John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences

News and information from the UND John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.

Swarmer to Give Thesis Proposal Presentation on August 27th

Space Studies master’s student, Tiffany Swarmer, will give her thesis proposal presentation as follows, later this week.  All Space Studies students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend.  All department funded students are expected to attend.

When:  Wednesday, August 27th at 3:30 p.m.

Where:  Ryan Hall, Room 111 (not available online)

Title: Planetary Extra Vehicular Activities Performance Profiles and Dynamics in Analog Simulations: 120 day and 30 day

About the topic: Planetary extra vehicular activities (EVAs), such as the human activities expected on the moon or Mars, are high risk, high stress operations. It is critical to fully understand the general content of these EVAs to potentially provide increased efficiency of surface procedures. Ensuring the safety and protection of human researchers while in analog environments provides an insight and knowledge of limitations and areas for development of planetary EVAs. The main goal of this research will be to develop general performance structure and profiles for future use in analog studies and development of tools, optimal operational procedures, and planetary exploration suits.

EVAs can be broken down into four basic categories: 1) Habitat and System Maintenance; 2) Scientific; 3) Exploratory; 4) Emergency operations, and 5) Public relations/personal. Each of these EVA categories requires different sets of tools, skills and abilities, and professional performance to be successfully completed. Preliminary experience & performance profiles obtained during 120 days confinement tests in HI-SEAS mission will be analyzed and summarized in order to organize data collection for the upcoming at UND 30 day closure tests. Performance profiles for the various EVA types highlighting areas of stress and decreased performance will be developed from the collect biometrics and stress data. The profiles can be used in future planetary EVA development and for planning future analog studies.


Tiffany Swarmer is a Graduate student in the Space Studies Department at the University of North Dakota (UND) and works with the department as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Human Spaceflight Laboratory and as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. She has provided support as a researcher, study coordinator, biologist, and emergency medical technician for analog habitat and spacesuit research.  She has a B.S. in biology with a focus on microbiology from Sonoma State University. Her multidisciplinary background has included work in DNA sequencing, medical risk management, emergency medicine, public relations, and microbial research. Most recently she participated as an analog crew member for a NASA funded 120 day Mars analog with the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HISEAS) acting as crew medic, safety officer, and lead Extra Vehicular Activities engineer.

Active in the space outreach community Tiffany enjoys promoting STEM work and education through various programs such as high altitude ballooning, tours of the UND aerospace facilities, and maintaining a connection with local media. In 2013 she was the lunar analog suit tester during an internationally broadcast event at World Space Week that incorporated many countries in a friendly competition to test their developing suits. On a leisurely note she has a great interest in fitness and enjoys a wide variety of sporting activities ranging from hiking and rock climbing to tennis and volleyball. Tiffany continues to be active in space analog research and human factors testing and is looking forward to continuing her education in the aerospace sciences and is scheduled to participate in a two week simulation this winter.