Photo of physical sciences department
Spring 2017 - All Rows (L to R of image): Lisa Chaddock, Robert Kojima, Theresa Carlson, James Covalt, Anna Evashko, Richard Mellinger, Shane Haggard, Peter Friedman, Sharon Wall, Rebecca Vasquez, Jessica Woods, Jamie Hinton, Lorenza Levy, Tim Ziegler, Joseph Avila, Maria Penalosa, Brett Ruston, Benjamin Saylor, Randy Shimabukuro, Ed Sebring, Gerardo Scapaticci, Frank Barish, Soheila Beladi.

Welcome to the Physical and Earth Sciences Department!

This is where you want to be if you are interested in Astronomy, Chemistry, Geographic Information Systems, Geography, Geology, and/or Physics! Our students range from transfer students taking classes to fulfill general education or major requirements to lifelong learners taking classes for personal enrichment.

Some common majors related to courses offered in our department are: Aerospace Engineering, Astronomy, Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering, Chemical Physics, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Science and Sustainability, Geographic Information Systems, Geography, Geology, Hydrologic Science, Meteorology, Oceanography, and Physics.

Our department is also committed to public outreach, participating in activities like Mole Day, World Cultures and others, utilizing state of the art equipment, such as our planetarium.

Explore our website! Find majors and courses to meet your career goals or to satisfy your curiosity about the universe around you! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our department chair, Dr. James Covalt.


Earth and physical sciences, including astronomy, chemistry, geography, geographic information systems, geology, and physics are disciplines classified as natural sciences. They generally involve nonliving materials and the principles of fundamental relationships and laws in the universe.


These programs are designed to prepare students with basic concepts in astronomy, chemistry, geography, geology and physics which provide the foundation for upper division study in a baccalaureate institution and also satisfy general education requirements.


Most careers in earth and physical sciences fields require education beyond the associate degree and many require a graduate degree. A brief list of career options in the physical sciences includes: astronomer, biophysicist, biochemist, chemist, earth scientist, environmentalist, geographer, geologist, geophysicist, meteorologist, oceanographer, paleontologist, physicist and physical science instructor.


Upon successful completion students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the scientific method.
  • Communicate an understanding of the connections between science and other human activities.
  • Examine the universe in a variety of courses.
  • Utilize critical thinking skills in a variety of scientific applications.