Planetary Sciences (PSCI)

Chairman: Driad Misk
Professors: Walter Bothner, Henri Gaudette, Michelle Prentice, V'lan Chiang

The Federation encompasses more than 100 member worlds, and continues discovering or interacting with new planets through exploration and diplomacy. The Planetary Sciences Department trains cadets to understand planetary formations and their interaction with indigenous or colony societies, helping them cope with or change dangerous environmental conditions.

PSCI 102. Principles of Geology

Planetary structures, minerals, landforms, and the processes that form them (volcanism, landquakes, glaciation). Geological history; interpretation of past geological events, emphasizing the formation of M-class environments and the evolution of life. Students explore these topics through field missions to geological sites on Earth, Luna, and Mars, and in simulations of extrasolar sites such as the Selcundi Drema system.

PSCI 210. Hydrology

Physical principles important in the hydrologic cycle, including precipitation, snowmelt, infiltration, soil physics, evapotransportation, and surface and subsurface flow to streams. Problems and aspects of statistical treatment of hydrological data. Interrelations of hydrological data and analysis with water resource management. Principles of fluid flow in porous media with consideration of ground water as a transporting medium. Laboratory exercises include use of fluid, holographic, and computer models to illustrate key concepts. Students prepare a hydrology study of one major Earth river from library and field research.

PSCI 325. Biological Oceanography

Biological processes of the oceans, including primary and secondary production, trophodynamics, plankton diversity, zooplankton and exoplankton feeding ecology, microbial ecology, and planetary ocean dynamics. Emphasis on experimental approaches. Term project involves either development of a complete ecosystem model or performance of a field experiment. Field missions to the New Martim Vas and New Atlantis.

PSCI 350. Terraforming Theories and Impact

Theories, implementation, and overall impact of terraforming techniques in a variety of original environments. Covers survey interpretations, reaction projection techniques, atmospheric composition, interaction analysis, and re-evaluation adjustment. Students work with several accelerated holographic simulations providing original environments and showing the gradual changes student terraforming techniques induce. Includes a field trip to the Federation Terraforming Station on Venus.

PSCI 464. Paleoclimate Analysis

An overview of paleoclimate indicators for the last one million years in the context of global teleconnections (atmosphere-lithosphere-hydrosphere-cryosphere) and mathematical tools developed to interpret and link the different planetary records of climatic change. Students conduct a field study of a complete planetary paleoclimatic system and produce a report on the planet's climatic history and development.

PSCI 478. Venusian Terraforming Internship

Physical Science majors may apply to the department chairman for one of three openings in this coveted internship. Students intern at the Federation Terraforming Facility on Venus, working closely with station staff to monitor, maintain, and adjust atmospheric operations. Participants must complete a report on their experiences and the facility's projected impact on Venus' atmosphere.