Welcome to the Department of Physics and Earth Science home page! The department is located in Floyd Hall 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 Russia, England and the Caribbean.

For further information about the department, please visit is in 207 Floyd Hall or call us at 256-765-4334.


March 21, 2015. Students Koko Himeno, Chelsea Petrie and Courtney Phifer attended the Zone 6 meeting of the Society of Physics Students at Auburn University.  Koko Himeno presented her research on the asteroid 1090 Sumida done with adviser Dr. Mel Blake who also attended.

March 12, 2015.  Students Christian Bayens, Maisey Hunter, Mary McDaniel and Matthew Morgan presented research at the Alabama Academy of Sciences meeting at Western Alabama University.  Dr. Brian Thompson and Dr. Mel Blake also attended and presented a talk on the outreach programs at UNA Planetarium.

Jan 5, 2015.  Dr. Melissa Driskell has received a National Science Foundation Opportunity Award grant for her project entitled "Basin to Slab Imaging of the Alaskan Subduction Zone" with collaborators Carl Tape and Doug Christensen of University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Dec 26 - 29.  UNA Planetarium hosted its holiday programs about the origins of many of the holiday traditions and the Christmas star.

Sept 25, 2014. The Earth Science group hosted the Sustainability Conference.  This was a one day conference drawing local professionals, civic leaders and others together to discuss ways to create a sustainable campus and community.

April 21, 2014. Dr. Mark Puckett presented an invited talk entitled "Depositional Sequence, Plate Tectonics and Ostrocodes" for the Alabama Board of Licensure for Profession Geologists' Annual Continuing Education Conference. Ostrocodes are a group of tiny fossils that Dr. Puckett specializes in studying. The talk presented the uses microfossils have in solving problems in studies of sea level and the reconstruction of land masses moved by plate tectonics.

April 27, 2014. Undergraduate student Maisey Hunter won People's Choice and advanced to the university-wide competition for her Three Minute thesis talk, supervised by Dr. Valery Dolmatov.

March 16, 2014.  Students Maisey Hunter, Matthew Cooper, Matthew Morgan, Tiffany Davis, Christian Bayens and Dr. Mel Blake attended the Zone 6 meeting of the Society of Physics Students in Puerto Rico.  Maisey, Matthew Cooper and Christian presented research talks from their research with Dr. Valery Dolmatov, while Tiffany presented her work with Dr. Mel Blake.


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