Congratulations! You have been accepted to attend one of the Forensic Chromatography courses. This page was set up to answer many of the Frequently Asked Questions when it come to these courses. Please read this before contacting Justin, Heidi, Josh or the laboratory as many, if not all, of your questions will be answered here:
1. Where do we fly in and out and when?
Either Chicago-Midway or Chicago-O’Hare. I personally think O’Hare is a lot easier to navigate, but it is personal preference. At O’Hare you can catch the trains (the L) that go into the city. If you do so, it is very cheap $5.00 and is a straight shot. You get off at the UIC-Halstead stop for the hotel.
It is absolutely required that you fly in the night before the course begins. We have had too many experiences with people who try to take the early morning shuttle and get delayed or stuck. Your poor planning will not be accommodated or be an excuse to ask for a refund or tuition break. You are an adult.
2. Where do we stay?
Use this link to book and get the special rate: Axion Labs-Crowne Plaza Metro. Be sure to book early and to ask for the “Axion Labs” rate. You should also explore other rate saving programs like AAA, AARP or the ABA as sometimes they are cheaper. Please do not wait to book the hotel space as it is a busy hotel.
3. What is the agenda?
We all meet at 8 am in the lobby of the Crowne Plaza Hotel on the first day. After the walk over to the lab on the first day, you will have to get yourself there every day. Please do not be late.
4. What can I do now to become prepared?
Relax. This class is not hard, but it is a lot of work. And, it is a lot of fun. This is unlike any other seminar you have ever been to. Great professional drinkers have come through this course and have tried to both blow off steam and also get the maximum amount of information out of the course, they could not do both. You cannot do both. Plan on being tired at the end of the day and you will definitely want to be well rested and sober the next morning. You are over 18. It is still the United States, you can do as you please, but a word to the wise is don’t plan on partying it up.
Get yourself in the mindset to learn. Open your mind and convince yourself that you will understand this. Believe me, you will.
Here are a few great books with lots of pictures that demonstrate the major concepts:
- Understanding DUI Scientific Evidence, 2014 ed.: Leading Lawyers and Scientists on Recent Developments in Forensic Science, Understanding Chemical and … Validity of Test Results (Inside the Minds) Paperback – December 1, 2014 There is a chapter in there by Katy and Justin.
- Understanding DUI Scientific Evidence, 2011 ed: Leading Lawyers and Scientists on Recent Developments in Forensic Science, Understanding Chemical and … Validity of Test Results (Inside the Minds). There is a chapter in there by Josh and Justin. We worked really hard to make it perfect and basic.
- We get no money off of it, but if you want a good place to start that is directly relevant to our field of forensic applications, that would be it.
- The instructors would suggest ordering this book: Basic Gas Chromatography by Harold M. McNair and James M. Miller. It is the best selling Gas Chromatography book in the world translated into many different languages. Don’t worry if it is over your head. If you get 10% of it, we will make the other 90% stick. Bring it with you to class and get it autographed by Dr. McNair himself.
Again, this course is made for those who have no prior exposure (Don’t worry if you cannot even spell chromatography). It is designed for those who want hands-on training, want to engage the presenters, and most importantly learn this stuff for life. You will be fine. I know each and every one of you. It will be a great class. You will mostly want the book so that you can have your picture taken with my friend (and soon to be yours) Harold McNair. He will also inscribe the book to you.
If you are coming for the Solid Drug Dose class, you may want to watch these videos:
5. When is my credit card being charged?
I don’t like the ACS to get your money for several months on an interest free loan. So, I have negotiated with them to only charge the cards one month before the seminar. You will get an email from me several days ahead of time warning you when the charge is going to be processed so it does not come as a surprise.
6. What is the cancellation policy?
Remember Josh Lee, and Justin McShane do not run this course. We make no money off of it. This is an American Chemical Society endeavor. So their stated policy can be found here: https://forensicchromatography.com/register/ Also it was on your registration form. The no exceptions policy is as follows:
Cancellation Policy: Please note that per the ACS, the following is the non-negotiable cancellation policy.
- Once you send in your form, you are making a commitment to pay.
- Cancellation requested >2 months from the date of the course is a 100% refund.
- Cancellation requested <2 months, but >2 weeks of the date of the course will incur a fee of 50% of the course fee.
- Cancellation requested <2 weeks will be charge 100% fee of the course. However, if the person finds a substitute on their own and it is a suitable replacement who will pay in full, the substitution will be allowed subject to the approval of the ACS.
There are no exceptions. So watch your court and other obligations. Don’t get hurt. Don’t let anyone you know and love get hurt. Don’t die. Don’t let anyone around you die. Tell them the ACS says so.
7. What are we doing?
Learnin’ lots. As you will note with the agenda, these are very full days. You will love it though. Although the course begins at 830 am on the first day, it is required that you fly in the night before. Remember that daily we will have lunch at a fine restaurant that the good doctors. The daily lunch is part of your tuition. We will have one group dinner on one of the evenings that is included in your tuition. Our good friend and Chicago NCDD member Sarah Toney usually helps us all arrange for the other evenings where we typical hit something sportish one night, then a nice dinner the others.
8. Who are our instructors? What are their backgrounds?