2020 NEAFS Virtual Annual Meeting

Where Ever You Are

October 14th - 17th, 2020


2020 NEAFS Annual Meeting T-Shirts


Anvil Jersey T-shirt

Unisex - Black

Proceeds from T shirt sales will go to The Carol De Forest Research Grant

Jayann Sepich 

Solving Crime and Saving Lives, A Mother’s Mission to Expand the DNA Database

Thursday, October 15th 1:00pm-2:00pm

Jayann Sepich was born and raised in Carlsbad, New Mexico.  Her father was an attorney and her mother was a schoolteacher.  She has been married to her high school sweetheart Dave for 43 years.


On August 31, 2003, Jayann saw her life shatter when her firstborn, Katie, then a 22-year-old graduate student at New Mexico State University, was brutally raped and murdered.  In the aftermath of that experience, Jayann and her family learned more than they ever wanted to know about our criminal justice system, and the laws that affect our lives.


Jayann along with her husband Dave,

son AJ and daughter Caraline have made it their mission to see legislation passed in all 50 states to mandate taking DNA upon felony arrest.  In New Mexico “Katie’s Law” passed in in 2006 and was implemented in New Mexico January 1, 2007.  Since then New Mexico has had over 2050 crimes matched to their arrestee database.  The Sepich family has continued to advocate for arrestee DNA testing programs. Jayann has testified more than fifty times before state legislative committees across the country, and has also testified twice before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. She has also advocated for the expansion of DNA databases in Thailand, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.  Thirty-one states now have arrestee DNA testing legislation.  In 2008, the Sepich family began working on federal legislation that would provide grants to help states implement arrestee DNA programs.  In December of 2012 the United States Congress passed “the Katie Sepich DNA Expansion Act”. President Obama signed the federal Katie’s Law on January 10, 2013. 


In December of 2008, the Sepich family established DNA Saves, a non-profit organization dedicated to the passage of arrestee testing laws. DNA Saves has submitted amicus briefs in four court cases challenging arrestee DNA laws, including Maryland v. King.  On June 3, 2013, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Maryland v King that taking DNA upon arrest for serious crimes is constitutional.


Katie’s story, along with the Sepich family’s fight for “Katie’s Law” has been chronicled on Anderson Cooper on CNN, NBC Dateline, America’s Most Wanted as well on the Discovery channel and other national television networks. As a result of Jayann’s work to see DNA legislation passed, she has been honored by USA Today as a “Outstanding Woman of the Century”, and by the Governor of New Mexico as an Outstanding New Mexico Woman, and was inducted into the New Mexico Women’s Hall of Fame.  She was also honored by Redbook Magazine with their “Strength and Spirit Award”.


On August 31st, the Sepich family will commemorate the 17th anniversary of Katie’s murder.  Although they will always miss Katie and abhor the violence that took her from them, the Sepich family is proud of her legacy. 


Jayann says that she is an ordinary woman placed in an extraordinary circumstance.  She believes that through DNA testing of arrestees, lives will be saved and crimes prevented, and families will be spared the pain of burying a much-loved child. 

Dr. Mary Curtis, Mr. Barry Baker and Dr. Edgard Espinoza 

Wildlife Forensic Sciences: Morphology, Genetics and Chemistry

Thursday, October 15th 3:00pm-4:00pm

Mary Burnham-Curtis, Ph.D. is the Genetics Team Leader for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, OLE-National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory (NFWFL) in Ashland, OR. Mary has worked for the Department of the Interior for over 32 years, with the last 19 years at NFWFL as a Senior Forensic Scientist. She and her team conduct genetic analyses to determine species, population, and individual source for pieces, parts, and products of a diverse array of fish, mammals, birds, and invertebrates using traditional Sanger sequencing and microsatellite DNA techniques, as well as next generation sequencing technologies.   


Dr. Burnham-Curtis has been active 8 years as a former Board Member and Chair of the Proficiency Testing Board for the Society for Wildlife Forensic Science (SWFS) and 7 years as a member and affiliate of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) Biology/DNA-Wildlife Forensic Subcommittee. Mary participated on the Scientific Working Group for Wildlife Forensic Science (SWGWILD) with early efforts to establish best practices standards and guidelines for wildlife forensic laboratories in the US.  She is currently a member of the Technical Working Group of SWFS, assisting with efforts to establish ISO 17025 compliant standards and guidelines for non-US wildlife forensic laboratories. 


Mary received her BA in Zoology from DePauw University in Greencastle, IN, and her MS and Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.  


Barry W. Baker is a Senior Forensic Scientist at the U.S. National Fish & Wildlife Forensic Laboratory, where he also supervises the Morphology Section. His work centers on species identification of wildlife parts and products submitted as forensic evidence from criminal investigations targeting the illegal international wildlife trade. His background includes anthropology, zooarcheology and vertebrate morphology. As a certified wildlife forensic scientist (CWFS) and registered professional archaeologist (RPA), his forensic work focuses primarily on reptiles, mammalian osteology, and ivory identification. 


Dr. Edgard Espinoza is the Deputy Director of the National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory, located in Ashland, Oregon.  In 1991 Ed was a co-author of the ivory identification book and to date he has analyzed thousands of ivory objects.  For the last 30 years Ed has been involved in the application of chemistry to wildlife forensic questions and this work has resulted in over 60 peer reviewed publications. Since 2010 Ed has been focusing on the analysis of illegal timber products using DART TOFMS (Direct Analysis in Real Time, Time_of_Flight Mass Spectrometry).  Ed and DeeDee Hawk are co-founders of the Society for Wildlife Forensic Sciences (SWFS) and with SWFS membership (Technical Working Groups) assisted in the development of the proficiency program, best practices guidelines for wildlife forensic scientists and SWFS Certification.  Ed received his Ph.D. in Forensic Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. He is fluent in Castilian Spanish (Google Scholar: Edgard Espinoza; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2844-6840).

Susan Cooper LICSW 

Coping with Stress, Cultivating Resiliency and Learning to Relax

Friday, October 16th 9:30am-11:30am

I am a trainer, keynote speaker and clinician  with a passion for self-care and assisting others in finding and living their most authentic selves.

For the past 25 years, I have provided management consultations, conducted management/supervisor and wellness seminars, led grief groups and conducted critical incident debriefings for the Commonwealth of Ma/Group Insurance Commission Employee Assistance Program( EAP). I was employed by the three companies that were awarded the contract.

I have led grief groups for a Hospice, conducted psycho-social assessments for a Psych/Detox Hospital and have an ongoing private practice.

Throughout these 25 years I designed and facilitated a variety of training programs. They included stress management, emotional fitness, cultivating resiliency,  compassion fatigue, and balancing work/family. I teach Meditation and relaxation techniques. I am comfortable training small and large groups of people  I use humor, compassion and at times my own personal journeys to engage audiences. 

My goal is to inspire people to be thoughtful, find clarity and be open to change which will lead to living a more joyful and peaceful life. 

I have taught 1-2 hour workshops, half and full day seminars.

I also have taught on Substance Abuse and Dealing with Violence in the workplace. I have worked for three prior EAP’s providing short term counseling. I have experience being an onsite EAP counselor and conducting Debriefings after Hurricane Sandy and the  recent flooding in Texas.

I was the Key Note speaker for the Youth at Risk conference( 800 participants)  and The NE Chapter of the International Association of Forensic Nurses. The topics were Self Care for Caregivers and Cultivating Emotional Fitness. I conducted two workshops on Compassion Fatigue and Supporting Patients through Their Grief Journey at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. 

I hold a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Boston University. I am an LICSW /Comm of MA

My BA in Public Justice is from SUNY at Oswego NY.

Certifications: Assessment and Treatment of Psychological Trauma- BU School of Social Work

                          Direct Service Volunteer Training Program- Wayside Hospice/Parmenter VNA

                          Second-Degree Reiki Therapist- Arlington Reiki Associates

                          Group Crisis Intervention- MA Firefighting Academy

An Afternoon with Paul Holes

Lead Investigator, “Golden State Killer” Case

Friday, October 16th

Presentation: 2:30 - 4:30

Moderated Q&A: 4:30 - 5:00

Paul Holes is a retired investigator from the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s O­ffice. He was the Lead Cold Case Investigator for the infamous Golden State Killer Case. Holes worked in the East Bay for more than 27 years, with roles in the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Offi­ce crime lab and the DA’s offi­ce. His tenure in East Bay law enforcement coincides with the evolution of the use of DNA technology as a law enforcement tool. He became a sworn criminalist in 1994, the same year the sheriff’s lab invested in a DNA program. Paul came up with the idea of using DNA from a crime scene to build a fake genetic profile on GEDmatch, a genealogy site, 

which lead to distant relatives. A team of investigators then spent months combing through public records to piece together potential family trees. All that hard work eventually lead to the arrest of Joseph DeAngelo, 72, on April 25. It also made Holes a bonafide hero in the true crime community.

2020 Virtual Meeting Registration

Registration is closed.  We are no longer accepting registration forms.

The meeting has already commenced.  If payment is received, no refund will be issued.


Thank you to all who have already registered.

"See" you there.

If you have any issues regarding registration please email registration@neafs.org.


2020 Virtual Meeting Preliminary Schedule


2020 Virtual Meeting Workshops

Wednesday, October 14th: 9:30 - 12:00

Public Speaking for Criminal Justice Professionals

Members/ASTEE Members $20 / Non-members $40


Analytical Considerations, Requirements and Methodologies for the Opioid Crisis (Waters)*** 

Members/ASTEE Members $20 / Non-members $40

***This is a pre-recorded training event

Wednesday, October 14th: 1:30 - 4:00

Forensic Drug Chemistry and the Challenges it Poses: NMS Labs’ Multi-Faceted Approach to Maintain Productivity, Efficiency, and Quality***

Members/ASTEE Members $20 / Non-members $40

***This is a pre-recorded training event

Future Trends in Forensic DNA Technology (Thermo)*** 

Members/ASTEE Members $20 / Non-members $40

***This is a pre-recorded training event


For questions, additional information or to volunteer please contact the 2020 Program Chair

Angela Vialotti at: presidentelect@neafs.org.

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