Spring has officially arrived as of Sunday, the 20th. At home, the arrival of spring starts the process of moving plants back outside, taking the covers off of the patio furniture, packing up the winter sweaters, going through the closets, and getting the windows washed. It’s a complete distraction from work and I love it.

We had several of our partners reach out to us with announcements and requests for ASCLD member assistance. If you ever want more information on something I post here, find me and I can put you in contact with the person/group submitting the information.

Just a note about an announcement I made on the February 7th CLM about the Annual Questioning Forensics Conference, “Foundations of DNA Defense: Unpacking the 2021 NIST Report” scheduled for March 30/April 1. If you haven’t registered yet, no need to do so. They have decided to close it down to only the defense community. Anyone from a lab should have received an email that your registration has been removed.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Forensic DNA Interpretation has developed a survey to be completed by forensic DNA technical leaders (or equivalent). The DNA Technical Leaders survey has been designed to assess consistency and variability between forensic DNA laboratories with respect to laboratory management, tasks performed, DNA data interpretation, cognitive bias, internal and external training and research, testimony and reporting practices, quality assurance and quality control measures, and stakeholder engagement opportunities. It is estimated to take about 45 minutes to complete. There is more information attached below in their letter. More information can be found here: https://www.nist.gov/programs-projects/dna-technical-leader-survey and click here to be taken directly to the survey: https://rtihfdna.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6hydFO5jonForlA.

Please mark your calendar for March 23, 2022 at 10:00 AM EST. ASTM International, formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials, is an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services, including many of our Forensic Science disciplines. E30, the Forensic Science Committee, began publishing “American National Standards” effective August 2021. This new process allows interested stakeholders the opportunity to provide comments on draft standards. They have a new webinar that I would like to share with you. During the webinar, presenters will provide information on how to actively participate in the consensus-based standards development process, as an E30 committee member, E30 technical contact, and/or as a public commentor. Learn about the American National Standards process and how it differs from E30’s previous process. I am on this committee and we always appreciate new members and input from our community and stakeholders as these standards are developed, revised, and updated. Register here: https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/3643945/68B1F7A7CB699FD853E24ED3D86B259D

Please see the attached flyer below from our partner the Society of Forensic Toxicology (SOFT), about a new grant project they are working on. They received funding through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to create a Regional Toxicology Liaison (RTL) Demonstration Project for three of the ten NHTSA regions. The project creates a cooperative agreement to assist with training, collaboration, and the standardization of testing across state labs and the reporting of data to better understand the scope of the drug-impaired driving problem. The flyer provides introductions to the liaisons and contact information.

We are accepting videos, newspaper clippings, photos, etc. for compilation into videos to kick off our mornings at the symposium. Did you take pictures for National Forensic Science Week? There is a link to the dropbox below or you can contact me at laura.sudkamp@ky.gov. and we will get your items submitted.

I hope everyone has a great week!