We have made it to the last thirty days before the symposium. I can’t wait to see everyone in Reno! The countdown clock is ticking. If there has been a delay for you to register due to late releasing of grant funds or due to COVID related travel restrictions, you still have time. We would love to see you.

Executive Director, John Byrd, sent out an email last week with the Executive Education Digest (EED) which contained some mandatory information for the upcoming business meeting. The EED looks back at the Board year and provides annual summaries from all of the committees as well as the summarizing the activities of the Executive Board Members. It includes the candidates running for the Board of Directors including brief bio’s and their answers to our questions regarding their interest in the Board. The 2022 New ASCLD Member Candidates list is also included and we ask that you review the list and please contact me Laura.Sudkamp@ky.gov or John Byrd at ExecutiveDirector@ASCLD.org if you see a name on that list that you have concern about them joining our organization. The Board will vote them in at our board meeting that happens right before the symposium and the annual business meeting. The EED also contains the proposed bylaws changes. We found in our discussions at the board meetings sometimes that the bylaws were unclear and confusing about which “meeting” an activity had to occur. Business meeting and board meeting were practically interchangeable but they are very separate events. We propose some changes to bylaws to clarify which is which. There is also a proposed change to the bylaws that allows the Board to waive the requirement to attend two symposia as a regular member in times like this where COVID is still having an impact. The cancellation of the Denver Symposium and travel restrictions still in place for some members for the Boston and Reno symposia means that some excellent candidates now and in the near future will not qualify due to this restriction. The last change has to deal with the business meeting and if we run into another situation where the business meeting cannot take place in person like we had for the Denver meeting. When exigent circumstances exist, and the in-person meeting is cancelled, an online meeting would be allowed. So take a look at the EED and all of the items that you will be voting on.

Thanks to ANAB and JusticeTrax, the Casino Night off-site event at the National Car Museum is going to be a lot of fun! Since we cannot gamble with real money at the event, we will have prizes to win. For some of the smaller prizes, do you have any prizes (Agency coffee mugs/shirts, any agency swag or something else) that you would be willing to donate as a prize for our casino night? We would love to have it. Please contact me for more information. ANAB has joined into the fun and after a ton of experimentations and final validations announce that they have perfected their bourbon smash called the “Root Cause”. We will have a photographer, Katie, at the symposium including the evening events. Let her take your picture or of your group or with your favorite car in the museum. If you dress to the James Bond theme, we want that picture! Have some fun with it. Please register to attend.

The President’s Reception, also sponsored by JusticeTrax, is turning into a bit of a party but that shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me. We will have a live band with music from the 20’s to the 50’s to enjoy. The event is in a lounge setting and we will do some fellowship and food and drink before jumping into our award winner announcements. Then it is back to socializing with our friends. Make sure to register so we can get a headcount. The photographer, Katie, will be in attendance as well. While not required, get dressed up and let her capture the moment!

The ASCLD Rapid DNA Disaster Victim Identification Committee is working to develop tools to assist laboratories that intend to deploy rapid DNA in a mass fatality response. These tools will assist in planning and coordinating forensic laboratory support for disaster victim identification. To develop tools that best meet the needs of laboratories, the committee would be grateful for your assistance in gathering some data. Below is a link to a survey that has been designed to collect information about your laboratory’s current capabilities and future plans for mass disaster response. Your response to this brief survey is greatly appreciated and will help us create tools that are as useful as possible to forensic laboratories. A comments section has been included for each question if you would like to provide additional detail. Survey Link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScrgwlGXaNV04JMUUmiNp2or1MZO7RdWbFyT03wnWpgaSccHw/viewform

Attached below is a great PDF from the Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations (CFSO) regarding the US budget that is being released today. The briefing provides information about the funding levels appropriated for each grant program but further into the document, you will see where CFSO has a language summary with line items describing what the US House and Senate had to say and require about each of the grant programs. It really shows you where the funds are being focused and what the legislature is hoping to address or focus upon. That information could help with putting together successful applications for the competitive funding.

Don’t forget 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). https://www.nist.gov/programs-projects/dna-technical-leader-survey

I hope everyone has a great week!