The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently announced an appointment to the Organization for Scientific Area Committees (OSAC), established to coordinate development of standards and guidelines for the forensic science community. The organization is bringing a uniform structure to what was previously an ad hoc system with the goal of improving the quality and consistency of forensic science in the United States.
Indiana State Police Forensic Scientist Kathleen Boone will serve on the Chemistry/Instrumental Analysis Scientific Area Committee’s (SAC’s) Materials (Trace) Subcommittee which will focus on the following duties:
- Develop and vet standards for
- Techniques and protocols for performing forensic science services
- Processes and procedures for validation and approval of new technologies and applications
- Test methods and test materials
- Training, curriculum, and continuing education
- Report formats including interpretation and wording of conclusions
Note: Standards will be included in the OSAC Registry of Approved Standards, and guidelines will be included in the OSAC Registry of Approved Guidelines.
- Develop research priorities for the subcommittee
- Coordinate the transition of existing Scientific Working Group documents into approved standards or guidelines
- Ensure meeting minutes are recorded and distributed among subcommittee members
- Provide a semiannual report to SAC and FSSB on activities and accomplishments
“Kathy’s appointment to the Chemistry/Instrumental Analysis Scientific Area Committee’s Materials Subcommittee at the national level as part of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees is a credit to her technical expertise in Microanalysis for the Indiana State Police Laboratory Division. Kathy’s appointment serves as a fine example of the quality expectations that our scientists employ as part of their job duties and responsibilities on a daily basis,” said Laboratory Division Commander, Major Steven Holland. “She is very deserving of this appointment and we are pleased to see a representative from the Indiana State Police on such an important committee.”
The Materials Subcommittee was granted additional membership due to the large array of sub disciplines. The appointment is nominally a 3-year term but these additional member terms will be staggered with members serving either a 2-year, 3-year or 4-year term in order to facilitate a seamless transition of members in future years. Members are listed by subcommittee at www.nist.gov/forensics/osac/subs.cfm.
OSAC is providing a framework for long-term coordination across forensic science disciplines and is part of NIST’s commitment to support forensic science through an initiative launched in partnership with the Department of Justice (DOJ) in February 2013. As part of this effort, the DOJ established a new National Commission on Forensic Science in January 2014 to provide policy guidance to the U.S. Attorney General and help set priorities for standards development. As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. To learn more about NIST, visit www.nist.gov. To learn more about NIST’s efforts on forensic science, visit www.nist.gov/forensics.
Kathleen works at the Indianapolis Laboratory Division and is a 20 year employee of the Indiana State Police. She lives with her husband and child in Marion County.