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Just Mass Casualty Events

In episode eleven of the Forensic Advancement season, Just Science interviews Special Agent Richard Marx, the supervisory agent for the FBI’s Evidence Response Team Unit, to discuss what follows a mass casualty event. Since joining the Evidence Response Team in 2006, Marx has been involved in the support efforts following disasters both domestic and abroad. Listen along as he discusses the necessity for interdepartmental collaboration and the feeling of service following a mass casualty event in this week’s episode of Just Science.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

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Richard Marx Special Agent entered FBI New Agent training in March 1997. SA Marx was a first office Special Agent in the Philadelphia Division where he was assigned to a drug squad and eventually was permanently assigned to the bank robbery and fugitive squad in 1998. He worked numerous cases involving violent crime and major offenders while assigned to the squad. On August 9, 1998, SA Marx was part of a multi-division FBI Evidence Response Team that was deployed to Nairobi, Kenya to sift through the debris of Usama Bin Laden’s bombing attack on the U.S. Embassy. In December 1999, SA Marx was deployed with the Philadelphia Division’s Evidence Response Team to work morgue operations at the crash of Egypt Air Flight 990 off the coast of Rhode Island. On September 12, 2001, SA Marx arrived at Fresh Kills Landfill with the Philadelphia Division’s Evidence Response Team to assist in the recovery operations during the 9/11 attacks in New York City. SA Marx was designated as special agent in charge of the forensic recovery effort that sifted the 1.8 million tons of World Trade Center debris down to a quarter inch in size. He was in charge of the site from September 12, 2001 to August 9, 2002. The 11-month operation recovered over 4,500 human remains and over 75,000 personal effects and processed over 1,300 vehicles from Ground Zero. For his efforts, SA Marx was a finalist for the 2003 Director’s Award and the Federal Employee of 2003. In July 2004, SA Marx was deployed as an Evidence Response Team member to Baghdad, Iraq to liaise with the Iraqi Survey Group and Joint Inter-Agency Terrorism Task Force. In March 2005, SA Marx was deployed to Phuket, Thailand by the FBI Laboratory Division as the Scientific Chairperson for the Thailand Tsunami Victim Identification Group tasked with retrieving DNA samples from the 3,700 victims of the deadly tsunami that destroyed Thailand’s coast. SA Marx was promoted to Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) in the FBI Laboratory’s Evidence Response Team Unit at the FBI Laboratory, Quantico, VA in April 2006. In August 2009–September 2009, SSA Marx developed and coordinated the deployment of FBI personnel, which culminated in the solving of 28 unsolved bombing cases against Iraqi civilians and coalition forces. He was nominated for the 2010 Director’s Award for Special Achievement. SSA Marx has led FBI teams at the 2012 Aurora Century Cinema 16 mass shooting in Colorado, the 2013 Algerian US hostage killings, the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing, the 2013 Asiana Flight 214 crash in San Francisco, and the 2013 Navy Yard shooting in Washington, DC. He earned a Master of Science in Forensic Anthropology from the Boston University School of Medicine in 2013. SSA Marx deployed from July to August 2014 to Ukraine and the Netherlands to assist in the recovery of human remains and Disaster Victim Identification efforts for the crash of Malaysian Airlines MH17. On June 12–21, 2016, SSA Marx led the FBI Laboratory Shooting Reconstruction Team (LSRT) that processed the Orlando Pulse Night Club Shooting Scene in Florida. SSA Marx was again deployed to co-lead the LSRT in July 2016 to process the large-scale shooting scene for the Dallas Police Shooting in Texas. SSA Marx was the Team Leader for the FBI LSRT that collected evidence and documented the scene at the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay/Route 91 Mass Shooting in October 2017 and the Thousand Oaks Borderline Bar Shooting in November 2018.


Additional Resources:

2018 Impression, Pattern and Trace Evidence Symposium

https://www.fbi.gov/services/laboratory

http://exhibitions.nysm.nysed.gov/wtc/recovery/freshkills.html

https://www.911memorial.org

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Just Blind Proficiency Testing

In episode ten of the Forensic Advancement season, Just Science interviews Dr. Peter Stout, CEO of the Houston Forensic Science Center, as he discusses the current state of the HFSC and his philosophy of giving the right answer at the right time. In 2003, the New York Times labelled the Houston Police Crime Lab as one of the worst forensic sciences facilities in the country. Fifteen years later, that reputation has been completely overhauled. In that time, Dr. Peter Stout and his team have done incredible things with this once troubled program. Stay tuned as he discusses how they utilize total transparency and blind proficiency testing to improve the reputation and quality of the Houston Forensic Science Center in this episode of Just Science.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

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Will you be at the 2019 ASCLD Symposium and would also like to be a Just Science guest? Click on the button below to begin the submission process.


ASLCD Podcast Submission


Dr. Peter Stout, CEO and president of the Houston Forensic Science Center, initially joined the agency in 2015 as its chief operating officer and vice president. He has more than 15 years of experience in forensic science and forensic toxicology. Prior to joining HFSC, Dr. Stout worked as a senior research forensic scientist and director of operations in the Center for Forensic Sciences at RTI International. Dr. Stout also has served as president of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT). He represented SOFT in the Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations and has participated in national policy debates on the future of forensic sciences in the United States. Dr. Stout has a doctorate in toxicology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. Dr. Stout also served as an officer in the U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps.

 

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Just Transparency in Public Communications

In episode nine of the Forensic Advancement season, Just Science interviews Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Director of Communications for the Houston Forensic Science Center, concerning the role of transparency in the forensics community. Complete transparency is a rare concept in the forensics and law enforcement communities. But for Ramit Plushnick-Masti and the Houston Forensic Science Center, it is standard procedure. Through her anecdotes and experience, listen as Ramit Plushnick-Masti discusses the cultivation of trust and the value of transparency in this installment of Just Science.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

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Will you be at the 2019 ASCLD Symposium and would also like to be a Just Science guest? Click on the button below to begin the submission process.


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Ramit Plushnick-Masti joined HFSC in 2014 as its public information officer and director of communications. Ms. Masti has nearly 20 years of experience in journalism, including 13 years with The Associated Press. She spent a decade as a correspondent based in Jerusalem, where she worked for the AP, Reuters and The Washington Post. After returning to the United States, Ms. Masti was an AP reporter in Pittsburgh and Texas, where she covered the environment and national events such as the Gulf oil spill. At HFSC, Ms. Masti is responsible for internal and external communications.

 

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Just a Paradigm Shift for Forensic Scientists

In episode eight of the Forensic Advancement season, Just Science interviews Ron Smith. Mr. Smith is a 45-year veteran of latent print analysis and the current president of Ron Smith and Associates, a Mississippi-based company that provides training, consulting, and proficiency testing services to the forensics community. Over the last 30 years, Smith has witnessed a shift in the role of the forensic scientist in the criminal justice system. He believes that being an expert witness, exhibiting fairness, and staying current are now the most important parts of being a forensic scientist. Listen in as he discusses this shift in more detail and the direction the field of forensic sciences is headed in this installment of Just Science.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

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Ron Smith is President of “Ron Smith & Associates, Inc.”, a forensic services corporation headquartered in Collinsville, Mississippi. RS&A specializes in impression evidence examination, forensic training, ISO Mentoring services, competency testing and proficiency testing for both ten print, latent print, FW & TT examiners. He has over forty-five years of experience in latent print, crime scene and laboratory management practices and has lectured across the United States

 

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Just Throwing DARTs at the Opioid Crisis

In episode seven of the forensic advancement season, Just Science interviews Amber Burns, Chemistry Section Manager for the Maryland State Police Department, to discuss the role of technology in the fight against the current opioid epidemic. Opioid overdose is on the rise and fentanyl, one of the most prevalent opioids out there, is becoming more difficult to identify. By using the Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) Mass Spectrometer, Burns and her team can detect the presence of fentanyl and other chemicals in recovered samples. Listen along as she discusses the technology they use and the current state of the opioid crisis in Maryland in this episode of Just Science.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

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Will you be at the 2019 ASCLD Symposium and would also like to be a Just Science guest? Click on the button below to begin the submission process.


ASLCD Podcast Submission


Ms. Burns has a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and a Masters of Forensic Science.  She has been employed by the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division since 2005 and serves as the Forensic Chemistry Manager overseeing the three Controlled Dangerous Substances Units and the Toxicology Unit.  In addition to being an ANAB assessor and a very experienced CDS examiner, Ms. Burns has taken a lead role in the quest for safer, more efficient and more effective methods for detecting synthetic opioids.

 

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Just Millennials

In episode six of the Forensic Advancement season, Just Science interviews Ben Swanholm, Evidence Screening Section Supervisor at the Phoenix Police Department to discuss millennials and their future role in the forensic sciences. Millennials are a polarizing and often stereotyped population. Whether it’s diamonds or dining chains, they seem to be the scapegoats for the decline of many industries. Ben Swanholm believes that millennials are a group of people molded from the legacy given to them. Listen along as he discusses technological growth, social identity, and generational values as they integrate into the forensic sciences.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

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Ben Swanholm is a Forensic Science Section Supervisor who works with the criminal justice community in Phoenix, AZ to provide high quality, efficient, and effective analysis of physical evidence collected from crime scenes. Ben holds a BS in Forensic Science and Criminal Justice from the University of North Dakota, a MS in Criminal Justice Administration with an emphasis in Forensic Science Administration from Loyola University New Orleans, and is a Certified Public Manager.

 

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Just ASCLD Rapid DNA Committee

In episode five of the Forensic Advancement season, Just Science interviews Katie Fetherston, Brian Hoey, and Jeremy Triplett, the Laboratory Supervisor for Kentucky State Police to discuss the ASCLD Rapid DNA committee efforts. In addition to implementing Rapid DNA technology in law enforcement units for investigative leads, the technology can be used in disaster victim identification (DVI). The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) recognizes that the forensic science community can aid these efforts. Listen along as Katie Fetherston, Brian Hoey, and Jeremy Triplett discus how the Law enforcement, DVI, and forensic laboratory subcommittees of the ASCLD Rapid DNA Task Force provide coordination and oversight, assisting in facilitating communication, along with developing best practices and guidance documents.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

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Katie Fetherston began her career in 1993 at the first private forensic laboratory in the state of Colorado to conduct DNA analysis through PCR.  In 1996, Katie began with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation in DNA databasing, then to DNA casework, and is now the Laboratory Director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation – Denver Forensic Science Laboratory. During her career, she has seen the rise and fall of RFLP, combined probability of inclusion, and nickel-sized bloodstains necessary for DNA typing results. She has helped to change legislation to include mandatory submission of sexual assault kits, developed a DNA laboratory dedicated to streamlined DNA analysis of property crimes, designed and built a new lab, and watched an ever-expanding DNA database provide hundreds of investigative leads all while witnessing first-hand the continual change of forensic DNA.  Now with the advent of rapid DNA changing the landscape of DNA analysis once again, Katie is committed to staying at the forefront of this new technology.

Brian Hoey is the director of the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Crime Laboratory Division. Hoey joined the Patrol on January 1, 1993, as a criminalist in the DNA Profiling Section. He transferred to the Serology Section on April 26, 1996. Hoey was promoted to criminalist supervisor and assigned to the DNA Casework Section on July 1, 2004. On August 22, 2010, he was promoted to crime laboratory manager with oversight responsibility for the DNA Casework, Latent Prints, Firearms, and Trace sections of the Crime Laboratory Division. During that same time, he served as the DNA technical leader, a position required for CODIS laboratories. Hoey was named assistant director of the Crime Laboratory Division on March 20, 2016. Director Hoey was born and raised in the Chicago, IL, area. He earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL in 1990. He earned a Master of Science in biology from Northern Illinois University in 1992. In 2015, he earned a Master of Business Administration from William Woods University in Fulton, MO. Hoey is a member of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) and serves on its Rapid DNA Committee. He is also a member of the Midwestern Association of Forensic Sciences (MAFS) where he served as president in 2013.

Jeremy Triplett is the drug chemistry supervisor at the Kentucky State Police Central Forensic Laboratory in Frankfort, KY, where he is also served as the drug chemistry technical leader for all six of the Kentucky State Police laboratory branches from 2007 – 2016. He has more than thirteen years of experience in forensic drug chemistry analysis and has testified in local, state and federal courts. As technical leader, Jeremy oversaw training programs, policy and procedure revisions, and internal audits for the Kentucky State Police drug chemistry laboratories, statewide.  Jeremy regularly interfaces with policymakers in Kentucky regarding controlled substances issues facing the Commonwealth. In addition to his work with the Kentucky State Police, Jeremy currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD), an organization of crime laboratory directors and managers dedicated to providing excellence in forensic science through leadership and innovation. In the fall of 2014, Jeremy was appointed to the Forensic Science Standards Board of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC), where he was subsequently elected chairman.  OSAC is an initiative sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that seeks to coordinate the development of standards and guidelines to improve the quality and consistency of work in the forensic science community. Jeremy is certified as a Fellow in the area of drug analysis by the American Board of Criminalistics and is a Member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He is also a certified technical assessor in drug chemistry for ASCLD/LAB and has participated in several assessments of forensic science laboratories both inside and outside of the United States. Jeremy received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Kentucky and an M.S. in Pharmacy from the University of Florida.

 

 

 

 

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Just Psychological Resiliency

In episode four of the Forensic Advancement season, Just Science interviews Dr. David Christiansen, a licensed psychologist in the State of Colorado, about psychological survival in a violent career. Dr. Christiansen discusses what trauma is and how to be aware of those around you that have been affected by it. Listen along as Just Science learns what can aid in psychological wellness and how self-awareness is a major step in developing resiliency in the profession.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

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Will you be at the 2019 ASCLD Symposium and would also like to be a Just Science guest? Click on the button below to begin the submission process.
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Dr. Christiansen has been in private practice in Colorado for more than 29 years and for most of that time he has been engaged in the practice of helping first responders following traumatic incidents. He has conducted many crisis intervention/stress debriefings and worked with individuals following tragic accidents and life-altering situations. He is a licensed psychologist in the State of Colorado and a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Trauma Professionals, and other professional organizations that integrate professional psychology with law enforcement and first responders. He taught as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Northern Colorado for twenty years and maintains an active practice consulting with many agencies across central and northern Colorado. Dr. Christiansen has been a climbing guide on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and has guided whitewater rafts through many of the West’s biggest rivers.

 

 

 

Other Related Podcasts:

Just the Soul of the Profession
Just Guidance Leadership
Just Motivational Leadership
Just Strategic Leadership
Just Servant Leadership

 

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Just FORESIGHT on Sexual Assault Kits

In episode three of the Forensic Advancement season, Just Science interviews Dr. Paul Speaker from West Virginia University about the jurisdictional return on investment for DNA Databases. With the help of FORESIGHT crime labs can have not only an emotional argument but also an economical argument for testing all sexual assault kits. Just Science explores questions in this episode such as, should labs test all sexual assault kits? Should labs prioritize by if it was a consent case? does this data have more than just a societal impact? Stay tuned as Dr. Speaker leads us through how individualized crime lab DNA data can aid crime labs competing for scarce resources.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

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Will you be at the 2019 ASCLD Symposium and would also like to be a Just Science guest? Click on the button below to begin the submission process.
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Dr. Paul Speaker is a member of the West Virginia University Finance Department. He holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from Purdue University and a B.A. from LaSalle College. He also holds the position of Chief Executive of Forensic Science Management Consultants LLC, a firm which specializes in the business of forensics using the forensics of business. Dr. Speaker is the PI for Project FORESIGHT and the technical consultant to ASCLD for the FORESIGHT 2020 project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Related Podcasts:

Just the Soul of the Profession
Just Guidance Leadership
Just Motivational Leadership
Just Strategic Leadership
Just Servant Leadership

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Just Cognitive Bias Awareness

In episode two of the forensic advancement season, Just Science interviews Dr. Cecelia Crouse, formerly the Crime Laboratory Director of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, about the 2009 National Academy of Sciences’ report. The conversation also dives into Dr. Crouse’s experience, leadership, and differences between science in academic and forensic laboratories.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

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Will you be at the 2019 ASCLD Symposium and would also like to be a Just Science guest? Click on the button below to begin the submission process.

ASLCD Podcast Submission

 


Dr. Crouse is currently the Crime Laboratory Director of the ASCLD-LAB ISO-17025 accredited Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Crime Laboratory.  She has been with the PBSO laboratory for 21 years including sixteen years as the Manager of the Forensic Biology Unit.  She received a B.S. from Michigan State University and Ph.D. from the University of Miami, Department of Microbiology and Immunology and conducted a Post-doctoral Virology Fellowship in the Department of Ophthalmology of the UM Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.  Prior to graduate school, Dr. Crouse was a Plant Genetics Research Associate with Eli Lilly and Company. Dr. Crouse has authored or co-authored over forty scientific manuscripts and invited book chapters.   Research and forensic validation studies have been presented at over sixty meetings both nationally and internationally.  Dr. Crouse has been a past or present member of the following: Accreditation and Certification Interagency Working Group (IWG) under the National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee (NSTC) on Forensic Science, Florida Association of Crime Laboratory Directors, United States American Prosecutors Research Institute DNA Faculty Member; Attorney General Janet Reno’s Laboratory Funding Group for the National Commission for the Future of DNA Evidence.  Attorney General John Ashcroft’s Attorney General’s Initiative on DNA Laboratory Analysis Backlog. the FBI Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis, National Institute of Justice DNA Technical Working Group; The National Institute Justice Advisory Board for DNA Expert Systems,  Journal of Forensic Science Editorial Board,  Department of Defense Quality Assurance Oversight Committee for the US Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, International Commission on Missing Persons Expert Panel Review Quality Assurance Quality Control as well as local and state committees and several law enforcement advisory boards.

 

 

Other Related Podcasts:

Just the Soul of the Profession
Atlanta Olympic Bombing
Just Guidance Leadership
Just Motivational Leadership
Just Strategic Leadership
Just Servant Leadership