President's Message
Dear ASCLD Colleagues,

Happy Forensic Science Week 2020! Many of you are doing things to recognize our profession, laboratories, and staff over the coming week. If you are sharing photos and features through social media, tag #ascld or #forensicscience so we can re-share to our community.

You may know that I went to college and graduate school at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa on the island of O’ahu. I keep up with the happenings back in Hawai’i, my second home, and in doing so, I was reminded of a proverb; Aloha kekahi i kekahi. Care for one another. This proverb rings true as people in our forensic community are presently experiencing devastating wildfires, hurricanes, and challenges in the laboratory all while living in a pandemic. We have cared for and supported colleagues whose labs have both literally and figuratively crumbled.

Our community has helped a laboratory damaged by a catastrophic hurricane and then earthquakes get back on its feet. We have reached out to colleagues after a disastrous tornado destroyed their city to ask if they are OK. We see that a massive hurricane has impacted a laboratory and its employees and ask how we can help. We read about a bombing or a mass shooting in the news, knowing our colleagues are working with those scenes and evidence, and let them know we care and we are thinking of them. ASCLD comes together in more ways than just once a year at the Symposium. The ASCLD Community has come together to care for one another time again and again.

The Membership Committee is working on a project and would like your support to help share why we choose to be members of ASCLD. Read more about it in this week’s CLM. As we celebrate forensics this week, I thank each of you for being a part of the ASCLD Community.

Aloha pumehana,

Erin

Erin P. Forry
ASCLD President
ASCLD monthly board meeting, 3rd Friday of every month

Next meeting: September 18th at 1:00pm EST
It is with much excitement we announce that our ASCLD Executive Director John A. Byrd has updated his email address to ExecutiveDirector@ASCLD.org. This is a much needed change as the new email is more indicative and provides clarity of the title and position within it’s address. Members, we respectfully ask that you update your email contact list with this new and exciting change. 
Weekly News and Resources
Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations
National Forensic Scientist Week
September 20-26

Here are some more ideas to help you celebrate National Forensic Science Week! Each week we will share some ideas as we lead up to September 20th.

Since 2013, the forensic science community has celebrated National Forensic Science week on an annual basis. The week gives the forensic science community the opportunity to honor those forensic science practitioners who work tirelessly every day to provide unbiased, quality scientific contributions to criminal cases worldwide.

This year will be unprecedented as our community continues to work cases and have displayed tremendous resiliency despite the pandemic we are all facing. We can still honor forensic scientists via:

1. Obtain support from state leadership. A proclamation from the governor's office for National Forensic Science week is a great opportunity for your laboratory.

2. Virtually meet with your laboratory. Share stories or kudos for outstanding casework throughout the year.

3. Have a week long social media campaign.

4. Submit photos on your work from home environment and have the lab vote on a winner.

5. Create virtual activities throughout the week (forensic bingo, trivia, Pictionary, or “guess that future forensic scientist” baby picture contest).

6. Consider making videos highlighting some of the forensic scientists that work in your organization. Perhaps they can share why they got into the field and why they stay- inspiration for newer scientists!

7. Make a video giving a virtual tour of the laboratory. Showcase the great work forensic scientists do in your laboratory!

It's important for us to continue to celebrate forensics and the great work forensic scientists do. We can still strive to share our stories and get closer even while we are apart.”

As you take photos of your lab's participation in Forensic Science Week, be sure to tag them on social media with  #ascld #forensics #NFSW2020

Community Research, Newsletters, and Surveys
The ASCLD International Committee is conducting a mentorship survey. The purpose of the survey is to establish a roster of individuals who would be interested in participating in international mentorship opportunities. The roster would allow ASCLD to connect qualified, interested members with requesting laboratories and organizations to improve forensic science in other countries. The survey will be open until September 30.

To take the survey, click HERE.
ASCLD Forensic Research Committee
The Future Forensics Subcommittee of the ASCLD Forensic Research Committee (FRC) is continuing the publication of brief executive summaries of the recent literature within the forensic sciences.

The initial source of the executive summaries is the proceedings of the triannual 19th INTERPOL International Forensic Science Manager’s Symposium literature reviews, originally published by INTERPOL.

These summaries were written by ASCLD members and are meant to provide a brief overview of the most noteworthy publications and trends in the literature within the last 3 years (2016-2019).

The list of seven (7) executive research summaries include reviews in the areas of fingerprints, controlled substances, paint and glass evidence, forensic toxicology, forensic biology, gunshot residue analysis, and firearms and toolmarks. The summaries and additional information about other FRC activities can be found HERE.

Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG)
The NIJ Forensic Laboratory Needs – Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG) met virtually during the afternoons of July 27 and 28, 2020. 

The FLN-TWG is made up of laboratory directors and research scientists, many of whom are members of ASCLD, who are tasked with providing knowledge and expertise to ensure that NIJ research and implementation of forensic technology is relevant and responsive to laboratory operations needs of the forensic science community.

One focus of the meeting was firearms examiners’ testimony and reporting issues that have been gaining traction in court for the last twelve months. Some of the court decisions where examiner testimony was limited include: United States v. Shipp (2019), United States v. Johnson (2019), United States v. Tibbs (2019), United States v. Davis (2019), United States v. Hunt (2020), Williams v. United States (DC Court of Appeals), People v. A.M.(Bronx, NY 2020), and United States v. Odell Tony Adams (2020). Although most of these decisions have been in Federal court, all laboratory directors and firearms examiners should be aware of them and their potential implications to crime labs.

The FLN-TWG also discussed the NIJ research strategy for the coming years, specifically in light of the reduced budget that NIJ has for forensic science research.
At previous meetings, the FLN-TWG drafted white papers on implementation considerations of up and coming technologies including Next Generation Sequencing for DNA Analysis, Proteomic Mass Spectrometry for Bodily Fluid Identification, 3D Optical Topography Technologies for Firearms Examinations, Liquid Chromatography-Time of Flight (LC-TOF) for Toxicological Analysis, and Incorporation of Digital Evidence into Project FORESIGHT. Currently, these white papers are in the editorial process at RTI.

The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for late October.


The court decisions listed above will be posted on the Member Site for your reference and information.
Meet Ray Wickenheiser FSSB OSAC for Forensic Science
Ray Wickenheiser, an ASCLD past president (2017), is beginning his second term as an ASCLD representative at OSAC. Ray is the newly-appointed as Vice-Chair of the Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB) for the Organization of the Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science, which is run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). That is a whole lot of acronyms. The FSSB directs and oversees the committees responsible for generating standards which will guide the scientific activities of forensic laboratories, hence there is a huge operational and quality assurance impact on forensic science service providers. Having a representative to voice ASCLD positions, ideas and concerns is vital to ASCLD’s mission and leadership in forensic science.

Many forensic standards have been years in the making and are coming through the standards development pipeline now. The transition to OSAC 2.0 will see some consolidation of committees, placement of resource committee (legal, human factors and QA) members on each subcommittee to foster earlier input, introduction of Scientific Technical Review Panels (STRPs) and earlier dissemination of draft standards for viewing. OSAC 2.0 officially begins October 1, 2020. Therefore, the opportunity to provide input and need to be aware of standards is more vital now that ever. 

Please reach out to Ray directly if you have any questions or concerns, particularly if your see a particular issue with a standard making its way through the process. Ray serves on a number of committees as part of his role and is eager to talk standards to anyone who will listen!
ABC Certification Scheme Restructuring
The American Board of Criminalistics (ABC) has been a pillar in the forensic field for certifying criminalists since the 1990’s. As the ABC and forensic disciplines have evolved, the Board of Directors (BOD) has actively pursued strategic changes. Recently a restructuring of the certification scheme for ABC participants has been pursued upon a thoughtful survey and dialogue of the BOD. Please see this official announcement of the restructure which will go into effect on January 1st, 2021. This announcement not only includes the history of this change but also includes some thoughtful questions you may be asking as leaders within your forensic organization.

If you have any questions or comments regarding restructuring of ABC certification schemes, please contact the ABC Board of Directors HERE.
The Cannabis Quality Assurance Program 
The Cannabis Quality Assurance Program (CannaQAP), part of our larger Cannabis program, will help forensic laboratories demonstrate and improve the comparability and/or competence of the quantitative measurements required under the 2018 Farm Bill.
 
Click here for additional information

AAFS Standards Board

Briggs White recipient for 2020 Kermit Channell is interviewed by ASCLD member and previous Briggs White recipient John Collins in the link below. Please find time to listen to Kermit and his thoughts and insights to leadership and the forensic community. Kermit is the Executive Director of the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory. 

The video can be viewed here. 
Forensic Research Committee Bulletin - July 2020
The goal of the Laboratories and Educators Alliance Program (LEAP) is to facilitate collaborative research between academia and forensic science laboratories. This joint effort between the American Society of Crime Lab Directors (ASCLD) and the Council of Forensic Science Educators (COFSE) identifies forensic science needs and provides a platform for laboratories, researchers, and students to seek projects aligning with their mutual research capabilities. Read more...
Funding Opportunities
For the most up to date Funding Opportunities visit: https://bja.ojp.gov/funding/current

Standards Corner
The AAFS has established an organization dedicated to developing documentary standards for forensics, the Academy Standards Board (ASB).

To date in the United States, forensic standards development has culminated in the currently on-going National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC) effort, which began in 2014. NIST has ensured the significant involvement of the forensic science community in this process.

Help to shape the development of these standards by offering your comments during the public commenting period. Keep up with the standards available for public comment at ASB HERE.


OSAC News

Summer 2020 OSAC Standards Bulletin now available, click HERE

The Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science monthly Standards Bulletin is now available. Read about the latest DNA standard to be added to the OSAC Registry and the nine other standards currently open for Registry comment. Also learn about the recently published toxicology and footwear and tire standards, the eight standards open for comment at standards developing organizations, and the new documents being initiated. 
Training
September 23, 2020 @ 11am EST
ASCLD has partnered with The Department of Justice’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) to deliver a webinar entitled “Future Directions in Forensic Science” on September 23, 2020 @ 11am EST. This webinar has been developed as part of ICITAP’s mandate to strengthen forensic science globally. The program was originally conceived to assist the Costa Rican Forensic Sciences Department with the development of their new strategic plan, however a forward thinking look at forensic science over the next 5-10 years will undoubtedly be beneficial to forensic science leaders in the United States and around the world.
 
The panel of speakers include ASCLD Board of Directors Bruce Houlihan (Drugs/Tox) and Tim Kupferschmid (DNA) along with FBI Firearms expert Erich Smith. The speakers will share their vision for the future of their field to support laboratories in their planning processes. Please click on this link for further information and to register for this event.   
April 11 - 15, 2021 | Together Toward Tomorrow | Boston, MA
The ASCLD 2021 Symposium will be held at the Westin Copley in Boston’s historic Back Bay in April 2021.

Are you interested in presenting at ASCLD 2021? Click HERE to submit an abstract. The deadline for submissions is September 30th.
Registration is Open
Please join us for the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science Public Update Meeting on September 30, 2020.  

click HERE
Southwestern Association of
Forensic Scientists
Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Conference will be held completely online!
October 5th, 6th, and 8th, 2020
No registration fee will be charged this year!
Please use the main menu to register and view the schedule. All events will be broadcast over the RTI system, not the SWAFS website.
Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists Annual Conference
October 14-17, 2020

Click HERE for link
 Webinar Series
New and emerging standards and best practices in forensic biology and DNA testing

July 15, 2020 (On Demand)
Part 1: Development and Publication of New Standards and Best Practices – The Process
August 5, 2020 (On Demand)
Part 2: Mixture Interpretation Validation and Protocol Development and Verification
September 9, 2020
Part 3: Training Standards Overview

ASCLD Emerging Issues: Employee Webinar Series (Archived)

Providing training and education to our membership is a core mission for ASCLD. Despite the unfortunate cancellation of our annual symposium this year, the Symposium Planning and Training and Education Committees found a way to bring timely and relevant content that would have been experienced in Denver, to the ASCLD membership.
Through a generous partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence at RTI International, ASCLD presented a three-part webinar series entitled ASCLD Emerging Issues: Employee Wellness. Providing training and education in employee wellness is part of the current ASCLD Strategic Plan. In an already stressful profession, as we adapt and lead through the COVID-19 pandemic, this topic is particularly timely.

In June 2020, ASCLD Emerging Issues: Employee Wellness presented the following webinars:

Speakers: Andrew Levin, Jonathan McGrath, Heidi Putney, & Danielle Crimmins

Speaker: Jody Wolf

Speaker: Robert Kirkby
BODE Virtual Forensic DNA Conference

New Dates: Nov . 3-6, 2020

Click HERE for link
ANAB - Upcoming training events
New! ANAB is offering live instructor lead online courses to meet the need for continued learning in light of widespread travel restrictions and the need for social distancing. Each class is offered via WebEx and includes the opportunity for participants to submit questions, as well as interact with the instructor and other participants.

October 20, 2020, (11:30am-4:30pm ET) Live Online

August 3-6, 2020, Live Online
September 15-18, 2020, (11:00am-5:00pm ET) Live Online – WAIT LIST
September 21-24, 2020, (11:00am-5:00pm ET) Live Online
November 3-6, 2020, (11:00am-5:00pm ET) Live Online
 
October 6-9, 2020, (11:00am-5:00pm ET) Live Online
November 16-19, 2020, (11:00am-5:00pm ET) Live Online
December 14-17, 2020, (11:00am-5:00pm ET) Live Online
 
September 14-17, 2020 (11am-1pm ET), Live Online
December 1-4, 2020 (11am-1pm ET), Live Online

November 2-3, 2020, (11:00am-3:00pm ET) Live Online
 
September 14-16, 2020 (2pm-4pm ET), Live Online
November 30-December 2, 2020 (2pm-4pm ET), Live Online

Self-paced Training (Web-based)

Self-paced Training (Web-based)
ASCLD MEMBER SUBMISSIONS
ASCLD members: We need you!
To make a video in the comfort of your own space (whether that be home/office/outside…be creative) telling us why you like being a member of ASCLD!

Being a part of ASCLD helps our leadership across the world build connections with its memberships and allows members to gain more knowledge in this field by learning from others.

So what are we looking for? A video of you can include:
 
  1. Introduce yourself (your name, title, organization, years in the field)
  2. What got you in the field?
  3. What made you decide to join ASCLD?
  4. What benefits have you gained as a member of ASCLD?
  5. Is there anything you would want a prospective ASCLD member to know?

The video should be around 3 min to 3.5 min in length.
We are asking for videos so we can stay connected with our community during these unprecedented times. Additionally, it was pointed out to us that often times it can be intimidating to take that “leap” into engaging in such a large organization with such great leadership in our field. Let’s show those leaders out there in crime laboratories that we are a welcoming group seeking a diverse membership. Please consider helping us!”
Also, please continue to submit your photos to social media with the hashtag #ASCLDfun
If you have a small article you would like to submit or share, please email it to executivedirector@ascld.org
ASCLD Partnerships
Crime Lab Minute Sponsors
For More Information, Click the LOGO below:
A2LA WorkPlace Training (A2LA WPT) is a nonprofit organization established with a vision of being the leading management systems, conformity assessment, and measurement training company in the world. Our mission is to provide independent, world-class training programs that inspire confidence in the quality of service and acceptance of results from organizations.
 
Be a leader in your industry by building confidence and consistency in your product through A2LA WPT’s broad spectrum of instructor-led and online e-learning training courses. Move ahead of your competition by learning best practices on international standards, quality systems, technical tools, and soft skills.
Donate to ASCLD
Donations to ASCLD can now be made online! This is a great way to honor the memory of a forensic colleague, to commemorate a life event for that person who has everything, or to otherwise assist in supporting the tireless efforts of the ASCLD organization in the pursuit of excellence in forensic science management. The donation page can be accessed by clicking HERE or by visiting the ASCLD website and clicking on "Donate to ASCLD" under the "Member Site" tab (this donation page is accessible even to non-members). Please consider donating and do share this information with anyone you think might be interested.
The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors

65 Glen Road, Suite 123
Garner, NC 27529
Phone: 919.773.2044