The intense 20-week DNA analyst training for 14 Central American students has concluded and participants are safely back in their home countries. On site since January, the students tackled techniques and protocols from bio-screening to trial presentation via a blended learning approach.
The students used our online DNA Training program to gain history and theoretical knowledge, followed by hands-on instruction and practice in every step of DNA analysis. NFSTC provided Spanish-speaking instructors and an interpreter to assist at every level, ensuring quality training regardless of language barriers.
Five countries, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Panama, each sent two or three representatives. Each laboratory faces its own set of obstacles, but thorough training and consistent knowledge will help build capacity, moving towards accreditation, and support justice initiatives moving forward.
This training was the initial task provided through NFSTC’s first Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) grant. Crime scene training and other projects will follow in the coming months.
You can read more about the program in Forensic Magazine.
NFSTC has released the only DNA analyst online training with updates to conform to and include the latest FBI Quality Assurance Standards (QAS), new techniques and technologies. The program is used as the knowledge base for new analysts in the laboratory, and can also be offered as supplement to university course work.
While the fundamentals of the training remained unchanged since its creation in 2005, there have been numerous updates to the technology and techniques in the intervening years. NFSTC has taken on the challenge and enhanced the training content to benefits laboratories and analysts around the world.
“Science doesn’t remain stagnant. It keeps advancing and so should the training we offer to the laboratories,” explains Kevin Lothridge, NFSTC CEO. “We took it upon ourselves to update the nine modules with the advancements we’ve seen in the field.”
These advancements include rapid and touch DNA; both of which are changing how quickly DNA can be analyzed and how much of it is needed to do so. Laboratory Technical Leaders will be able to access the program and resources, monitor student progress, receive assessment results and have the authority to establish thresholds for issuing certificate of completion.
Individual analysts or laboratory teams can enroll in the new training program through NFSTC’s website. Training costs are determined by the number of students enrolled.
The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) is taking forensic science students out of the classroom for a unique, hands-on learning opportunity. The Largo-based training facility is opening its doors for 14 students at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) for a first-of-its-kind partnership between the two institutions.
“NFSTC has an international reputation in forensic science,” says USFSP adjunct professor Max Houck. “The USFSP students are lucky enough NFSTC is a bay area facility that will provide global capabilities within driving distance.”
During the course, Field Forensics, students will attend weekly three-hour sessions led by NFSTC’s subject matter experts. Topics include the basics of identifying, collecting and packaging evidence, to the new and emerging forensic space of biometric intelligence and digital media exploitation. Students will have the opportunity to try techniques and get hands on experience to augment their understanding.
“This is training I wish I had before I set foot in my first laboratory,” Kevin Lothridge, NFSTC CEO. “It’s important to know on paper how things are supposed to work. Our goal is to guide these students to use their classroom knowledge for practical, real-world solutions.”
NFSTC is committed to supporting quality education and training, and has worked with universities before through development of curriculum at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg College, University of Central Florida and University of Florida. The facility also hosts a two-week Biometric and Forensics Internship to college ROTC Cadets each summer.
USFSP students will arrive at NFSTC Fridays in the spring 2017 semester.
The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) has received notification of one award from the U.S. Navy and two from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). Although very different in format, these awards broaden the scope of NFSTC’s services into new military areas as well as for agencies in other countries.
The U.S. Navy has named NFSTC as a provider on the SeaPort-e contract and electronic purchasing platform. As a SeaPort-e contract holder, NFSTC will have the opportunity to bid on work for the Navy and its system commands, providing high-quality services available to our fleet and support infrastructure. SeaPort-e is a multiple award contract and the Navy’s vehicle of choice to procure engineering, technical, logistics, program management and financial support services. NFSTC is proud to continue serve our nation’s military and will be a SeaPort-e provider under the current agreement through April 2019.
NFSTC has also received its first Department of State grants to provide training and other services for INL. The initial project will assess forensic capacities and develop capabilities to improve crime scene investigation, forensic analysis, storage and evidence control procedures, and courtroom presentation skills in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama and is valued at $1,540,000.
NFSTC delivers high quality, cost effective training and forensic technology services, and maintains an extensive network of subject matter experts to provide custom and flexible training to customers including the US and international military, and civilian law enforcement agencies.
Each year since 2009, NFSTC has offered a rigorous, two-week, one-of-a-kind Biometrics and Forensic Internship for 12 ROTC Cadets from around the country. NFSTC has been committed to this program as it truly complements our work and because of this, NFSTC has provided this amazing opportunity at no charge to ROTC cadets or the Command. Since we started, more than 70 Cadets have been to NFSTC and learned skills, tools and techniques that will make them stronger leaders in our nation’s security forces.
This year we have launched a campaign to allow companies and individuals to support this program through sponsorship and donations. Your support will show your commitment to educating future Army leaders through a unique internship experience they do not receive in college and or basic ROTC training.
Learn more about giving opportunities at nfstc.causevox.com, or download more information here:
Support the 2015 NFSTC Cadet Internship
Custom corporate giving opportunities are also available.
NFSTC is proud to support our ROTC Cadets and science and STEM education, and we appreciate our sponsors. We are looking forward to meeting this year’s Cadets!
Follow along with the cadet class in July via NFSTC’s Facebook page.