I wouldn’t worry about it too much. As I’ve said in almost every thread, lots of stuff people complain about tends to get addressed pretty quickly.
I’m going to bet that it’s not just a matter of him being all smart about rock formations and bushes - I’m going to bet that there’s only certain places his little devices would conceivably work. Since it wasn’t the arctic or the middle of the ocean on an oil right it had to be Somalia. Or something along those lines. But why not make yourself look like Sherlock Holmes instead.
And, yes, Mark definitely got fired. It doesn’t mean that it won’t get fixed, of course. After all, it seemed like on TNG we had someone resigning their commission from Star Fleet on a weekly basis.
Also, I think the alternative universes, besides a little handwaving, was actually Jack Davenport laying the groundwork for some nookie six months down the road. Unless…they future they saw was the alternate universe where she went to Harvard and he never met his wife? Of course, then they somehow ended up in LA and living in the same house…
I’m going to go with “alternate universe” being nervous physicist for “I’m already doing you in another universe so what are you doing Tuesday?”