The Intersection of Star Trek and Geology

3 Feb 2012 Earth article by Lisa A. Rossbacher

Screen shot of the 3 Feb 2012 Earth article by Lisa A. Rossbacher: Voices: Lessons from the Final Frontier.

I recently read a post on the Georneys blog about “The Geology of Star Trek: The Next Generation Episode ‘Chain of Command, Part I'” (19 July 2012). The author, Evelyn Mervine, notes that she wishes she could be a geologist on Star Trek. I think that’s a fine idea! Planetary exploration requires geologists just as exploration of Earth’s oceans requires oceanographers.

Mervine’s article got me thinking about geology in the original Star Trek series, which is a part of my generation’s Zeitgeist (unlike The Next Generation). The best geology-themed episode I can remember is “Devil in the Dark,” which is not at all about devils, but about misunderstood, sentient, silicon-based beings (we humans are carbon-based) on a Star Fleet-claimed mining planet. Then there’s the fight scene with the Gorn captain in “The Arena,” which required a working knowledge of geology (Kirk had to build a weapon using only the elements on-hand).

While searching for more geology/Star Trek information, I came across this 3 Feb. 2012 Earth article (see screen shot) by Lisa A. Rossbacher: Voices: Lessons from the Final Frontier, which does a great job of detailing geology as a theme in the Star Trek universe. I recommend both articles, and I hope to write a more detailed entry of my own in the future, probably based on a different theme (my undergrad degree is in psychology).

About Kea Giles

Writer, photographer, editor, wife, friend, sister, dog mother.
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