NEAFS 2019 Annual Meeting Workshops

Validating your Leadership Methods - A High-Impact Workshop for Forensic Laboratory Professionals

Wednesday November 13th


Instructor: John M. Collins MA, SHRM-SCP

Senior Leadership Consultants & Executive Coach

Critical Victories, LLC

All of us want to influence our work environment, our peers, and our employees in a positive way.  But are we doing it the right way?  We read books about leadership, attend workshops, and watch YouTube videos, but they don't seem to have a lasting impact on our professional effectiveness or our ability to produce sustainable results.  That's because the personal transformation that one must undergo to become a true leader requires something much more.  Whether you are a manager in a forensic science laboratory or simply want to improve your own leadership skills, this workshop will teach you specific and actionable strategies for improving your "leadership presence" and validating your approach to communicating and working with others.  By attending this workshop, you will learn much more than simply how to act like a leader.  You will learn how to become a leader!

Future Trends in Forensic DNA Technology

Wednesday November 13th


Instructor: Various


The 2019 Thermo Fisher Scientific Workshop will focus on Future Trends in Forensic DNA Technology.  Some of the topics will include: a panel discussion focused on mixture interpretation using a probabilistic genotype software and presentations on Rapid DNA, Y-Screening, and more.

Forensic Photography

Wednesday November 13th


Instructors: Keith A. Mancini

Forensic Photographer

Westchester County Forensic Laboratory


Attendees will learn the techniques necessary to document evidence, and crime scenes including fingerprints, impressions, and blood spatter patterns.


Techniques Discussed:

      Equipment (camera, lenses, and lighting) operation and settings

      Digital photography terminology

      Standard operating procedures

      Basic photographic principals (exposure, metering, shutter speed, aperture, focal length)

      Evidence documentation

      Crime Scene photography

      Fluorescence (alternate light source) photography

      Impression & Fingerprint photography

      Bluestar photography

      Blood Spatter photography


The course will be tailored to the field of interest of the attendees.

Effective and Empowering Expert Witness Testimony

Wednesday November 13th


Instructors: Arthur Young, BS, F-ABC and Katherine Cross, MS, F-ABC

Guardian Forensic Sciences

Public speaking is one of the most common fears that people have.  This is one of the main inhibitors of providing effective expert testimony; uneasiness can be misread by others as uncertainty or even deceptiveness.  The second inhibitor is the tendency to use scientific vocabulary, which can turn off a jury of lay people who probably didn't enjoy science the first time around.  An effective expert witness is the one who empowers members of the jury.  This workshop will reveal some of the techniques that the speakers have employed in nearly six decades of combined experience, in almost 400 trials.  The speakers will discuss what exercises are most effective, employ analogies that a lay jury can easily grasp, learn the methods that will impress your testimony upon the jury, and develop the confidence necessary to speak to audiences of 12 or 1200 people.  The speakers will also discuss traps that attorneys have used in trial, speech patterns to avoid during testimony, and even where not to stand when speaking.  Engage in this workshop and exit a whole new expert.

Scientific Working Group for the Analysis of Seized Drugs (SWGDRUG) Supplemental Document 6 (SD-6) and Statistical Sampling Calculator Tool Workshop

Wednesday November 13th


Instructors: Tiffany A. Ribadeneyra, M.S., F-ABC

Forensic Scientist IV, Nassau County Department of the Medical Examiner, Division of Forensic Services


Sandra Rodriguez-Cruz, Ph.D., F-ABC

Senior Research Chemist, DEA Special Testing & Research Laboratory


Forensic laboratories performing seized drug analysis often receive submissions comprised of numerous containers, such as glassine envelopes, Ziploc bags, or plastic vials, each purportedly containing a controlled substance.  Laboratories are tasked with determining the presence or absence of controlled substances in a timely fashion, without sacrificing quality of work.  This task is often supplemented by various statutory regulations for which a laboratory must meet or exceed a threshold, either by weight or number of units.  Carrying out a complete analysis of all seized evidence in a submission with a large number of items becomes very time consuming and laborious.  SWGDRUG recognizes that statistical sampling can increase the efficiency of laboratories by decreasing turnaround time and, ultimately, backlogs.  SWGDRUG also acknowledges the need for a thorough understanding of and accessible tools for statistical sampling throughout the forensic community.  Hence, the development of SD-6 and the Sampling Calculator.


This workshop will focus on the use of statistical sampling for seized drug evidence.  Topics will include: background information, legal considerations, weight extrapolations, and various probability based sampling techniques.  An in-depth understanding of measurement uncertainty for seized drug extrapolations and qualitative analysis will be presented in conjunction with a hypergeometric sampling plan.  Additionally, this training will discuss the development and use of SWGDRUG’s validated, free Sampling Calculator.  Attendees are encouraged to bring information on multi-item exhibits submitted to their laboratories as there will be round-table exercises involving the weight extrapolations, threshold determination and the Sampling Calculator.


Visit for SD-6 (Documents>Supplemental) and Sampling Calculator (Resources>Tools).

Popular Botanical Drugs

Wednesday November 13th


Instructors: Jolene Bierly, MSFS D-ABFT-FT

Toxicologist I, NMS Labs


Others To Be Announced

While the use of drugs derived from plants is not a new concept, it has become exceedingly popular in recent years. There are hundreds of legal and illegal drugs readily available today with botanical origins. From the unregulated mitragynine (Kratom) being sold in head shops or online to the schedule I synthetic cannabinoids available on the dark web, these drugs are everywhere. The goal of this workshop is to provide information concerning three of the popular botanical drug trends available today: synthetic cannabinoids, mitragynine, and vaping (nicotine). This workshop will address current trends, nicotine delivery systems, pharmacology and pharmacokinetic information, analytical challenges, and case interpretation.

Analytical Approaches for Screening and Confirming Herbal and Synthetic Drugs in Multiple Matrices

Wednesday November 13th


Instructor: To Be Announced


The number of designer drugs and their availability have exploded in recent years, leading to widespread social impact on communities.  Many individuals are looking to alternative medicines and drugs, including Chinese herbal medicines and herbal supplements.  Some of these materials have euphoric effects that cause “legal highs”.  This workshop will focus on the analytical techniques that are available to screen for and confirm many of these compounds.  These techniques include liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS), gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and high-resolution mass spectrometry.  Speakers will discuss analyzing these compounds in both ante-mortem and post-mortem matrices.

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