DNA Technician

Forensic Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii


The DNA Technician supports the Department of Defense’s personnel accounting efforts by sampling remains for testing, tracking samples, updating CMS databases with results, and communicating results to various laboratory staff and/or external offices.

Minimum Education and Experience Requirements:

  • B.A./B.S. degree in Anthropology, Forensics, Biology, or related field.
  • Some experience with working in a forensic setting, skeletal remains, and sampling of remains desired, but not required.
  • Possess knowledge in skeletal biology, human osteology, anatomy, and anthropological terminology desired, but not required.
  • Detail-oriented.
  • Able to work well independently as well as in a team environment.

Key Tasks:

Performs sampling of biological remains and prepares samples for testing (DNA, Histology, and/or Isotopes) including, but not limited to:
  • Follows all client policies and procedures
  • Coordinating with analysts to identify remains nominated for sampling and reviewing sampling nomination.
  • Providing sampling recommendations to achieve optimal samples for testing and DNA potential, as needed
  • Maintain provenience of remains while sampling
  • Decontaminating surfaces and work areas
  • Photographing remains, documenting, and maintaining Chain of Custody when sampling remains
  • Generating Chain of Custody documentation for shipments to external providers (such as AFDIL) and Quality Assurance (QA); auditing skeletal and dental Chain of Custody document
  • Updating CMS databases and tracking data
  • Resupply consumable goods and supplies on laboratory floor
  • Respond to accession inquiries from analysts, and conducts database searches
  • Assist with evidence movement duties (internal and external): packaging evidence, labeling evidence containers, perform evidence transactions in StarLIMS or other programs, and storage-related tasks of skeletal remains as required by the lead evidence coordinator.
  • Assists lead evidence coordinator with photographing evidence, writing Memorandums for the Record (MFR), and couriering evidence between HQ-LAB and PH-LAB, when needed.
  • Perform DNA sequence data entry and legacy sample creation in CMS databases, and QA check other DNA technician’s entries
  • Knowledge in tracking legacy samples and legacy system databases, DNA sequence data, and verifying DNA sequence data received via monthly reconciliation report.
  • Respond to contamination inquiries from external or internal agencies
  • Compile and ship Family Reference Samples (FRS) when requested by lab management, other DPAA Directorates, or Service Casualty Office (SCO)
  • Collects DNA reference samples from new employees and visitors; assess and report potential future DNA contamination issues
  • Completes recurring duties independently, but refers deviations, problems, or unfamiliar situations to the project lead and/or supervisor for assistance
  • Maintains continuing education per SOP requirements (e.g. conference attendance, in house training, etc.)
  • Maintains competency via successful proficiency exams annually
  • Occasionally travels (travel anticipated to be approximately 5%)
  • Completes reports and other assignments in a timely manner and with minimal errors (attention to assigned suspense date; less than 3% error rate)
  • Effectively reviews forensic documents and auditing work products in a timely manner (attention to suspense date)
  • Supports various internal auditing requirements
  • Protects organization’s value by keeping information confidential

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Competencies required: DNA Sampling
  • Possess strong attention to detail, excellent recordkeeping skills, data basing large amounts of data, and strong pattern recognition skills
  • Possess strong written and communication skills
  • Proficient in MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Adobe Acrobat
  • A demonstrated history of initiative and achievement
  • Experience working independently with minimal direction or supervision
  • Experience supporting and anticipating client needs and demonstrating problem-solving skills
  • Experience performing tasks under tight deadlines and managing shifting priorities
  • Self-motivated, detailed-oriented, and organized
  • Able to work well independently, as well as in a team environment

Physical Requirements:

The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Ability to access information using a computer for up to 4 hours at a time
  • Requires sitting at a desk for long periods of time
  • Able to sit or stand while sampling remains for an extended period of time
  • Able to wear personal protective equipment (mask, gown, gloves, goggles, shields) for an extended period of time and have good hand-eye coordination and dexterity
  • Able to use and handle sampling equipment (hand pieces, cutting blades, foot pedal, fume hood)
  • Some physical exertion such as standing and lifting items less than 10 pounds
  • Possible exposure to noxious odors, hazardous chemicals, poisons, radioisotopes, corrosive reagents, infections tissue, and X-ray, laser, and ultraviolet rays

Please submit a cover letter along with your CV. CVs without a cover letter will not be considered.

SNA International is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability.