It appears that 2015 is going to be the year of science for Federation Space! With the Journal of Science (2nd Edition) being released in the following months, the FNN chatted to the newly elected Head of the Science and Research Division, Lieutenant Commander Skyler Gray.
Lieutenant Commander Skyler Gray has been a part of Federation Space for three years and has quickly risen through the ranks.
Assigned to the USS Titan as an engineering officer for a number of years before being reassigned as the Chief Engineer on the USS Columbia.
Eight months ago Skyler was transferred again to the USS Ozaki and named First Officer, recently he was surprisingly elevated to Division Head of the science department, a goal of his as shown in this questioning.
Age, Sex, Location
I am 32. 33 in August, which I can’t stand. I don’t mind so much getting older, I just really hate the number 33. I don’t like how it sounds. Anyways, I live in Southern California, about an hour north of LA. California is great. I mean, besides the people, the lack of water, and paying three times more for everything. I miss Washington.
Who or what gave you the urge to join Fed Space, and more specifically, the science department.
I used to roleplay on forums and chatrooms a lot, more fantasy, elves and dragons etc. On day I was bored at work (At the time I was a phlebotomist and had a lot of down time) so I randomly “Googled Star Trek Role Play” and came up a few options. It was the wiki that drew me to Fed Space.
Is your character similar to your real life persona, if so, what are the notable difference’s.
Most definitely. I think that most people when they create their first FS character either make a version of themselves, or go with the complete opposite. I am in that first category. For me the draw to Star Trek is WANTING to live in that era and to be there. Since I can’t do that, the next best thing (besides working to make it possible) is to imagine myself there. When he was created he was me strengths and weaknesses. I used my own experiences to play him. Some one once told me that I played him as a no it all. I took that as a compliment as I am often accused of that in real life. But that is just me. I have real life military experience as a noncommissioned officer, I worked in the medical industry for five years, and now I am a physicist. I can relate to every department, and thus so can Skyler.
I still play him that way, his moods often reflect my mood of the day, which I think gives him an emotional depth that he might otherwise lack. I have other characters, and they are nothing like me however, and can be just as fun to play.
What is your favourite part of being part of the science division.
I love science and engineering. I got my undergrad in Applied Physics, I am currently seeking my masters in Space Studies, and am looking to get my PhD in either Aeronautical Sciences, or Astronautics. I absolutely LOVE combining real science within startrek. I consider it a success when people tell me my posts made their heads hurt. Now as head of the Science Division, I can work to bring that touch of reality to the entire Division. I think that gives a depth of realism and character that is greatly appreciated. At least I appreciate it. We have a few other “hard science” majors on site too, and from their feedback, I think they are excited as well.
What do you believe are the greatest qualities needed in a science officer.
So I have to admit. I have never played a PC/Alt or registered NPC Science Officer. I have played numerous engineers (That is what Skyler Gray was before becoming an FO). I’ve also dabbled in tactical and security and medical. Never Science. Though Science was my second pic when I first applied at the Academy. As far as the qualities to be a Science officer, I really think it applies to all characters. Be creative, and be passionate, and most of all do some research. You don’t have to have a PhD in Astrophysics, but you should at least skim a wiki article and search the Fedspace wiki. tieing your posts in to trek canon gives them a level of depth and realism that will outshine a post where you just shot from the hip so to speak.
Besides becoming a division head what has been your most notable achievement (scientific or otherwise) here at Fed Space.
Becoming a Division Head was actually a goal from day one. I admit I didn’t know what it meant at the time, but I figured I should have a lofty fantasy goal to go with my fantasy character. At the time however, I wanted to be the Division Head of Engineering. I wanted to apply that same mixture of real and fantasy to Engineering that I am doing now with science. Unfortunately for me, our Engineering head is just too damn good at her job. Never gave me an opening to sneak in. I do love Science though, and besides.. Engineering and Medical… those are just applied Sciences as far as I am concerned hehe. I guess I didn’t really answer your question though, but I do have a really good answer.
Ozaki. That is the ship that Skyler is the FO on. I am so very proud of the Ozaki. That ship is the culmination of a lot of hard work between my self, Kat (Commander Tam) and a few others. We took a ship that at the time just a blip tag-along to the Titan, and made it into an amazing NPC vessel with a killer NPC crew. NPC ships I think have a bad run on the site. They don’t seem to make it very long, at least since I have been on board. The Ozaki was doing so well however that the Admin team decided to allow us to turn it into a PC Vessel. we are closing in on our one year anniversary, and I still love every corner and every crew member of that ship. I am very grateful to that Admin team for not only giving us that opportunity, but allowing me to stay on as a PC First Officer.(Though I still had to pass through all the same training and selection processes as anyone else)
With the upcoming journal of science (2nd Edition) is their any tips you would like to give fore the contestants.
Oh Absolutely. If you want all the creative points from me, find a way to tie in real science with trek science. That is the key. Make sure you know what your talking about too. Like I said before, you don’t have to be a scientists, but if you choose a topic, do some searches on it, see if there is any Star Trek Canon related to that topic and find a way to use it. Most importantly though, this isn’t for a grade, or a degree, or a career, it is for fun! So make sure you have some while you are writing it!
Since recently becoming a division head, what are your plans for the future of the science department.
I have already started to reorganize the division into what I think is a more functional state. I want to go through and improve on the science related articles that exist, and as is my theme, introduce a bit of realism into it where it allows for it. Above all else however, I want to help make it easier for it to be fun to play a Science officer. I want to gather that information from the missions and get it into an easily accessible format on the wiki. I hope to make it easier for writers to create science based missions, or at least more involved science roles in missions. If I did nothing else but that, I think I would consider my tenure a success.
If you had to be in a division besides science, what would it be and why?
Engineering without a doubt. When I first went to school, it was for electrical engineering. I decided that it wasn’t enough information, I wanted to know more than just formulas, so I switched over to physics. It was great, I was learning the real why’s of things, at least to the extent that we know them. I had lost the application though of engineering. So I was offered an opportunity to basically create and test my own degree, the Applied Physics program. it allowed me to take my physics courses, and pretty much any engineering course I wanted for my electives. For me, You can’t have one with out the other, Science and Engineering.
If there was any Federation Space member you would like to meet, who would it be be and why?
That is a hard one. I’ve already met Aaron (Commodore Tregelen/) when he visited the states from Ausiland. I am also pretty close to Perry, and I would like to meet him some day, but I guess if I had to pick a number one It would be Commander Tam. Her and I have worked together in some fashion since my first day assigned to a ship. She is the First Officer behind the science that I try to model my own actions after. She really cares about the site, and it’s members, and she just seems like a really good person. We have already agreed that if my girlfriend and I ever make it to her part of the world, we will stay on her couch!
Interview by Cain Hillier, Staff Reporter.