Department of Chemistry and Physics

Welcome to the Department of Physics and Earth Science home page! The department is located in the Science and technology (SET) building on the campus of the University of North Alabama. The department offers an undergraduate degree in physics and sustainability, and courses are offered that lead to a minor in geology. The department offers a General Science option which is generally designed for students who have a second major in secondary education. The department maintains the university planetarium and observatory, which is available to the public for viewing (please follow the link for more information regarding dates and time of availability). A course in astronomy is also taught in the planetarium. 

Department of Physics and Earch ScienceThe faculty members in the Department of Physics and Earth Science have the knowledge and experience to offer an outstanding education in these sciences. Active areas of research by the department faculty members include experimental laser optics, theoretical atom-light interactions, observational astronomy, water quality and resources, plate tectonics and seismology, relationship between the geological past and a sustainable future.Our faculty members have worked or conducted research in many areas of the world, including Chile, Russia, England, Madagascar, and the Caribbean.

The mission of the Department of Physics and Earth Science at the University of North Alabama is to support excellence in students’ collegiate experiences through an integrated faculty focus on teaching, research, and service within the university and the community at-large as students are encouraged to explore, discover, critique, communicate, and succeed in their chosen fields—physics, geophysics, sustainability, and geology—as they prepare to contribute, personally and professionally, to diverse, regional and global societies.

For further information about the department, please visit is in room 285 of the SET building or call us at 256-765-4334


May 7th, 2019. Dr. Mel Blake was elected (acclamation) to be the Society of Physics Students Zone 6 Councilor for a two-year term.

June 4th - 9th. Dr. Mel Blake attended the Southeastern Planetarium Association.

Feb 20, 2019. Dr. Gregory Buckley and Dr. Melissa Driskell presented the paper "Warming Holes and Polar Jets: Teaching Climate Change in the Southeastern U.S. by Embracing the Regional Anomalies to "Global Warming" at the Alabama Academy of Sciences meeting at Tuskegee University.

Feb 20-21, 2019. Dr. Mel Blake presented a talk at the Alabama Academy of Sciences meeting at Tuskegee University, entitled "Creating Podcasts for Education and Outreach." He also chaired the Physics and Mathematics section and acted as a judge for the Gorgas high school senior research competition.

Jan 6 - 10th, 2019.  Dr. Mel Blake and undergraduate student Lauren Wigginton attended the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle Washington, and presented the paper "A Search for Variable Stars in NGC6134". 

Sept 13, 20-18 Special Guest lecture on Seismology. Dr. Stephen McNutt. "Using Seismology to Find Where the Magma is and How it Gets to the Surface". 2 pm, SET 136.

March 15, 2018. Dr. Melissa Driskell was selected by Earthscope for its distinguished speaker series.  Speakers are selected based upon their excellence in research as well as ability to engage audiences.


The Society of Physics students will meet at 2PM in the Planetarium Each Thursday.  All are welcome!