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SENIOR DNA SCIENTIST
DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF THE CLASS
The work involves responsibility for collecting evidence, processing or reconstructing crime scenes, performing scientific testing and analyses of unknown substances and evidentiary material required in scientific criminal and civil investigations and in autopsies. Under the general supervision of the DNA Laboratory Director, an employee in this class is responsible for supervising, training and performing work varying in complexity and responsibility in the areas of criminalistics and forensic science. All work is performed in accordance with Federal and State accreditation requirements and departmental procedure manuals and guidelines. Supervision is exercised over a small number of forensic scientists. Does related work as required.
TYPICAL WORK ACTIVITIES
Collects and/or supervises the collection of evidence on site and performs and/or supervises a wide range of complex scientific analyses of evidentiary material and specimens.
Scientific analysis of evidentiary materials such as hairs, fibers, body fluids, other biological evidence, and other types of trace and forensic evidence analyses/comparisons.
Performs qualitative and physical analyses involving chemical, microscopic comparison, macro and microphotography, chromatography, spectrography, electrophoresis, capillary electrophoresis, PCR, RFLP, computer and statistical analysis, and similar and related techniques.
Examines crime scenes and conducts on-scene and off-scene collection and preservation of evidence, handles materials and samples before and after analysis in order to maintain them for the chain of custody and evidence control procedures
Participates in crime scene reconstruction using on-scene bloodstains spatter pattern analysis, gunshot trajectory analysis, pattern impression analysis, evaluation of other scientific examinations, consultation with medical examiners, and consultation with investigators and procedures.
Performs and ensures routine prevention maintenance and calibration of laboratory equipment and analytical instruments; makes recommendations essential to maintaining laboratory standards and quality control procedures; participates in the quality control program within the laboratory; ensures maintenance of proper supplies, equipment, solution and reagents.
Performs quality control and quality audit related tasks including internal and external and/or blind proficiency tests; assists in the review and preparation of proficiency tests; engages in technical and peer review of casework.
Implements and monitors laboratory health and safety policies and procedures.
Assists in developing and implementing new laboratory methods and procedures for improving trace evidence and forensic analyses/comparisons.
Evaluates and recommends modifications of existing testing procedures in order to meet specified requirements of a particular scientific laboratory investigation.
Researches technical journals, textbooks, chemical manuals and other source materials to determine the best methods of performing analytical testing and to remain abreast of scientific trends.
Appear in court litigation as an expert witness.
Supervises and trains less experienced personnel.
Participates in public health preparedness activities as trained and assigned.
FULL PERFORMANCE KNOWLEDGES, SKILLS, ABILITIES AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
Thorough knowledge of the theory, procedures and techniques necessary to produce reliable results and conclusions relative to scientific research and specific to the areas of forensic science including DNA analysis;
Thorough knowledge of modern laboratory techniques, procedures, instrumentation, and safety precautions used in the field of Forensic DNA analysis.
Thorough knowledge of the principles and practice of performing scientific testing and analyses of unknown substances and evidentiary material required in scientific criminal and civil investigations and in autopsies;
Ability to interpret laboratory analysis techniques, procedures and theories in a clear and concise manner so that the non-scientist may understand the significance of the results obtained utilizing these procedures;
Ability to record, organize, analyze and present data with scientific accuracy and thoroughness;
Ability to supervise professional laboratory staff;
Physical condition commensurate with the demands of the position.
Graduation from a regionally accredited college or university or one accredited by the New York State Board of Regents to grant degrees with a Masterís Degree in a natural science, forensic science, criminalistics or a closely related field, which must have included or supplemented by a minimum of twelve (12) semester or equivalent hours of coursework (undergraduate/graduate) covering the following subject areas: biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology, or other subjects which provide a basic understanding of the foundation of forensic DNA analysis, and five (5) years of paid work experience, or its part-time equivalent, in a forensic laboratory performing work equivalent to a Forensic Scientist (Biology).
*Statistics/population genetics, biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology must be the primary component of the classes or courses; coursework completed with titles other than those listed may demonstrate compliance through submission of a student transcript, letter from university professor verifying course content, or a course syllabus The DNA training program previously offered by the FBI Laboratory, with graduate credit hours from the University of Virginia, may be applied toward the molecular biology coursework requirement associated with this standard. Statistics/population genetics training or coursework may be satisfied through internal or external mechanisms.
NOTE: Education may be substituted for experience as follows:
A Doctorate Degree (PhD) in a natural science, forensic science, criminalistics or a closely related field can be substituted for one (1) year of the required work experience.
Applicants will be required to undergo a State and national criminal history background investigation which will include a fingerprint check to determine suitability for appointment. Failure to meet the standards for the background investigation may result in disqualification
2/2009 Date Revised