Last week, I attended the annual meeting for the Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists in Roanoke, Virginia. The meeting was held at the historic Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Not only was the drive through the West Virginian mountain country beautiful, but the conference overall was a great experience.
This was my first year attending as a member of MAAFS and received my official certificate of membership at the business meeting on Thursday evening. I was able to attend numerous presentations focused on criminalistics, where I was particularly “geeked out” by the studies performed using the DART-TOF instrumentation (a fast method of mass spectrometry that requires virtually no preparation time).
I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Dr. Robert “Chip” Cody, one of the lead developers of this technology, who was very hospitable to all of my questions. Additionally, this year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Eric Emery, gave an enlightening presentation regarding the management and coordination of Medicolegal Operations in the Transportation Disaster Assistance Division of the National Transportation Safety Board.
We ended the week of learning from and networking with colleagues at the Oktoberfest Gala, sponsored by Perkin Elmer. The conference was a great learning experience and networking platform, and I look forward to seeing everyone again next year at Penn State.