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Heather Waltke (Ctr)

NIST Associate, Forensic Science Consultant

Ms. Waltke has been a forensic scientist for more than 20 years. Ms. Waltke is committed to both nationwide and international collaborative efforts concerning numerous aspects of forensic science, including research- and policy-related programs, working groups, symposia, workshops, and scientific publications. Efforts have included interagency forensic science initiatives and working groups for the White House, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and NIST in several disciplines, including evidence preservation, handwriting, human factors, firearm examination, medicolegal death investigation, cold cases, and sexual assault.

Currently, Ms. Waltke is involved in NIST's Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) and the development of discipline specific process maps for firearm and toolmark examination, DNA, seized drugs, footwear and tire examination, fire investigation, and crime scene investigation (CSI). 

Ms. Waltke also assists in NIST's Scientific Foundation Review initiatives, including firearm examination and steering group efforts.


“United States Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director’s Award for Outstanding Scientific Advancement” for management of the NIJ-FBI Sexual Assault Kit Partnership, 2015

“United States Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award” for management of the NIJ-FBI Sexual Assault Kit Partnership, 2017

Selected Publications

Forensic Handwriting Examination and Human Factors: Improving the Practice Through a Systems Approach

Melissa Taylor, Carolyne Bird, Brett Bishop, Ted Burkes, Michael P. Caligiuri, Bryan Found, Wesley P. Grose, Lauren R. Logan, Kenneth E. Melson, Mara L. Merlino, Larry S. Miller, Linton Mohammed, Jonathan Morris, John Paul Osborn, Nikola Osborne, Brent Ostrum, Christopher P. Saunders, Scott A. Shappell, H. David Sheets, Sargur N. Srihari, Reinoud D. Stoel, Thomas W. Vastrick, Heather E. Waltke, Emily J. Will
For some 6,000 years, humans have made an indelible mark on history through the loops, strokes, and other characters that constitute the written form of
Created July 8, 2021, Updated December 9, 2022