meeting, which means the work will truly kick in as we all prepare for Baltimore. Please consider assisting your fellow members by participating on a committee; contact the chair of the committee that you would like to assist.

Last, we really need to grow our section. Our numbers are actually down this year from last year (by just one person, but still!) Please continue to reach out to our colleagues and peers and encourage them to join us.