After you get into Soren's office --
-- you'll find his tablet on the counter at the left. It has a unique password program; look in the drawer for a clue to solving it. Read to the end of this hint for explicit directions.
The sticky note in the drawer says, "Create volcanic winter." The goal here is to combine the elements in each tier so that you end up with "volcanic winter" in the last slot.
In each tier, combine the elements you have to create new elements for the next tier. For example, if you combine water and air, you get --
-- cyclone, and now you have "cyclone" as an element to be used in the next tier. See how it works?
You can use the elements repeatedly to create more elements. After you make "cyclone," try combining water with earth and then water with fire to see what you get.
You don't need to fill in all six boxes in the second and third tiers to create volcanic winter, but if you want to try, make combinations with water in the first tier (which isn't needed for volcanic winter).
If you're having trouble getting what you need, here's how to get to volcanic winter:
On the tablet, read all the emails and notes. The most useful item here is the one labeled "Ship Notes," which gives you information about one of the shipboard puzzles. Other than that, it's mostly background.
Incidentally, you may find that even after you do this, Nancy won't let you check off "See what's on Soren's tablet" or "Snoop behind the Culture Center's counter" as completed, and Soren doesn't return to his desk. That might mean you need to go do other tasks and return to this later. You're not done until you've read the message "Winter Guest Records" on the tablet.