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Wildlife Disease Association pre-meeting workshop

July 29, 2023 @ 9:00 am 4:30 pm EDT

The Wildlife Disease Association and the Davis-Thompson Foundation are excited to offer a forensic science pre-meeting workshop prior to the annual WDA meeting in Athens, Georgia. This workshop will offer training in a number of critical aspects of forensic investigation, particularly those relevant to wildlife species. The content will be delivered through a series of seminar presentations as well as discussions of actual forensic cases involving wildlife.  Topics include chain of custody and security of samples, reporting, timing of death, species identification, documenting method of death, and expert witness testimony. This will be an in-person meeting only!


Tentative Syllabus (subject to change) – Times in Eastern Daylight Time

9:00 to 9:15 Introduction – Kevin Keel

9:15 to 10:00 Chain of custody and security of samples – Doris Miller

  • Carcasses
  • Frozen samples
  • Leg bands, tags, etc.
  • Disposition of eagle materials
  • Retention of fixed tissues

10:00 to 10:30 Reports – Kevin Keel

  • Written records
  • Photo documentation
  • Digitized microscopy slides
  • FOIA requests

10:30 to 10:45 Break

10:45 to 12:00 Forensic specific diagnostic methods – Ashley Spicer

  • Timing of death
  • Species identification
  • Hair analysis
  • Molecular techniques

Noon to 1:30 Lunch

1:30 to 2:15 Documenting method of take – Kevin Keel / Speaker TBD

  • Firearms
  • Bullet trauma
  • Arrows and similar projectiles
  • Blunt trauma and electrocution
  • Poisoning
  • Drowning and entanglement

2:15 to 3:00 Expert Witness – Doris Miller

  • Representation in the press?
  • Going to court?
  • What is the role of the forensic scientist?

3:00 to 3:15 Break

2:45 to 4:30 Brief case presentations and discussion TBD

$50 – $125 $50 for residents/students, $125 for professionals