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MAFS purpose is to encourage the exchange of ideas and information within forensic science.



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Hello again MAFS Members!


Hopefully you’re busy making summer travel plans, or maybe have already found yourself on vacation. I was fortunate to have had a short, but much needed getaway recently. Although I didn’t feel I could take the time away, it was clear I needed it, and certainly could have used a little more time off. If your workplace is like mine, there is always plenty of work to do however we need to make it a point to take time away to rest and rejuvenate.

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Supported by:

Foster and Freeman

MAFS 2018 Spring Workshop: Advanced Courtroom Testimony for the Drug Chemist - 10-Jan-2018

Advanced Courtroom Testimony for the Drug Chemist

Instructor: Tim McKibben

When: May 7-8, 2018 (8:00am—5:00pm each day)

Where: Dayton, Ohio

Training Location & Lodging: Crown Plaza Dayton ($101/night + tax; be sure to mention MAFS when registering for your room)

Cost: $300 $200 MAFS Member / $350 Non-MAFS Member

Workshop Coordinator: Jennifer Watson (

Cancellation Date:  None.  The workshop will be held as planned!


This two-day workshop is aimed at educating drug chemists beyond the basics of testimony related to drug analysis. Topics covered may include but are not limited to: handling opposing experts in general, reviewing opposing expert’s reports and what to focus on, Daubert (or Frye) hearings (how to get started, how to educate the attorney, etc), how to explain chemistry/chemical structures to a jury (related to analog and pharmacophore cases; what to do, what not to do), common opposing expert tactics and how to conquer them, how to aid in the prosecution’s/defense’s understanding of analog/pharmacophore cases, spectral interpretation as it relates to testimony, how to handle when an opposing expert “muddies” the water when testifying about chemistry related topics, case law that supports Dauberts (or Frye)/opposing reports etc, and how to introduce new technologies in court that have not previously been used in the area/district. The training will also include practical exercises.

This workshop is open to drug chemists working in local, state and federal laboratories.

 Registration link:




MAFS 2018 Spring Workshop: Probabilistic Genotyping: Theory and Implementation - 10-Jan-2018

Probabilistic Genotyping: Theory and Implementation

Instructors:  Dr. Michael Coble (NIST), Annette J. Ortiz (Denver Police Department Crime Laboratory), Kristen Schelling (Michigan State Police), and Brandon Good (Michigan State Police)

When: April 23 – 25, 2018 (8:00a – 5:00p each day)

Where: Brookfield, Wisconsin (Suburb of Milwaukee)

Training Location & Lodging: Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel, 375 S. Moorland Rd, Brookfield, WI  53005($104/night + tax; be sure to mention MAFS when reserving your room)

Cost: $300 $200 MAFS Member / $350 Non-MAFS Member

Workshop Coordinator: Sharon Polakowski (

Cancellation Date*: March 23, 2018 (20 min / 35 max)


The first two days of the workshop will be presented by Dr. Michael Coble from NIST and cover the basics of probabilistic genotyping, including likelihood ratios.  The remaining one day will be presentations by representatives from agencies who have implemented PG.  They will discuss validation, training of analysts, prosecutors, and defense attorneys, and further ‘nuts and bolts’ of implementation, including some data.


Registration link:

*The workshop will be cancelled if its minimum number of registrants is not met by the cancellation date.  Registration will remain open after the cancellation date if the minimum is met.



Medicolegal Death Investigator Training - St. Louis University - 06-Nov-2017

St. Louis University School of Medicine is offering a week-long Medicolegal Death Investigators Training Program in 2018.  For more details, please visit this link.



ABC Subject Matter Expert Volunteers Wanted - 21-Aug-2017

The American Board of Criminalistics is looking for DNA screeners, technicians and examiners. This is an opportunity to be a volunteer subject matter expert for creating a new job task analysis in efforts to redevelop the Molecular Biology Certification Examination in Forensic Biology (DNA). Please see the following and link if you are interested.


Greetings from the American Board of Criminalistics,


In our quest for ISO/IEC 17024 Accreditation, we are convening a group of Subject Matter Experts (SME) for a Job Analysis of forensic biology. We are looking for experts who perform “cradle to grave” analysis as well as those whose jobs might be described as either “biology evidence screener” or “forensic DNA analyst,” and handle those aspects of cases separately. If you are chosen, you will meet with a trained facilitator who will take you through the two-day Job Analysis process. This process will identify all of the job duties of a forensic biologist and then separate those job duties into their relevant tasks.


You may be asking yourselves why we are doing this if we already have existing exams. The ABC is constantly striving to improve our exams and part of that is making sure that they are testing the jobs that people are actually performing. We will select participants based on the following (in no particular order): geographic area, experience, gender, and availability.  These distinctions are recommended so that the entire community is properly represented. 


You do not need to be a current ABC certificant to participate. The training will be held in conjunction with the ISHI meeting in Seattle. An additional hotel night and per diem costs will be covered by the ABC; however, there will be no additional compensation for work absences. So please take a moment to fill out the survey found via this link:


We look forward to working with you.


Christopher Hamburg, D-ABC


Marie Samples, F-ABC
Chair, Examinations Committee



MAFS Response to PCAST Report - 13-Dec-2016

The MAFS response to the The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) 2016 report that was issued on December 12, 2016, may be viewed here.


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MAFS 2017 Fall Meeting Update - 08-Mar-2016

The MAFS 2017 Fall Meeting will be held in Cincinnati, OH




Meeting and Accommodations:


The Westin Cincinnati


21 East 5th Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202


888-627-8071 or 513-621-7700


Room rate: $132/night    





Hosted by the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office:


Kelly Ashton-Hand, Program Chair, 513-946-8768


Rachel Hamilton, Local Arrangements Chair, 513-946-8756 


Emily Weber, Exhibit Coordinator, Local Arr. Chair, 513-946-8759


 Mike Trimpe, Workshop Coordinator, 513-946-8761









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