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All workshops are being held on Tuesday, November 7th. Workshops are filled on a first-come-first-served basis. A spot will be considered reserved once payment is received. Workshops are subject to cancellation. If you register for a full-day workshop, you cannot register for any of the half-day workshops and vice versa. 

All workshop attendees are required to register for Full Meeting Registration or for Tuesday's Daily Registration (at the least).

Full-Day Workshops 9 am - 5 pm

An Introduction to Automated Gunshot Residue Analysis on the Scanning Electron Microscope
Leadership Training for New Supervisors

Cost for Full-Day Workshops
Member/Member of Another Regional Organization: $60 Non-Member: $100 Student Member: $40 Student Non-Member: $60

Half-Day Workshops 9 am - 12:30 pm
Work Smarter: Utilizing New Light Source Innovations to Help Reduce Your Backlog
Emerging NPS Trends: Comprehensive and Collaborative Workflows for Timely Identification and Analysis
Fundamentals of LC/MS and LC/MS/MS
Future Trends in Forensic DNA Technology

Half-Day Workshops 1:30 pm - 5 pm
Balance Calibration and Assurance of Weighing Accuracy in the Forensic Laboratory
High Resolution Accurate Mass Screening of emerging benzoimidazoles and xylazine mixed with synthetic fentanyl analogues using Agilent LC\MS\MS QTOF
Using Next-Generation Sequencing To Improve Casework Outcomes

Cost for Half-Day Workshops
Member/Member of Another Regional Organization: $30 Non-Member: $50 Student Member: $20 Student Non-Member: $30

There is NO CHARGE associated with the Educators' or Student Forums. However, if you are attending, you must register for the workshop. The Student Forum is scheduled to run 1:30pm - 4:30pm and the Educators' Forum is scheduled to run 6pm - 8pm.

An Introduction to Automated Gunshot Residue Analysis
on the Scanning Electron Microscope

Kayleigh Harvey, Ph.D., JEOL USA, Inc. and Richard McLaughlin, Ph.D., Oxford Instruments, Inc.


To achieve consistent results from an automated GSR analysis system, the analyst must have a good understanding how their Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and the Energy Dispersive Spectrometry (EDS) system operates. This workshop will cover the basic principles of operation of these instruments emphasizing those physical principles and parameters that influence the quality (speed, sensitivity, and reproducibility) of the GSR analysis. This is a hands-on course in which the attendee will have the opportunity to utilize the learned techniques on the SEM instrument. Agenda items include an introduction to SEM and comparison between Tungsten source and Field Emitter SEMs, introduction to the theory and hardware ,controlling of speed of acquisition and correlation to quality of spectra, setting up automation and balancing speed, reproducibility, and sensitivity of particle detection, and live demonstration and performance of the step-by-step procedure for setting up a GSR batch run.

GSR Workshop Agenda 2023 NEAFS Meeting

9:00am – 10:30am Presentation: Introduction to Scanning Electron Microscopy and comparison between tungsten source and Field Emitter SEMs.


10:45am – 12:30pm Presentation: Introduction to EDS theory and hardware. What controls speed of acquisition and quality of the spectrum?

12.30pm-1.30pm: Lunch sponsored by JEOL USA, Inc.


1:30pm – 3:00pm Presentation: Bringing it all together. Setting up for automation and balancing speed, reproducibility, and sensitivity of particle detection.


3:15pm – 5:00pm Live System: Demonstration and performing the step-by-step procedure for setting up a GSR batch run.


Leadership Training for New Supervisors
Laura Tramontin, M.S., CFM-I, LAT Forensics, LLC

NEAFS Past-President, Laura Tramontin, shares her knowledge as a Certified Forensic Manager - Level 1 and 18 years of experience in a supervisory role to help new supervisors be well informed as they step into their leadership role. The day will be spent going through collaborative techniques to improve leadership, handle change, improve communication and team building. Attendees will learn a lot about themselves as they begin to develop their leadership style. Agenda items include Laws of Leadership, Phases/Models of Change, Forms/Goals of Communication, and Team Building Concepts. Interactive breakout sessions will reinforce the topics covered.

Workshop Agenda Items

Laws of Leadership
Phases/Models of Change
Forms/Goals of Communication
Team Building Concepts


Workshop will include fun breakout sessions to reinforce the topics.


Work Smarter: Utilizing New Light Source Innovations
to Help Reduce Your Backlog​​

Amanda Silva, foster+freeman USA

Finding, collecting, and processing serology evidence at the crime scene and in the laboratory can be time consuming, especially on difficult patterned backgrounds. Advances in new technology pave the way for smarter, more efficient processing techniques. Attendees of this workshop will be given an overview of light theory and refresher on traditional methods for evidence locating and collection. Attendees will then be introduced to new methodologies and techniques that involve beyond visible photography, bandpass filtering, and oblique lighting options to increase their collection and processing efficiency and cut down on agency backlogs. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own full spectrum DSLR camera and thumb drive if available.

Emerging NPS Trends: Comprehensive and Collaborative
Workflows for Timely Identification and Analysis

Kyle Brown, Sara Walton, Chelsey Deisher, and Michael Lamb
NMS Labs


Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) continue to present unique challenges in seized drug and toxicology casework. Early detection and subsequent method development/validation are important in alerting the public health community to the presence of emerging drugs. This workshop will describe various approaches to the identification and continued monitoring of NPS from the perspective of the forensic chemist and toxicologist. This discussion will highlight the significance of a system for early monitoring of new drugs and investigation of unknowns in routine casework. Additionally, this workshop will discuss current trends in various NPS (cannabinoid isomers, designer benzodiazepines, nitazene compounds, etc) in postmortem and impaired driving toxicology casework.


9:00 AM – 9:45 AM - The Addition of Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) to AMDIS Databases and Propagation of Libraries throughout the NMS Drug Chemistry Network (Kyle Brown, M.S. NMS Labs)

9:45 AM – 10:30 AM - NPS discovery: Early warning system, method development and validation (Sara Walton, M.S. CFSRE)

10:30 AM – 10:45 AM - 15-minute break

10:45 AM – 11:30 AM – Current NPS trends, analytical challenges (Chelsey Deisher, M.S. NMS Labs)

11:30 AM – 12:15 PM – Case interpretation/discussion of NPS (Michael Lamb, M.S. NMS Labs) 

12:15 PM – 12:30 PM – Q & A Panel Discussion (All Speakers)

Fundamentals of LC/MS and LC/MS/MS for Quantitative and Qualitative Analyses
Jim Lau, Ph.D. and Doug Postl, Agilent Technologies

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LCMS is a broad and complex field, but to be successful using LCMS for quantitative and qualitative analyses, we can simplify the experiment to basic parts.  An analyte must be converted into an ion, the ion must be monitored efficiently, and you must be able to differentiate between the analyte,  other analytes, and matrix in a sample.

Our discussion will start with optimum ionization.  This occurs when we use the most efficient tool for a particular analyte, whether that be ESI, APCI or other.  A few basic rules regarding  appropriate mobile phases are presented next.  Acceptable mobile phases for HiLIC, reversed phase ion-pair, and Reversed phase LCMS are all in use today.

Once we have efficiently ionized our analyte we will look at the concept of “duty cycle” for precision and sensitivity.  The advantages of nominal mass (quadrupose and triple quadrupole) and high resolution accurate mass (HRAMS)  will each be explored.  How SIM and Scan effect the “duty cycle.  Scanning efficiency in the HRAMS experiment will also be discussed.

Selectivity in nominal mass derives from the MSMS experiment and in particular, use of the important parameters for SRM and MRM (Presursors, Products, and Time).  Selectivity in the HRAMS experiment can be a benefit of the MSMS experiment, but the high resolution itself yields high selectivity.

We will finish with a discussion of compound class prediction via Reporter fragment ions and Neutral loss fragments.  The HRAMS concept of mass defect for compound class prediction will also be explained and simplified.

Future Trends in Forensic DNA Technology
Laura Ascroft, Thermofisher Scientific


The workshop will explore the latest topics in DNA technology sponsored by Thermo Fisher Scientific.


  • Overview of the Applied Biosystems™ HID NIMBUS® Presto System for Automated Sample Purification

  • Advancements in the Applied Biosystems™ RapidHIT™ ID System

  • Updates on the Connecticut Rapid DNA Program

  • Introducing the Applied Biosystems™ SeqStudio™ Flex Series Genetic Analyzer for Human Identification and GeneMapper™ ID-X Software v1.7

Balance Calibration and Assurance of Weighing Accuracy in the Forensic Laboratory
David Cirullo, Mettler Toledo

We will be taking an in depth look at all the life-cycle steps of a balance and its use in The Forensic Laboratory. Assuring measurement accuracy when purchasing a new balance, through calibration / performance testing and internal adjustment mechanisms. This workshop will also help you understand and defend the accuracy of every measurement made on your balance. This workshop will address thehistory and growth of Mettler Toledo Inc., various weighing applications and thebalances used for each, an overview of the life cycle and management of balances,important weighing terminology, purchasing a fit-for-purpose balance, properinstallation, calibration and performance testing, and internal adjustmentfunctionality (FACT). In addition, measurement uncertainty (absolute and relative),estimation of uncertainty through the entire lifespan of the balance, determinationof minimum weight through calibration, and establishing a safe weighing range. Anin-depth view of the calibration process and an interpretation of the resultingcalibration certificate with statement of measurement uncertainty will be provided.

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Topic #1 – Weighing Warm Up:
• Quick look at the history / legacy of: The Mettler Instrument Corp., Toledo Scales, and Mettler Toledo Inc.
• Open discussion to align on weighing applications that balances are being used for and who is using them
Topic #2 – Weighing Quality and Weighing Terminology Alignment:
• Overview of Life Cycle Management of balances
• Alignment on important weighing terminology
Topic#3 – Life-Cycle of a Balance and its use in The Forensic Laboratory
• Purchasing a fit for purpose balance
• Proper installation. What is proper installation?
• Calibration vs. Performance Testing
• Internal Adjustment Functionality
     o FACT – Fully Automatic Calibration Technology
Topic #4 – The Science Behind Assurance of Measurement Accuracy :
• Calibration by MT as compared to Performance checks by End-Users
     o Measurement Uncertainty (Absolute and Relative)
     o Estimation of uncertainty through the entire span of the balance
     o Determination of minimum weight through calibration
▪ Monitoring minimum weight with repeatability testing
     o The Safe Weighing Range
     o We will address what happens during a calibration
     o We will also interpret the results of a calibration certificate and the statement of measurement uncertainty

Julie Cichelli, Agilent Technologies and Dan Harrington, Suffolk County Crime Lab

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In recent years, laboratories have been struggling to keep up with new emerging synthetic illicit drugs being introduced faster than they can adapt. As new and more potent opioids, and moreover, a number of synthetic substances of benzimidazole structural class are being trafficked and abused for their opioidlike effects as well as xylazine, a non-opioid veterinary tranquilizer not approved for human use, has been linked to an increasing number of overdose deaths nationwide in the evolving drug addiction and overdose crisis. Studies show people exposed to xylazine often knowingly or unknowingly used it in combination with other drugs, particularly illicit fentanyl are appearing in society every day, it is imperative to have analytical strategies to analyze for these compounds in both a targeted and untargeted manner.

Immunoassay-based techniques have historically been the methods of choice for drug screening. Positive presumptive drug screen results are reflexed to more specific, confirmatory testing using gas or liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. False positives and false negatives with immunoassay techniques are common problems that have substantial down-stream consequences for inaccurate results, laboratory operations, and total costs. Thus, the use of high-resolution accurate mass liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-QTOF-MS)is ideally suited for rapid analysis of emerging drugs without the drawbacks associated with legacy techniques and methodology. Herein, a targeted and untargeted screening workflow by HRAM LC/MS/MS using Agilent’s 6546 QTOF will be presented for these emerging illicit drugs.

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Melissa Kotkin, Verogen

In the last few years, next-generation sequencing (NGS) has demonstrated that it can extract additional information from DNA samples for investigations when current technology fails. When a CE-based STR profile does not produce a hit in traditional databases, NGS capabilities such as higher-plex marker panels, more discriminatory SNP data, and forensic genetic genealogy can provide insights that lead to identifications. The forensic community is recognizing this technology as a viable option for missing persons and unidentified human remains investigations, sexual assault cases, and other violent crimes and are exploring how it can be integrated as more than just a specialty tool. The questions being asked are now focused on the practical aspects of implementation, such as whether this technology is a good financial investment, whether NGS can benefit everyday investigations, and how do you validate. This workshop seeks to share the journey of adopting NGS into their operational casework, and will provide useful information, arguments, case studies, and soft skills as you prepare for your own. The benefits of next-generation sequencing (NGS) for human identification analysis are increasingly understood but perceived barriers to implementation for general operations still exist. NGS can not only add power to existing processes but also provide unique capabilities for the increasing number of investigations which are beyond the capacity of traditional methods to solve. We will highlight how a range of NGS-based investigative tools can be used to support both mainstream and more advanced analyses for missing persons investigations. This workshop will cover traditional direct comparison DNA analysis with STRs, how to access and use phenotypic and biogeographical information, the different available technologies for forensic investigative genetic genealogy and when to use them, practical workflows that can be implemented into routine laboratory operations, and funding opportunities for NGS.

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