The Criminalistics Section Prepares for Anaheim, CA

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Source: Sandra B. Sachs, PhD, Criminalistics Program Chair, and Jason L. Linder, MFS, Criminalistics Program Co-Chair

As agencies are gearing up to fund AAFS meeting attendance in Anaheim, CA, the Criminalistics Section wants to announce some highlights of this robust program:

  • The Criminalistics I track will provide DNA papers on Thursday and Friday that cover sample collection, body fluid ID, sample prep/extraction, non-human DNA, Massively Parallel Sequencing (MPS), Mito, and Y-chromosomal Short Tandem Repeats (Y-STRs)
    • Friday afternoon will include a special topic on forensic education covering academic institutions producing students, the processes forensic agencies have for hiring them, what judges need to know from forensic practitioners, and rebuilding a crime scene program with training. Young forensic scientists and educators are especially invited to attend and participate in the discussion about the forensic educational pipeline
  • The Criminalistics II track will include:
    • Thursday morning—a joint session with Engineering covering approaches using criminalistics and technology to assist investigations
    • Thursday afternoon—firearms and explosives
    • Friday morning—latent prints/impressions
    • Friday afternoon—ignitable residue, pyrolysis, and wood analysis
  • A Criminalistics III track was added on Friday morning to accommodate the deep research occurring in seized drug analysis, with more papers on this topic scheduled for Saturday morning
  • On Saturday, in parallel with the drug papers, a wide array of trace evidence topics will be covered
  • Nearly 100 Criminalistics posters are currently scheduled to be presented Wednesday through Friday
  • The popular Believe It or Not! session is back on Friday evening. Come and listen to your friends and colleagues share stories of their forensic (mis)adventures at this informal, entertaining, yet informative session

Moderator and Promotion Duty Opportunity: Due to the extra Criminalistics III track this year, the Criminalistics section is seeking additional non-DNA criminalistics moderators for the Thursday/Friday/Saturday sessions, particularly those who need to participate for promotion. Send a message to Sandra Sachs ( with your interest, availability, and discipline. There are also opportunities for DNA criminalistics moderators for the Thursday/Friday sessions. Reach out to Jason Linder ( if you are interested.

Calling Emerging Forensic Scientist Award (EFSA) judge volunteers: The number of EFSA presentations has increased. Each oral or poster presentation under consideration for an award needs to have two separate judge reports submitted. This year, judges need to be Members or Fellows of the Criminalistics section. Those in academia are particularly encouraged to participate—without judges, prizes and accolades for your students’ projects cannot be awarded. Please send a message to Sandra Sachs ( or Jason Linder ( if you are willing and able to assist with this important task.

The American Board of Criminalistics (ABC) certification exams will be offered during the meeting on Wednesday, February 19, 2020. The application deadline is December 6, 2019. Please check for more details.

We on the Program Committee look forward to seeing you in February in Anaheim!