NOAA scientists Kathy Moore and Trey Knott of the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, and Piper Schwenke of NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center are among the first scientists to be certified in the discipline of Wildlife Forensics.
The new certification program is in response to a 2009 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report, ‘Strengthening Forensic Science in the US: A Path Forward,’ which recommends that all forensic scientists become certified in their disciplines. This certification is based on rigorous criteria developed by the Scientific Working Group for Wildlife Forensics (SWGWILD) and adopted by the board of the Society for Wildlife Forensic Sciences (SWFS). NOAA scientists on SWGWILD worked with international, federal, state, and academic colleagues to draft the criteria, which include proficiency testing, a year of casework experience, review of case files for adherence to standards of practice, education, and an ethics pledge.
An independent SWFS Certification Board met last week and certified eleven scientists from the US and abroad in this first test of the new program. Feedback from the test round will be incorporated into the program before the Wildlife Forensic Scientist Certification is offered to other scientists starting in January 2014. Please contact Kathy Moore ( Kathy.Moore@noaa.gov ) or Trey Knott ( Trey.Knott@noaa.gov ) for more information.