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R - Biology / DNA Program

Casework Approach II

Class Code: 
R107b

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
California Criminalistics Institute / Sacramento
Class Description: 
In complex cases where we can't do everything, how do we know what we can and can't let go? Is thorough work required on every item, or can a cursory exam of some items be sufficient? How can you defend your decisions in court? This two-day course will cover principles that forensic scientists can use in deciding where to begin and when the work is done. This approach emphasizes making impact-based decisions early in the case and concluding work by evaluating the impact of results on the case hypotheses. The principles are presented as conceptual tools that are applied in a step-wise fashion to biological-evidence casework examples. The presentation will consist of interleaved lectures and exercises that participants will do in small discussion groups. This class covers material suitable for a forensic scientist with complex casework experience. Class limited to 36 students. Casework Approach I introduces tools that apply to all types of cases. Casework Approach II briefly introduces the same tools, then adds and spends more time on tools for complex casework including using case hypotheses that address evaluating various scenarios to explain what occurred.
Instructor: 
TBA
Teaching Methods: 
Lecture, classroom exercises, and discussion
Objectives: 
This workshop provides conceptual tools for the forensic practitioner to use in making the everyday decisions upon which the development of sound and defensible scientific information rests. Doing a thorough job on a case does not mean examining everything or doing all possible analyses. Upon completion of this workshop, the participants should have the principles -- and a logical framework -- for making decisions about the focus, priority, and sequence of examinations and when the work can be considered done. The suggested approach is grounded in understanding the case context and is directed toward providing information that addresses the overall case issues.
Prerequisites: 
Experience with complex casework. Complex analysis involves casework where a unique approach may be necessary; or a single definitive conclusion is not possible and weighted conclusions are warranted; or casework requiring the reconstruction of an event or series of events based on the interpretation of physical evidence.
Materials Fee: 
$35.00 Materials fee will be charged to all non-BFS students. This charge is due at the beginning of the class. Make check(s) payable to the California Department of Justice.
Tuition: 
No cost to California public crime laboratory personnel. A $240.00 tuition fee will be required of all other public agency, private sector, or out-of-state applicants.

Course Contact:

Casework Approach I

Class Code: 
R107

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
California Criminalistics Institute / Sacramento
Class Description: 
Whenever we open a case to work on, we are always making decisions. Which items should be examined first? Should all the items be examined, or only some of them? What type of information does each examination provide and how does that impact decisions on what to examine? How do we know what to sample and where? What is the significance of the test results in the context of the case? How does one know when the work is done? This two-day class will provide a logical framework and principles for making defensible decisions while working on non-complex biological-evidence cases. The principles are elicited as students are presented with casework examples. Examples from many cases will be used. The presentation will consist of interleaved lectures and exercises that participants will do in small discussion groups. This class covers material suitable for a forensic scientist with little casework experience or little experience with complex casework. Class is limited to 36 students. Casework Approach I introduces tools that apply to all types of cases. Casework Approach II briefly introduces the same tools, then adds and spends more time on tools for complex casework including using case hypotheses that address evaluating various scenarios to explain what occurred.
Instructor: 
TBA
Teaching Methods: 
Lecture, classroom exercises, and discussion
Objectives: 
This workshop provides conceptual tools for the forensic practitioner to use in making the everyday decisions upon which the development of sound and defensible scientific information rests. Doing a thorough job on a case does not mean examining everything or doing all possible analyses. Upon completion of this workshop, the participants should have the principles -- and a logical framework -- for making decisions about the focus, priority, and sequence of examinations and when the work can be considered done. The suggested approach is grounded in understanding the case context and is directed toward providing information that addresses the overall case issues.
Prerequisites: 
Little or no casework required. Non-complex casework involves laboratory examination or a standard battery of examinations or analyses, the results of which lead to a definitive conclusion acceptable to experts in the field.
Materials Fee: 
$35.00 Materials fee will be charged to all non-BFS students. This charge is due at the beginning of the class. Make check(s) payable to the California Department of Justice.
Tuition: 
No cost to California public crime laboratory personnel. A $240.00 tuition fee will be required of all other public agency, private sector, or out-of-state applicants.

Course Contact:

Biological Fluid Identification

Class Code: 
R106

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
California Criminalistics Institute / Sacramento or Los Angeles
Class Description: 
This 4-day (32-hour) course is designed to teach the beginning serologist the methods and tests to locate and identify dried body fluids. The course will cover the tests commonly used in the forensic field: description and scientific basis, strengths and weaknesses, choice of testing procedures (analytical scheme), test interpretation, and preservation of biological evidence. The course will emphasize the testing of blood, semen, and saliva, but sweat and urine will also be covered, and vaginal secretions and fecal material will be discussed. Each class is limited to 12 students. POST certified.
Instructor: 
Kerstin Gleim and Terry Spear
Teaching Methods: 
Classroom lectures, discussions, demonstrations, and laboratory exercises
Objectives: 
Students will learn the theory and practice of body fluid identification. The students will be required to demonstrate their proficiency in practical and written tests.
Prerequisites: 
Minimum of 6 months of crime laboratory working experience
Materials Fee: 
$75.00 Materials fee will be charged to all non-BFS students. This charge is due at the beginning of the class. Make check(s) payable to the California Department of Justice.
Tuition: 
No cost to California public crime laboratory personnel. A $480.00 tuition fee will be required of all other public agency, private sector, or out-of-state applicants.

Course Contact:

Population Genetics in Forensic DNA Analysis

Class Code: 
R103

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
See Schedule
Class Description: 
This three-day (24-hour) course will cover basic principles of statistics and probability relevant to key concepts in population genetics and profile frequency estimates of PCR-based/discrete allele systems. The recommendations made by the 1996 National Research Council in 'The Evaluation of Forensic DNA Evidence'' will be reviewed. Approaches to statistical analysis of parentage testing, kinship and mass disaster victim identification will also be covered. This course is intended for criminalists involved in the analysis of biological evidence or working in missing person DNA programs. Each class is limited to 30 students.
Instructor: 
Dr. Kirk Lohmueller
Teaching Methods: 
Classroom lectures and group discussions
Objectives: 
Students will be required to demonstrate their proficiency in practical and written tests
Prerequisites: 
R251 (Short Tandem Repeat (STR) I Analysis and Typing) and R252 (Short Tandem Repeat (STR) II Analysis and Typing)
Preparation: 
Pre-course reading materials may be assigned
Materials Fee: 
$35.00 Materials fee will be charged to all non-BFS students. This charge is due at the beginning of the class. Make check(s) payable to the California Department of Justice.
Tuition: 
POST-certified; no cost to State of California-based Law Enforcement agencies. A $240.00 tuition fee will be required of all other public agency, private sector, or out-of-state applicants.

Course Contact:

DNA Extraction and Quantitation

Class Code: 
R102

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory or CCI-Los Angeles
Class Description: 
This 4-day course (32-hour) provides students with a basic understanding of the theory and practice of DNA extraction and quantitation. The course focuses on laboratory exercises. Topics covered include: 1) Handling and sampling of biological evidence; 2) Properties of the DNA molecule; 3) Principles underlying organic and non-organic DNA extraction methods; 4) Differential extraction of sexual assault evidence; 5) The theoretical basis of commonly used DNA quantification procedures; and 6) Practical experience with organic extraction of blood, buccal, and mock sexual assault samples; 7) qPCR quantification of DNA; and 8) Proper use of controls in DNA extraction and quantification. Each class is limited to 12 students.
Instructor: 
Various
Teaching Methods: 
Classroom lectures, group discussions, and laboratory exercises
Objectives: 
Students will be required to demonstrate their proficiency in practical and written tests.
Prerequisites: 
SWGDAM required courses or consent of class coordinator
Preparation: 
Pre-course reading material may be assigned.
Materials Fee: 
$75.00 Materials fee will be charged to all non-BFS students. This charge is due at the beginning of the class. Make check(s) payable to the California Department of Justice.
Tuition: 
POST-certified; a tuition fee of $600 will be required for private sector or out-of-state applicants. Make checks payable to the California Department of Justice.

Course Contact:

Statistics for DNA Databank Analysts

Class Code: 
R100

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory / CCI Richmond
Class Description: 
The goal of this one-day (8-hour) course is to render students conversant in the key concepts of statistics necessary and useful for DNA Databank analysis. The course will cover general concepts in statistics such as frequency, probability, odds, likelihood ratios, and statistical tests. Course material will also include concepts particular to DNA databases such as population genetics, DNA database searches, recommendations made by the 1996 National Research Center (NRC II), and statistics useful in evaluating high-throughput DNA testing programs. Various approaches to plotting and summarizing data, and its interpretation via descriptive statistics will be reviewed. Each class is limited to 30 students and particularly designed for analysts working in DNA Databank programs.
Instructor: 
Dr. Brian Harmon, Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory
Teaching Methods: 
Class lectures and group discussions
Objectives: 
Students will be required to demonstrate their proficiency in a written test.
Prerequisites: 
SWGDAM specified classes: molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics, or approval of Course Coordinator.
Preparation: 
Pre-course reading materials may be assigned.
Materials Fee: 
$35.00 Materials fee will be charged to all non-BFS students. This charge is due at the beginning of the class. Make check(s) payable to the California Department of Justice.
Tuition: 
No cost to State of California based Law Enforcement agencies. A $240.00 tuition fee will be required of all other public agency, private sector, or out-of-state applicants.

Course Contact:

Y-Chromosome Short Tandem Repeat (Y-STR) Analysis and Typing

Class Code: 
R253

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory and CCI-Los Angeles
Class Description: 
This 2.5-day (20-hour) course (no laboratory section) will provide students with information on short tandem repeat (STR) typing of the Y chromosome and includes detailed lectures on: (1) The Y-chromosome: biology, genetics and evolution, (2) Development and internal validation of commercially available Y-typing kits and kit comparison studies, (3) population substructure considerations when typing for Y haplotypes, (4) statistics of Y haplotypes and their use as forensic evidence, (5) guidelines from the SWGDAM YSTR Subcommittee, (6) Y-STR interpretation guidelines, (7) review of actual case examples and court presentation of Y-STR evidence, (8) GeneMapper ID software issues related to Y-STR typing, and (9) Y-STR databases. Each class is limited to 22 students. POST Certified.
Instructor: 
Invited instructors and Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory staff
Teaching Methods: 
Classroom lectures and group/panel discussions [no laboratory work].
Objectives: 
Students will be required to demonstrate their proficiency in a written test.
Prerequisites: 
SWGDAM specified classes: molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics. STR casework experience.
Preparation: 
Pre-course reading material may be assigned.
Materials Fee: 
$35.00 Materials fee will be charged to all non-BFS students. This charge is due at the beginning of the class. Make check(s) payable to the California Department of Justice.
Tuition: 
No cost to California public crime laboratory personnel. A $240.00 tuition fee will be required of all other public agency, private sector, or out-of-state applicants.

Course Contact:

Short Tandem Repeat (STR) I Analysis and Typing

Class Code: 
R251

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory or CCI-Los Angeles
Class Description: 
This 5-day (40-hour) course will provide students with information on short tandem repeat (STR) typing and will include: (1) intensive software training, (2) principles of PCR, (3) principles of electrophoresis and capillary electrophoresis, (4) review of Identifiler loci, and (5) fragment sizing on different analytical platforms Each class is limited to 12 students. POST Certified
Instructor: 
Various
Teaching Methods: 
Classroom lectures, group discussions, and laboratory exercises
Objectives: 
Students will be required to demonstrate their proficiency in practical and written tests.
Prerequisites: 
SWGDAM specified classes: molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics, or approval of Course Coordinator.
Preparation: 
Pre-course reading material may be assigned.
Materials Fee: 
$75.00 Materials fee will be charged to all non-BFS students. This charge is due at the beginning of the class. Make check(s) payable to the California Department of Justice.
Tuition: 
No cost to California public crime laboratory personnel. A $600.00 tuition fee will be required of all other public agency, private sector, or out-of-state applicants.

Course Contact:

Short Tandem Repeat (STR) II Analysis and Typing

Class Code: 
R252

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory and CCI-Los Angeles
Class Description: 
This 5-day (40-hour) course will provide students with in-depth training on interpretation issues regarding short tandem repeat (STR) typing of both single source samples and mixtures. It includes 2 days of hands-on training with GenemapperID software on data sets and electronic capillary electrophoresis data from sample amplified during the STR I course. Lectures on diagnosis of DNA extracts via qPCR, chromosome anomalies (trisomies, chimeric and mosaic individuals), low copy nunber STR typing, identification of human remains (STR miniplexes), considerations for uploading forensic profile to CODIS, basic concepts in population statistics, expert systems software and court issues are also included. POST Certified.
Instructor: 
Various
Teaching Methods: 
Classroom lectures, software exercises, and group discussions
Objectives: 
Students will be required to demonstrate their proficiency in practical and written tests.
Prerequisites: 
R251 Short Tandem Repeat (STR) I Analysis and Typing
Materials Fee: 
$0
Tuition: 
No cost to California public crime laboratory personnel. A $600.00 tuition fee is required for all other public agencies, private sector, or out of state applicants.

Course Contact:

DNA Quantitation with Real Time qPCR

Class Code: 
R120

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory or CCI-Los Angeles
Class Description: 
This 2.5-day course provides in-depth information on DNA quantification by real time qPCR. The course focuses on qPCR data analysis and interpretation. Topics include: (1) the theory and application of qPCR assays, (2) qPCR analysis software, (3) effects of PCR Inhibitors, (4) effects of DNA degradation, (5) qPCR detection chemistries, (6) single and multiplex qPCR assays, (7) selected forensic assays, (8) the ABI 7000 (& 7300/7500) Instrument(s), and (9) qPCR examples from casework
Instructor: 
Bill Hudlow, Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory
Teaching Methods: 
Classroom lectures, discussions, demonstrations, and laboratory exercises
Objectives: 
Students will be required to demonstrate their proficiency in practical and written tests.
Prerequisites: 
DNA Extraction and Quantitation, SWGDAM required courses, or the consent of course coordinator
Preparation: 
Pre-course reading may be assigned
Materials Fee: 
$35.00 Materials fee will be charged to all non-BFS students. This charge is due at the beginning of the class. Make check(s) payable to the California Department of Justice.
Tuition: 
POST-certified; no cost to California public crime laboratory personnel. A $250.00 tuition fee will be charged to participants from other public agencies, private sector laboratories, and out of state laboratories.

Course Contact:

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