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Constructing a Face: Forensic Facial Approximation Workshop

The Manchester/British method was developed by Richard Neave in 1977 and is the most accepted method for facial reconstruction/approximation today.  This method has been used in many famous reconstructions including Phillip II of Macedon, Johann Sebastian Bach, Saint Nicholas, Robert the Bruce, and King Richard III. 


Supplies and tools will be provided, and no prior facial reconstruction experience or art skill is needed.


Workshop will explore the latest topics in DNA sponsored by Thermo Fisher

  • An Overview of the Connecticut Rapid DNA Program

  • The Development & Implementation of Best Practices and Standards for using Forensic Genetic Genealogy in Criminal Investigations

  • Analyzing Workflow Changes to Incorporate New Technology

  • The Application of The Skin Virome for Human Identification

  • The Validation of Massively Parallel Sequencing for Mitochondrial Casework (mitoMPS) at NYC OCME

  • Application of the human virome to touch objects and hair shafts


Fundamentals and Theories of GCMS Troubleshooting and Maintenance


Gas Chromatography Basics

Column Science
How a GC column separates mixtures

Inlet and Detector Designs

Split/Splitless (S/S)
Septum and Inlet Liners
Flame Ionization (FID) optional-class dependent

Mass Spectrometry Basics

Theory of Quadrupole applied to Single Quadrupole, Triple Quadrupole, and Time-of-Flight
Tuning and Evaluating a Single Quadrupole System
Acquisition Parameters (optimizing your data quality)


Maintenance and Troubleshooting

GC Basics, Inlet & Detector Designs (Lecture)
Hands-on Inlet Maintenance Lab
Hands-on FID Detector Maintenance Lab
Mass Spectrometry Basics (Lecture)
Hands-on Source Maintenance Lab


See below for more information!              


Fieldable Analytical Detection & Identification Technologies Workshop - FTIR, Raman, HP-MS, and GC-MS

Advancements in miniaturizing technology has brought traditional chemical instrumentation used for forensic analyses from the crime lab and into the hands of first responders and law enforcement professionals. Techniques such as colorimetric tests, Raman, infrared spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry are being ruggedized, miniaturized, and simplified so non-scientists can perform preliminary analyses on-scene. When utilized effectively, field detection reduces exposures to harmful materials, identifies probative samples, thus reducing backlogs, and provides real-time intelligence to focus investigative resources. In the laboratory, these devices are being used perform rapid screens to help guide analysis.


It’s important for case-working analysts to become familiar with tools used by officers in the field to help guide and validate their use and have a firm understanding of the capabilities and limitations of field analysis tools. This workshop will introduce devices used by law enforcement to screen for controlled substances, explosives, and other harmful materials. Attendees will learn about the technological advances that allowed for the miniaturization of instrumentation, and how they’re used in the field through a mixture of case studies, hands-on interaction, and demonstrations.

Portable FTIR Spectroscopy for In-Field Forensics

Key learning points:

  • Introduction to portable FTIR spectroscopy instrumentation and methods

  • Where does FTIR spectroscopy fit in the overall threat response?

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of FTIR spectroscopy for in-field forensics?

  • The chemical threat space – the ‘sweet spots’ for FTIR spectroscopic analyses

  • Application of FTIR Spectroscopy in the identification of chemicals - drugs, explosives, toxics - in the field


Key Takeaways from the talk:

  • The specificity of IR absorption spectroscopy makes FTIR an indispensable method for in-field chemical analyses.

  • The reduction of size, weight, and power and the hardening of FTIR spectrometers have made FTIR spectroscopy well suited for use austere environments.

  • Technological advances in electronics, optics, and materials have made portable FTIR spectroscopy possible and have altered the trajectory of laboratory instrumentation as well.

  • Advances in software and methods have made FTIR spectroscopy useful to responders in the field.

  • FTIR spectroscopy can provide threat assessments on samples in any physical state – solid, liquid, and vapor.

  • Sample preparation methods can extend the FTIR limit of identification into the trace regime.

Key learning points (complimentary to other presentations):

  • Introduction to handheld Raman spectroscopy instrumentation

  • Where does Raman spectroscopy fit in the toolbox and how does it compare vs other technologies

    • What are the strengths and weaknesses of Raman spectroscopy?

  • Application of Raman Spectroscopy to the identification of chemicals - drugs, explosives, etc in the field

Using Portable GCMS for In-Field Chemical Identification

Key learning points:

  • Introduction to GCMS instrumentation and methodology

  • Where does GCMS fit in responder’s toolbox / comparison to other portable analytical instrumentation?

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of portable GCMS?

  • Applications of mobile GCMS in the identification of drugs/narcotics, CWAs, TICS, etc.


Key Takeaways from the talk:

  • The specificity of GCMS combined with the power of NIST makes “gold standard” laboratory quality data possible in the field.

  • The reduction of size, weight, power and advancements in computing have made portable GCMS well suited to mobile applications.

  • GCMS can provide class-leading assessment of complex mixtures in any phase of matter (i.e., solid, liquid or air).

  • Various sample preparation methods can further enhance end-user flexibility on how to introduce samples for analysis.

Field Applications of High Pressure Mass Spectrometry (HPMS)

 Key learning points:

  • Introduction to HPMS instrumentation and technology

  • Algorithmic detection of fentanyl analogs using mass spec

  • The application of “trace chemical evidence” to the investigatory process

  • Field analysis of controlled substance case studies.


 Key Takeaways from the talk:

  • Advances in high pressure mass spectrometry allow for the operation of ion traps at nearly atmospheric pressure

  • Reduction in size, weight, and power requirement allow for mass spec to be leveraged in the field for real time analysis.

  • Utilizing a combination of analytical techniques at point of contact with unknown materials provides responders and law enforcement real time, actionable intelligence to conduct operations safely and efficiently.


Technical presentations:


908 Devices – 45 mins presentation – 15 mins Q&A

RedWave - 45 mins presentation – 15 mins Q&A


Rigaku - 45 mins presentation – 15 mins Q&A

Teledyne/FLIR - 45 mins presentation – 15 mins Q&A


Afternoon – hands on stations – 2h

30 min rotation between each technology


See below for more information!                                   


Ethics in Forensic Science

Ethics is an understudied, yet significant topic when it comes to the field of forensic science. Although people may think of ethics as a personal matter, it also includes professional and public issues. Proper ethical behavior is required by scientists making complex decisions about the interpretation of data, about which problems to pursue, and about when to conclude an experiment, all which help to improve the quality of forensic science. 


While the workshop includes many “basics,” the course relates those ideas to the forensic science profession. To understand forensic-specific ethics, it is important to look at the interactions between the cultures of science, law, research, and law enforcement.


 Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the relationship between science, technology, and society in ethics

  • Examine the various types of conflicts and the problems they may create

  • Analyze what ethical standards are in place for forensic scientists and related professions

  • Evaluate how codes of ethics in science may contradict other professions

  • Defend how and why unethical situations occur

  • Analyze when and how to report misconduct and associated consequences


Attendees are given the opportunity to interact and discuss ethical situations that have taken place within the forensic science community. Attendees will be presented with scenarios and the ethical considerations involved with each. The attendees will provide insight from their work environments and represent the “real-world” of ethics in forensic science.  Participants should be open to discuss and debate, while keeping an open-mind and a positive environment.


Robin Bowen is a Teaching Assistant Professor and FIS Minor Coordinator with the Department of Forensic Science at West Virginia University. Bowen is the author of Ethics and the Practice of Forensic Science, The Significance of Ethical Practices in Forensic Science in the Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences, and various chapters on ethics in forensic science. She has participated as an advisory member of the Outreach and Communication Interagency Working Group (IWG) under the National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee (NSTC) on Forensic Science and as a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the revised edition of Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences. Bowen is the primary developer of the Forensic Educational Alliance, an initiative to offer a variety of forensic science continuing education online courses. She has an undergraduate degree in Forensic and Investigative Sciences, a graduate degree in Secondary Science Education, and a doctorate in Instructional Design and Technology.

Tentative Agenda

       8:00 – 8:30am    


          8:30 – 10am        

Ethics foundation

Law Enforcement

Judicial System

Expert Witness Considerations

        10 – 10:15am     


10:15 – 11:45

Forensic Science


Conflicts of Interest: Codes and Reporting


“The Real World”

You’re in the home stretch of all these years of classes, studying and research and on the cusp of getting your degree and getting that “real job.” How do we do that? What’s the best way to interview? What are the right questions to ask? Am I expecting too much? Am I expecting too little? What if there’s a hiring freeze at my dream agency – do I flip burgers until I get my dream job? Once I have that “perfect” job – how do I stay current and competitive as the person with the least seniority?

Join Chris, Andrea, and Anisha as they discuss the ins and outs of interviewing, getting the right job, keeping the right job and deciding if and when it is best to move onto another opportunity. Topics to be discussed include: job requirements and descriptions, civil service rules and salaries, internships, resumes, interviewing skills. They’ll also compare and contrast the differences between working in the public and private sectors. Bring your resume and your questions!

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