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Episode Overview

In episode eight, Just Science interviews Dr. Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar from Purdue University about the impact of disturbing media on forensic professionals. 

Repeated exposure to violent and graphic media can have long-term negative effects on digital forensic examiners. Dr. Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar is researching the connection between disturbing media and the examiners who analyze it every day. Listen along as she discusses digital forensic examiners and the impact of disturbing media 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].

Just Science · Just The Impact Of Disturbing Media_Digital Evidence_140

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Guest Bio

Dr. Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar: Associate Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Technology (CIT) at Purdue University. Dr. Seigfried-Spellar studies the intersection between the behavioral sciences and technology-facilitated crime and digital forensics. Her most recent work focuses on the psychological well-being and job satisfaction of digital forensic examiners and multimedia analysts exposed to disturbing media. Dr. Seigfried-Spellar is a Fellow of the Digital and Multimedia Sciences section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), member of the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA), and a member of the American Psychological Association (APA). She is also a deputized Special Investigator (Tippecanoe Prosecutor’s Office) and member of the Tippecanoe High Tech Crime Unit (HTCU). 


Additional Resources

Digital and Multimedia Forensics: The Impact of Disturbing Media Webinar

 

 

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Episode Overview

In episode seven, Just Science interviews Dr. Catalin Grigoras and Cole Whitecotton from the National Center for Media Forensics about deepfakes. 

Deepfakes are a form of synthetic media that replace an existing image with someone else’s likeness. While relatively new, deepfake technology has grown in sophistication over the last few years. In some cases, the synthetic image is almost indiscernible from the person that it is imitating, which can create a lot of problems for forensic analysts. Dr. Catalin Grigoras and Cole Whitecotton are working to understand and combat deepfakes. Listen along as they discuss the capability, implications, and the future of deepfake technology 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].

Just Science · Just Deepfakes_Digital Evidence_139

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Guest Bio

 

Dr. Catalin Grigoras: As Associate Professor and Director of the National Center for Media Forensics, Grigoras has the privilege to coordinate the Center’s activity, including education and scientific projects. His research encompasses digital signal processing in forensic multimedia, including digital recording authentication, audio/image analysis, enhancement, and automatic speaker recognition. His research into digital signal processing has resulted in advanced methods to authenticate digital audio/video recordings and semiautomatic systems for forensic speaker recognition.  

Grigoras was chairman of the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes – Forensic Speech and Audio Analysis Working Group from 2007-2009. He is a member of the Audio Engineering Society (AES), the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) – Digital and Multimedia Sciences Section; and the Scientific Working Group on Digital Evidence (SWGDE) – Audio Committee. He has published numerous forensic audio/video articles and is a co-author of Best Practice Guidelines for ENF Analysis in Forensic Authentication of Digital Evidence (2009). Funding sponsors include Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). 

Cole Whitecotten: As the IT Professional for the National Center for Media Forensics, Cole has the pleasure of helping develop and maintain the equipment and software used throughout the Center’s education and research programs, both online and in the classroom. He has contributed to multiple research projects, including the DARPA run Medifor program. As an alum of the Master’s Program, Cole is also excited to be able to contribute back to the program via teaching, and leveraging new technologies to expand and strengthen new student’s experiences as they forge their own paths into the world of digital and multimedia forensic disciplines.  

Cole’s research areas include recompression effects on video (especially YouTube compression effects), iOS Voice Memo authentication (presented at AES in Porto), and specialization in hardware and computer configurations. Cole is a member of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS).  


Additional Resources

UC Denver’s Master course descriptions

UC Denver’s Training courses

 

 

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Episode Overview

In episode six, Just Science interviews Barbara Guttman from the National Institute of Standards and Technology about the first large-scale black box study to test the accuracy of computer and mobile phone forensics. 

In forensic science, black box studies are used to measure the reliability of methods and techniques that rely on human interpretation. Barbara Guttman and her team at NIST are working to measure the overall competency of the digital forensics community at large by releasing an open-enrollment online test available to interested forensic scientists. Listen along as she discusses the parameters of the test, the expected results, and the value of the study 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].

Just Science · Just NIST's Digital Forensics Black Box Study_Digital Evidence_138

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Guest Bio

Barbara Guttman is the Manager of the Software Quality Group in NIST’s Information Technology Lab (ITL).  Her areas of responsibility include software assurance and computer forensics.  In computer forensics, her group runs the National Software Reference Library www.nsrl.nist.gov and the Computer Forensics Tool Testing Project www.cftt.nist.gov.   She is also active in both the Scientific Working Group on Digital Evidence and the OSAC DE Subcommittee.  She has been working in the area for 20 years.  In software assurance, her group runs the Software Assurance Metrics and Tool Evaluation (SAMATE) project including the Static Analysis Tool Exposition and the SAMATE Reference Data Set. 

Prior to joining the Software Quality Group, she was Associate Director of ITL, Senior Program Analyst to the NIST Director, and worked in computer security and federal information policy.  


Additional Resources

NIST Digital Forensics

NIST to Digital Forensics Experts: Show Us What You Got

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Episode Overview

In episode five, Just Science interviews Matt Ruddell from Florida International University about their efforts to develop forensic education and training programs at FIU.

The National Forensic Science Technology Center at Florida International University offers a variety of courses, consulting, and training geared toward forensic scientists. Matt Ruddell and the rest of the faculty at FIU are working to develop accessible programs for law enforcement, military personnel, and now – undergraduate students. Listen along as he discusses the development of digital forensics courses and his experience in the university system 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].

Just Science · Just Digital Evidence 101_Digital Evidence_137

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Guest Bio

Matt Ruddell is a member of the National Forensic Science Technology Center, a program at FIU, specializing in Digital Forensic course development and delivery. He spent fifteen years working for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in the crime laboratory, twelve of those in the Digital Forensics section. He received his Masters of Science in Digital Forensics from the University of Central Florida while working full time in the crime lab. During his time working in the lab, Matt has worked over one thousand cases involving a variety of crimes including death investigations, sexual assault, drug cases, a variety of different types of fraud, money laundering, prostitution, hacking and lots of child exploitation cases. Matt has analyzed and extracted data from almost any device you can imagine including computer and laptop hard drives, cell phones and GPS devices, gaming consoles, surveillance system DVRs, and even spy cameras and credit card skimming devices. Matt helped develop and implement the advanced mobile device techniques allowing the extraction of data from previously inaccessible mobile devices. He was one of the chief architects of the policies and procedures used statewide and testified several times as an expert witness in state, federal, and military court proceedings. Matt has worked as a course developer and instructor for a defense contractor, and developed and teaches the capstone course for the Cyber Criminology major at Florida State University. His emphasis is taking his real world practical knowledge and transferring that into classroom training exercises, so that students are better prepared for what is actually out there. 


Additional Resources

FIU ECE Forensics

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Episode Overview

In episode four, Just Science interviews Paul Reedy, Owner of 4th Street Global, a digital forensics and cyber security consulting firm, about data stories and the future of digital evidence.  

Rapidly changing technology can complicate the analysis of digital evidence. As such, it is imperative that researchers and investigators work to stay on the cutting edge of the digital world. Paul Reedy believes that being proactive when it comes to the development of new digital evidence technologies will help investigators keep up with criminals. Listen along as he discusses tool validation, data stories, and the ever-evolving landscape of digital evidence 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].

Just Science · Just Data Stories_Digital Evidence_136

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Guest Bio

Paul Reedy is an international change agent with results achieved through innovation and collaborative partnerships. Mr. Reedy is an Australian forensic scientist who commenced as a drug analyst and toxicologist in Australia’s capital. In 2002, after working in science and innovation policy, Mr. Reedy commenced with the Australian Federal Police, less than four weeks after the first Bali bombs exploded, to lead the Computer Forensic Team (CFT). This was the beginning of a transformational period for the AFP as Australia met the rapidly emerging challenge of international terrorism. He later went on to manage the whole of the AFP’s forensic capabilities. The CFT, and forensic science more broadly, were fundamental to the AFP’s ability to meet these challenges, particularly the growth in digital evidence which required innovative organisational responses. International engagement and sharing of forensic knowledge were critical aspects of the AFP’s mission. In 2013, Mr. Reedy and his family moved to Washington DC to be part of the DC Department of Forensic Sciences (DFS) which reflected a new approach to forensic science for the United States. He is a member of the Organising Committee for triennial INTERPOL International Forensic Science Managers Symposium and author of the symposium’s review of digital evidence. Mr. Reedy recently moved to the private sector


Additional Resources

Podcast Episode: Just the Evolution of Digital Evidence

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Episode Overview

In episode three, Just Science interviews Martin Novak, a Computer Scientist with the National Institute of Justice, about digital evidence in the United States Court of Appeals. 

Digital evidence has the capacity to identify suspects, win acquittals, and obtain convictions. Whether through cars, smart homes, cell phones, personal computers, or a myriad of other devices, analysts are able to collect a staggering amount of data during the investigation of a crime. Martin Novak is currently studying the application of digital evidence in the courtroom. Listen along as he discusses case studies, his current research goals, and the role of digital evidence in the Court of Appeals 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].

Just Science · Just Digital Evidence In The Courts Of Appeals_Digital Evidence_135

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Guest Bio

Martin Novak is a Senior Computer Scientist with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).  Since 2004, he has managed NIJ’s Digital and Multimedia Evidence Research and Development Portfolio.  His research interests are science and the law, developing solutions for technology-facilitated abuse, and research on digital evidence collected from dark net investigations.  Martin has a Master’s in Public Administration from George Mason University. 


Additional Resources

Digital Forensics: An Overview for the Laboratory Manager Webinar

Podcast Episode: Just a Public Defender’s Perspective

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Episode Overview

In episode two, Just Science interviews Nicolas Hughes, assistant public defender with the Harris County Public Defender’s Office in Houston, TX, about the validation of tools utilized by digital forensics laboratories. 

Many forensic laboratories face overwhelming caseloads; digital forensic labs are no exception. The diversity and complexity of devices that can be used as digital evidence continues to be a dynamic problem. From malware scanners to cell phones to smart homes, digital evidence can be a pivotal piece of the puzzle when investigating crimes. Nicolas Hughes is uniquely poised to drive better practices within the digital forensic discipline. He blends his background in computer engineering and law to better understand problems of inaccuracy and misinterpretation.  Listen along as he discusses digital security, the value of a skilled technician, and the validation of digital forensics tools 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].

Just Science · Just A Public Defender’s Perspective_Digital Evidence_134

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Guest Bio

Nicolas Hughes works as an assistant public defender with the Harris County Public Defender’s Office, where he focuses on forensic issues in criminal cases. In his daily role, Nicolas uses raw data, academic and industry research, and in-depth analysis of laboratory methodologies in order to defend his clients. In addition to his work as an assistant public defender, Nicolas is finishing a master’s degree in digital forensics. Nicolas’s primary research interests involve metrology and validation within the field of digital forensics. Nicolas is currently creating and improving a tool to help better evaluate and understand the limitations of malware scanners used by digital forensic examiners during routine analysis of digital evidence. 


Additional Resources

Digital Forensics: An Overview for the Laboratory Manager Webinar

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Episode Overview

While the realm of digital evidence is still relatively new, it requires validation and testing like all forensic disciplines. Digital evidence is a dynamic discipline that can often provide greater insight into the investigation of a crime or the defense of the alleged perpetrator. In this season of Just Science, we will be covering the history and interpretation of digital evidence, emerging technologies used in investigation and as evidence, and the validation of digital forensic tools. 

In episode one, Just Science interviews Paul Reedy, owner of 4th Street Global, a digital evidence consulting firm, about the history and evolution of digital evidence. 

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

Listen/Download at:

ItunesGooglePlayStitcherSoundcloudSpotify


Guest Bio

Paul Reedy is an international change agent with results achieved through innovation and collaborative partnerships. Mr. Reedy is an Australian forensic scientist who commenced as a drug analyst and toxicologist in Australia’s capital.

In 2002, after working in science and innovation policy, Mr. Reedy commenced with the Australian Federal Police, less than four weeks after the first Bali bombs exploded, to lead the Computer Forensic Team (CFT). This was the beginning of a transformational period for the AFP as Australia met the rapidly emerging challenge of international terrorism.

He later went on to manage the whole of the AFP’s forensic capabilities. The CFT, and forensic science more broadly, were fundamental to the AFP’s ability to meet these challenges, particularly the growth in digital evidence which required innovative organisational responses. International engagement and sharing of forensic knowledge were critical aspects of the AFP’s mission.

In 2013, Mr. Reedy and his family moved to Washington DC to be part of the DC Department of Forensic Sciences (DFS) which reflected a new approach to forensic science for the United States. He is a member of the Organising Committee for triennial INTERPOL International Forensic Science Managers Symposium and author of the symposium’s review of digital evidence. Mr. Reedy recently moved to the private sector


Additional Resources

4th Street Global

Digital Forensics: An Overview for the Laboratory Manager Webinar

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Episode Overview

 

In this special release episode of Just Science, we sat down with Ashley Church and Erin West, founders of Gap Science, to discuss stress and resiliency in crime scene investigators. 

Traumatic death investigation can have adverse, long-term effects on crime scene analysts.  As Ashley Church and Erin West moved through their respective careers, they noticed a lack of training around protecting the psychological well-being of forensic scientists. Gap Science is working to fill this void in knowledge and address the challenges that investigators are experiencing every day. Listen along as our guests discuss compassion fatiguethe supervisor’s role in protecting their people, and the impact of violent crime scenes on forensic scientists 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].

 

Just Science · Just Applied Leadership for Resiliency in CSIs_Special Release_132

Episode Transcript

 

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Guest Bios

Erin West began her career in Forensics in 2006 as a Crime Scene Investigator for the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office in Florida.  In 2010, she became a Battlefield Forensics Instructor for the United States Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, where she was responsible for training military personnel how to use a variety of forensic disciplines to investigate crimes overseas.  In 2012, she became a Supervisor, then a Deputy Program Manager for a Department of Justice Forensic Laboratory housed at American Systems, where she was responsible for training and supervising staff working in different forensic disciplines and at different levels of management.  After leaving American Systems, she spent several years with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office in Florida working as a full time Latent Print Examiner.  In 2019, she became the Forensic Supervisor over the Crime Scene Unit and DNA Laboratory at the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office and in 2020, she became the Latent Print Supervisor over the Latent Print Unit at the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. Erin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida in 2006 and a Master of Science degree in Forensic DNA and Serology with a graduate certificate in Forensic Toxicology from the University of Florida in 2012. Erin is a member of the International Association for Identification (IAI) and the Florida Division of the IAI and has been a presenter at the annual FDIAI Conference.  She is an instructor for TriTech Forensics and the co-founder of Gap Science LLC, a company offering training and resources for leaders in the Forensic disciplines.  She is an IAI Certified Crime Scene Analyst and an IAI Certified Latent Print Examiner.

 

Ashley Church has always had a passion for forensic science and chased her dream job as a crime scene investigator throughout high school and college. After completing a 400+ hour internship at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for her undergraduate degree requirements in 2011, she continued her education in entomology where she was hired as a graduate research assistant. In addition to studying the impact of a highly prolific invasive species within a quarantined laboratory setting, she was responsible for collaborating with specialists, organizing materials, and developing presentations for a series of workshops as well as recruiting, training, and supervising undergraduate laboratory assistants.Upon completing her education, Ashley began her career in 2013 as a Crime Scene Investigator for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Orlando, Florida. In addition to her duties as a Crime Scene Investigator, she was a field training officer responsible for training new crime scene investigators. In 2017, she became a Forensic Technician for the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office in Kissimmee, Florida. In 2018, she was promoted to Forensic Supervisor and was responsible for supervising members of the Forensic Unit and Pre-Screening DNA Laboratory as well as training staff in these forensic disciplines to full competency. Ashley earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Science with a Minor in Chemistry and a Certificate in Crime Scene Investigations from the University of Central Florida in 2011 and a Master of Science degree in Entomology from the University of Florida in 2013. She also became a Certified Crime Scene Analyst through the International Association for Identification (IAI) in 2019. Ashley is currently a training instructor for TriTech Forensics and the CSI Academy of Florida. She has also presented at educational conferences, such as the Florida Division IAI and the Entomological Society of America. She incorporates her passion for science with a modern, energetic instructing style in hopes to inspire other leaders in similar fields.  She is the co-founder of Gap Science LLC, a company offering training and resources for leaders in the Forensic disciplines.

 


Additional Resources:

Stress, Vicarious Trauma, and Resiliency for Forensic Science Professionals

Special Release Episode: Just Building Workforce Resiliency

FTCoE’s Forensic Workforce Resiliency: Vicarious Trauma & Workplace Stress Webinar Series

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This week on Just Science, we are publishing a special release episode in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Social distancing, shelter in place, and other responses to COVID-19 can create a stressful environment for survivors of sexual assault especially if they feel they cannot access resources or are physically unable to seek help. In addition, highly stressful situations that result from significant amounts of change, such as unemployment, disruption in ‘normal’ activities, and social isolation may increase the risk of domestic violence and sexual assault. In this podcast, we will discuss what services are available to survivors of sexual assault, including leveraging on-line platforms and modified strategies for first responders, rape crisis centers, and victim advocates. We will also discuss how we as a friend, family member, and community can be prepared to respond to a victim of sexual assault in this challenging time.

In this episode Just Science interviews Ms. Marya Simmons, the Founder and CEO of Shift in Notion Consulting. Marya is a nationally recognized victim advocate and trainer with a specialty on the formation of multidisciplinary teams or sexual assault response teams and assisting agencies with developing policies and practices for improved responses to sexual assault. If you wish to contact Marya about additional resources or questions please email her at marya.s.shiftinnotion@gmail.com.

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

Listen to last year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month episode “Just the Evolution of Sexualt Assault Evidence Collection” with guest Dr. Pat Speck by clicking here.

If you or someone you know is need of emotional support, advice, or crisis intervention please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673), or visit, www.rainn.org, the rape, abuse and incest national network, for advocacy support online.

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Marya L. Simmons is the Founder and CEO of Shift in Notion Consulting, LLC, where she provides technical assistance, strategic planning consultation, and training to diverse audiences and communities on sexual assault, trauma-responsive and victim-centered best-practice approaches, domestic violence, victim advocacy, strengthening multi-disciplinary teams, life-skills and self-sufficiency, boosting leadership and supervision skills and techniques, and supporting families of homicide victims.

Ms. Simmons is a consultant with RTI International as a subject matter expert in victim advocacy and a consultant with the State Medical Board of Ohio as a Victim Coordinator. Marya also serves as a Program Facilitator for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio where she oversees programming to elevate and promote confidence, self-sufficiency, inspire high self-esteem, influence respect and integrity amongst girls ages 5-17.

Ms. Simmons is an international and national presenter, has two degrees in criminal justice with honors, she is currently enrolled in the Criminal Justice Administration Master’s Degree Program at Tiffin University, and she is also a member of Tiffin University’s Chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society. Previously, Ms. Simmons was the Victim-Witness Unit Supervisor at the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, and in this role she supported victims and witnesses throughout the judicial system process. Prior to joining the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, she was a Justice System Advocate for victims of sexual assault at the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center where she supported survivors of sexual assault in that role. Marya is adept to working with diverse populations, providing crisis intervention, and supporting women diagnosed with chemical/alcohol dependency and mental health illnesses.

Ms. Simmons is a Registered Advocate with Senior Standing with the state of Ohio, serves on the Executive Committee for the Cuyahoga County Sexual Assault Response Team and the Leadership Committee for the Women of Color Caucus, actively supported victims associated with Cuyahoga County’s CODIS Task Force (Untested Rape Kit Initiative) since 2013, and Ms. Simmons also received the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office’s 2016 award for Distinguished Contributions to Victim Advocacy.


Additional Resources:

Sexual Assault Reform FTCoE Resources
WEBINAR: Neurophysiology and Overcoming Trauma: Understanding Individual Challenges
WEBINAR: Surviving Sexual Assault – It Takes A Village
RAINN Website