Department of Physics and Earth Science

Department of Physics and Earth Science


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 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 departmental faculty members include the use of lasers as optical tweezers, quantum mechanics, water quality and resources, and the relationship between plate tectonics and biological evolution. Our faculty members have worked or conducted research in many areas of the world, including Chile, Russia, England and the Caribbean.

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


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.

Feb 21, 2018.  The Department of Physics and Earth Science was selected by the College of Arts and Sciences for the outstanding Outreach and Service Award.

Feb 21, 2018.  Dr. Mel Blake was selected for the Outstanding Faculty Award by the College of Arts and Sciences for 2018.

January 21, 2017. Dr. Melissa Driskell was featured in a news article about earthquakes in the Shoals area.

August 1 - 3rd.  Dr. Mel Blake and student James McKee attended the Teaching Astronomy Summit in San Francisco and presented their paper about collecting micrometeorites from rainwater.

May 31 - June 4th.  Dr. Mel Blake attended the Southeastern Planetarium Association meeting At the Gayle Planetarium in Montgomery, Alabama. He presented a poster paper "Working on Outreach with Undergraduate Students.

May 11, 2016.  Dr's. Brian Thompson, Mel Blake (PI, Physics), Cynthia Stenger (Mathematics) and James Jerkins (Computer Science) were awarded a STEM outreach grant of $3255 from the Alabama Space grant Consortium to support the summer STEM camps lead by the Mathematics and Computer Science Departments.


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