2010 NWAFS Meeting Workshop Descriptions

Tire Retread Facility Tour

 Participants will visit a facility that retreads tires  to view the process. Issues to be discussed will include the steps of the retread process, sources of retread materials, types of tires that can be retread, and characteristics that may be imparted to the tire during the retread process.

Shoe Resole Facility Tour

 Participants will visit a facility that repairs/resoles footwear to view the process. Issues to be discussed will include the steps of the resoling process, sources of resole materials, types of footwear that can be resoled, and characteristics that may be imparted to the footwear during the resole process.

FTIR/Raman Theory

 Instructor: Ed Suzuki, Washington State Patrol

 This workshop will cover the theory of how a spectrum is generated for these two spectroscopic techniques.  FTIR topics will include function of the interferometer, ATR, and the relationship of wavelength to frequency to penetration.  Raman topics will include discussions of the difference between Raleigh scattering, stokes, and anti-stokes as well as the effect of fluorescence is on raman data.

(CANCELED)  Theory and casework application of Microspectrophotometry (CANCELED)

 Instructor: Dr. Paul Martin of CRAIC with presentations by forensic practitioners

 This workshop will cover the theory of microspectrophotometry.  Students will also have the opportunity for hands on practical exercises and to hear presentations on casework applications of this technology.

Sexual Assault Inquiry: From Investigation to Prosecution

 Instructors to include a representative from:

Portland Police Bureau

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program

ABC House Child Victim Assessment Center

Oregon State Police Forensic Laboratory

Washington County District Attorney’s Office

This is a two part workshop that will include presentations from a Sexual Assault Investigation panel consisting of a Detective, Nurse Examiner, Physician, Forensic Scientist, and Prosecutor.  Part Two will consider Special Topics in Sexual Assault Investigation including the impact of vasectomy on sexual assault investigation and the challenges presented by child victims of sexual assault.

 Forensic Examination of Airsoft Replica Arms

Instructor: Matthew Nodel

This workshop will spend the day reviewing the history, use, development and mechanical design features of Airsoft style guns. Time will be spent covering how to document and test these guns in the forensic environment and the legal implications surrounding the use and possession of such guns. A protocol for the safe handling of these types of weapons will be discussed and techniques on checking the loaded status, test firing and documenting the guns and their accessories from a forensic standpoint will be reviewed. This workshop will culminate with a visit to a local Portland, OR Airsoft store where the participants will get an opportunity to see and handle a wide assortment of these types of guns and accessories.

Latent Print Advanced Testimony workshop


As the scientific reliability of friction ridge evidence continues to be challenged, latent print examiners must be prepared to defend their science in the courtroom.  Not only do examiners need to be able to discuss these topics in an admissibility hearing, but they also need to be prepared to respond during cross-examination of trial testimony.  The recent National Academy of Sciences report entitled “Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward,” identified perceived weaknesses in the forensic sciences and has already generated challenges in the courtroom.  It is now more important than ever for fingerprint examiners to effectively communicate why, and demonstrate how, friction ridge science is reliable.

 This 16-hour course of instruction is designed for latent print examiners.  Through presentations and group discussions, students will learn how to demonstrate the scientific reliability of friction ridge evidence during direct testimony and formulate responses to defense-related arguments.

 Maximum # of students: 30

 For more information, please contact Melissa Gische.

 Melissa Gische

Latent Print Operations Unit

FBI Laboratory

2501 Investigation Parkway

Quantico, VA  22135

Office (703) 632-7143

Cell (703) 576-4624



Northwest Association of Forensic Scientists Fall Conference

Session geared towards all forensic scientists, district attorneys, or anyone with a general interest

 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Monday September 27, 2010


Dr. Nici Vance, moderator, Chuck Sparks, DDA, Richard Cohen, defense attorney, Hon. Judge Eric Bergstrom, Multnomah County Circuit Court

 Advanced Courtroom DNA Testimony:  Maintaining integrity under pressure. 

 Years ago, DNA typing achieved such wide acceptance and proven reliability that opponents no longer try to discredit the technology itself.  Attacks now focus on: (1) the quality and methodology of the laboratory work, including the lab’s error rate; (2) the statistical interpretation of data; and (3) discrediting the DNA witness.  Both the Prosecution and Defense employ various strategies to shift, shape, or stain the scientific findings to their advantage.  Representatives of both sides will explain and actively demonstrate their courtroom tactics in this workshop, so that the DNA analyst will be able to resist attack, maintain integrity under pressure, and avoid impeachment.

Fatal Fire Death Investigation

 It will be an 8-hour lecture with some hands-on examples for those who want to handle examples of burned bone.

 Elayne J. Pope, Ph.D. International Academy of Public Safety

Firearm Evidence for Investigators

 Instructor: Aaron Brudenell

 This class will cover basics in firearms history, function, safety, and ammunition and explore the wide diversity of types within these categories with real and hypothetical case examples.  This workshop is not intended for just firearm examiners but crime scene analysts, and other investigators alike.  Specific topics to be discussed will include:

  • Documentation, safety, and packaging of evidence (do’s and don’ts)
  • Firearm identification (for tracing and accurate description)
  • Forensic intelligence and preliminary analysis of firearms and ammunition
  • Overview of basic and advanced laboratory services
  • Modern firearm safety and function types
  • Black powder and unusual firearms
  • Terminal ballistics
  • Case studies and examples

Intermediate Comparison of Latent Friction Ridge Impressions

Instructor: Jon Stimac

 See attached pdf file for description

Basic IR Blood Photography Techniques / The Fuji IS Pro


Instructor: Jeff Borngasser

 This workshop is an introduction to IR/UV-Photography of blood.  Demonstrations of how this type of photography differs from conventional photography will be performed.  Discussion will cover different lighting and filter conditions and how then can change the image captured. The focus of this workshop will be crime scene photography, however some other techniques may be discussed such as obliterated writing, counterfeit currency, and pattern removal.  Individuals are encouraged to bring their IR cameras to participate in hands on exercises.
Please bring your IR camera and a tripod if possible for hands on experience

The Basics of Firearm Mechanisms

 Instructor: Rob Caunt

 Consideration of the principles underlying common firearm design may reveal existing or incipient problems and dangers.  Benefiting novice and experienced examiners, course material is presented from the perspective of performing mechanical assessments and failure/unintentional discharge analysis.  Topics will include the general design and function of cartridges, sear systems, locking systems, firing pins, extractors, ejectors, and other selected topics. Material presentation is classroom based, with examples illustrated in PowerPoint and video.


Basic Crime Scene Impression Photography Workshop

 Instructor:  Chris Hamburg

This workshop will demonstrate the proper methods to capture examination quality images of impression evidence as well as give a review of general crime scene photography related to impressions.  The course is intended for those who respond to crime scenes and submit the images to others for a forensic examination.  This includes patrol officers as well as crime scene technicians.  Individuals are encouraged to bring the camera equipment they use to respond to scenes for use in hands-on practical exercises.  The workshop will also include a basic overview of impressions comparisons.

YSTR Workshop Description

 April Orbison, Applied Biosystems

Erica Graham, Washington State Patrol

This workshop will introduce the scientific foundation and developmental validation of the AmpFℓSTR® Yfiler® PCR Amplification Kit, followed by the internal validation and implementation of Y-STR analysis at the Washington State Patrol.  Some of the challenges overcome during validation and examples of casework successes will be presented.

 Mixture Interpretation Workshop Description

Philip Hodge, Washington State Patrol

Amy Jeanguenat, Bode Technology

Deven Johnson, Sacramento District Attorney

Shawn Montpetit, San Diego Police Department

Multiple approaches to the complex issue of DNA mixture interpretation will be presented.  Speakers will discuss the mixture interpretation guidelines in place at their respective laboratories, with an emphasis on validation, protocol, practice, and the ongoing challenges faced by casework analysts.

Forensic Anthropology/Pathology

“Professor Maryna Steyn of the University of Pretoria (South Africa) School of Medicine will present information on a variety of topics all related to Forensic Anthropology and its application in medicolegal death investigations.  Professor Steyn is one of the most well-respected forensic anthropologists in the country of South Africa, and has been providing casework and expert testimony in the South African court system for numerous years.  The workshop topics will consist of:

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.: Blunt force trauma to bone

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: Skeletal evidence of child abuse and blunt force trauma

10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. BREAK

10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Gunshot wounds and sharp force trauma

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Skeletal pathology

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 a.m. Case studies, presentation of skeletal case “stations”