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R - Biology / DNA Program

Probabilistic Genotyping

Class Code: 
R506

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
Richmond
Class Description: 

Class in development

Course Contact:

More Information: 

DNA Extraction and Quantitation with qPCR

Class Code: 
R104

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
California Criminalistics Institute/Richmond or Los Angeles
Class Description: 

This 5-day course (40-hour) provides students with a basic understanding of the theory and practice of DNA extraction as well as in-depth information on DNA quantification by real time qPCR. The course focuses on current DNA extraction methods and qPCR data analysis and interpretation. The course has an emphasis on laboratory exercises. Topics covered include: 1) relevant aspects of DNA chemistry, 2) evidence handling prior to DNA analysis, 3) theoretical basis of DNA extraction methods including organic extraction, silica matrix-based methods, silica-coated magnetic beads, and PrepFiler, 4) differential extraction of sexual assault evidence, 5) quantitation of DNA by RealTime PCR (qPCR); and 6) practical experience with extraction and quantitation of single-source bloodstains, buccal swabs, and mock sexual assault samples, and extraction blanks. Each class is limited to 12 students.

Instructor: 
Various
Teaching Methods: 
Classroom lectures, group discussions, and laboratory exercises
Prerequisites: 
SWGDAM required courses or consent of class coordinator
Preparation: 
Pre-course reading material may be assigned.
Tuition: 
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:

More Information: 

Kinship Analysis

Class Code: 
R500

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
CCI Richmond
Class Description: 

This five-day course concentrates on the application of statistics and analytical interpretations. A great portion of the course will involve classroom exercises on kinship calculations and using software tools in kinship casework examples. Case studies will also be examined, including mass victim identification projects such as the World Trade Center Disaster and Hurricane Katrina. Other lineage-specific DNA typing methods, such as Y-chromosome STRs and mitochondrial DNA, will also be discussed. Advanced topics and recent developments in kinship analysis will be presented.

Instructor: 
Brian Harmon & Steven Myers
Teaching Methods: 
Lecture, discussion, and exercises
Objectives: 
Through lectures and class exercises, this course will train forensic DNA analysts in kinship analysis.
Prerequisites: 
R103 Population Genetics in Forensic DNA Analysis or consent of instructors
Preparation: 
Pre-course reading material may be assigned
Tuition: 
POST-certified; 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:

Genetic Typing Methods in Forensic Science

Class Code: 
R210

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory and CCI-Los Angeles
Class Description: 

This 2-day course will provide students with information on the history of genetic typing methods used in forensic science and will include a review of: (1) antigen and enzyme genetic marker systems used in forensic science, (2) restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) systems, (3) immobilized probe typing methods: DQA1 and PM , (4) mitochondrial DNA typing, (5) fragment based typing systems: D1S80 and STRs, (6) DNA databases, (7) Y STRs, and (8) future DNA typing technologies. Each class is limited to 20 students.

Instructor: 
Jan Bashinski DNA Laboratory Staff
Teaching Methods: 
Classroom 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 material may be assigned.
Materials Fee: 
$0
Tuition: 
POST-certified; no cost to California public crime laboratory personnel. A $240.00 tuition fee is required for all other public agencies, private sector, or out of state applicants.

Course Contact:

More Information: 

Microscopy of Sexual Assault Evidence

Class Code: 
R123

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
See Schedule
Class Description: 

NOTE: CLASS WILL NOT BE OFFERED THIS CALENDAR YEAR. This four day (32-hour) class will cover non-routine aspects of sexual assault evidence, focusing on interpretation issues. Such issues come from persistence of seminal components, extraction efficiency, limitations of testing, and information from microscopic examination of extracts. Students will test samples, with emphasis on microscopy. The class will include lectures, classroom discussion of casework examples, and laboratory testing of samples. Course will include a review of microscope use and alignment. Each class is limited to 12 students. Post Certified

Instructor: 
TBD
Teaching Methods: 
Classroom lectures, discussions, demonstrations, and laboratory exercises
Objectives: 
Students will gain a wider knowledge of the information available from the microscopic examinations of cellular material and of the variables in sexual assault cases and their effects on interpretation. The students will be required to demonstrate their proficiency in a written test.
Prerequisites: 
Knowledge and some experience of the testing methods used for sexual assault evidence. Preference will be given to applicants who have taken a basic microscopy course (or have equivalent knowledge).
Tuition: 
No cost to California public crime laboratory personnel. A $480.00 tuition fee is required for all other public agencies, private sector, or out of state applicants.

Course Contact:

More Information: 

Clothing Examination

Class Code: 
R108

Subject Area:

Class Location: 
California Criminalistics Institute / Rancho Cordova or Los Angeles
Class Description: 

This 3-day (24-hour) course is designed to provide basic steps in clothing examination in the crime laboratory. The course will cover the following topics: 1) techniques for examining stains and deposits on clothing items, 2) describing and documenting deposits and stains, and 3) collection and preservation of body fluid stains and some trace evidence.

Instructor: 
Donald T. Jones
Teaching Methods: 
Classroom lectures, discussions, demonstrations, and laboratory exercises.
Objectives: 
The student will learn the basic steps in clothing examination and documentation. The student will learn to describe the nature and manner of deposit of body fluids and be able to recognize and describe other commonly encountered materials. The student will learn to provide a good record that is defensible in court. Laboratory practice will include exercises in describing the clothing item, its condition including any apparent damage, the appearance of any biological stains, and the limited use of presumptive chemical testing. In addition, students will be introduced to the recognition, description, and preservation of non-biological evidence.
Prerequisites: 
Experience with documentation of scientific testing. This class is suitable for the new examiner, and for examiners whose experience in clothing examination is limited to sampling of body fluid stains. Preference will be given to applicants with six months of experience in either forensic serology or forensic DNA analysis
Tuition: 
POST-certified; no cost to California public crime laboratory personnel. A $360.00 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: 
Various
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: 
BFS instructors
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.
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 / Rancho Cordova or Los Angeles
Class Description: 

This 4-day (32-hour) course is designed to teach the beginning forensic biologist 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: 
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
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:

More Information: 

Population Genetics and Statistics 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. We will discuss relevant topics in population genetics and human evolution needed for the assessment of the weight of forensic DNA profiles. Further, topics include the key recommendations of the 1996 National Research Council report, statistical properties of forensic markers, relatives, database searches, and statistics in court. This course is intended for criminalists involved in the analysis of biological evidence. 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
Tuition: 
POST-certified; no cost to State of California-based Law Enforcement agencies. A $360.00 tuition fee will be required of all other public agency, private sector, or out-of-state applicants.

Course Contact:

More Information: 

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 IDX 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.
Tuition: 
No cost to California public crime laboratory personnel. A $300.00 tuition fee will be required of all other public agency, private sector, or out-of-state applicants.

Course Contact:

More Information: 

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