Thursday, 24 January 2013

Officer's Handbook: Science Officer

Today, I have been continuing with the update of the Officer's Handbook, focusing primarily on the Science Officer's role aboard a vessel. The content is being expanded to include additional details with the aim of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the Science Officer, and the extent to which they are utilised by the captain. I was dissatisfied with the previous section as it is rather short and does not provide detail and depth in to really operating as a science officer. To me, it is too easy to ignore the input that the science officer can provide, relegating them to scanning enemies and reporting shield frequencies as the captain's map can provide the same wealth of information. In my opinion, it is up to the captain to use them to a much greater extent, relying less on the captain's map and more on the science officer.

Borrowing ideas from the engineering section that I previously released, I have included information on how to provide a status report to the captain. There is an incredible amount of information that the science officer has access to, and I feel that it is the captain's duty to allow the science officer to provide this information, and the status report allows a science officer to do so in a structured manner.

I believe that a science officer should also be utilised in a navigational role on occasion, in order to free up the captain and allow him/her to focus on other aspects of command. With the information available, a science officer could provide bearings to a helms officer and effectively guide the vessel around a sector and potential hazards. For example if the vessel needs to transit through a narrow gap in an asteroid field, or steer around particular nebula, the science officer could plot the course and give bearings and speeds to navigate the ship safely to its destination. In the meantime, the captain would have the opportunity to check in with other officers, or plan the next course of action.

Along with the above additions, I am also re-writing the information on one of the fundamental aspects of the role of science officer; gathering intelligence. Tracking enemy movements and gathering details on shield frequencies, shield strength and current level of damage is the key requirement of a science officer when encountering hostile forces. This information provided to the captain and the bridge officers can have an immense impact on engagements and the tactics used and therefore essential information to include.

I am hoping to complete this section of the handbook soon and will be releasing it initially as a Science Officer's Handbook, just as I did with the Engineer's Handbook.

TSN Handbooks

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