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News & Stories
News | Feb. 24, 2023

DPAA Scientists attend conference to share knowledge

By Ashley M. Wright Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Public Affairs

Members of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Scientific Analysis Directorate
descended on the 75th Anniversary Conference of the American Academy of Forensic Science in
Orlando Feb. 13-18, to share knowledge and learn more on the latest practices to aide in the
Agency’s mission of providing the fullest possible accounting for missing American’s from past
The international conference hosted more than 3,200 top forensic scientists and students from across the globe, 86 exhibiting companies and nearly 900 presentations.
Kicking off on a high note with a packed room, DPAA scientists conducted a full day forensics
workshop. This workshop showcased the case resolution process at the agency where identifying
decedents decades after death is the norm. The presenters demonstrated the need for objective
data from the disciplines of Forensic Archaeology, Forensic Anthropology, Forensic
Odontology, Material Evidence Analysis, Chest Radiograph Comparison, Isotope Analysis, and
DNA Analysis to support forensic identification using case examples.
“DPAA occasionally teaches workshops on topics for, which we have expertise in keeping with
the Academy of Forensic Sciences missions of promoting scientific exchanges and educating the
next generation of forensic experts,” said Dr. John Byrd, DPAA Laboratory Director.
Another critical aspect to the conference was promoting DPAA as a potential employer to
students. More than 100 potential employees ventured to the agency’s booth in the exhibit hall
on the first day alone, commenting on the workshop and possible job opportunities and
In addition, DPAA presented a variety of posters on research topics.
One such research poster was presented by Dr. Megan Ingvoldstad, DPAA anthropologist who
worked the study along with her colleagues Carrie LeGarde, DPAA anthropologist, and Andrea
Palmiotto, Indiana University of Pennsylvania partner. The concept centered on the accuracy of
pair matching skeletal remains, which could eventually reduce the number of DNA tests needed
by the agency, thus saving money while still ensuring the highest level of accuracy in DPAA
“It is really great especially after the pandemic,” said Ingvoldstad, when asked about
attending the conference in person. “It is always important to expand our knowledge and
improve the quality of our work for families.”

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