May 23, 2024  
2014-2015 General Catalog 

Department of Physical Science

Department Information

Department Chair: J. Ty Redd
Science Center 309 ~ (435) 586-7904

Administrative Assistant: Rhonda Riley
Science Center 309 ~ (435) 586-7900

Department Website:

College Website:

Advising Website

Academic Advisors:
(A-G) Jared Wilcken,, SC 304C ~ (435)586-5420
(H-N) Reko Hargrave,, SC 304A ~ (435)586-5420
(O-Z) Brittney Hernandez,, SC 304B ~ (435)586-5420

Faculty: Professors: Robert Eves, J. Ty Redd; Hussein Samha
Associate Professors: James Chisholm, Bruce Howard, Paul Larson, Brent Sorensen, Mackay Steffensen, Kim Weaver;
Assistant Professors: Daniel Eves, Jennifer Hargrave, John MacLean, Amber McConnell, Christopher Monson, Radhika Nair, Nathan Werner;
Lecturer: Nathan Hanson
Professional Staff: Kristina Bronsema, David Maxwell

Degrees Offered

A grade of “C” (2.0 or above) must be earned in each course required for all majors and minors in the Department of Physical Science.

All pre-requisite courses must be passed with a minimum grade of “C” (2.0 or above).

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science

Physical Science Composite - Teacher Education Emphasis, B.A. 
Physical Science Composite - Teacher Education Emphasis, B.S. 

Bachelor of Science

Chemistry Composite - Professional Emphasis, B.S. 
Chemistry Composite - Health Care Emphasis, B.S. 
Chemistry Composite - Forensic Emphasis, B.S. 
Chemistry - Teacher Education Emphasis, B.S. 
Geology Composite - Professional Emphasis, B.S. 


Chemistry Teacher Education 
Geography Teacher Education 
Geology Teacher Education 
Physics Teacher Education 


Geographic Information System  (Gainful Employment Disclosure)

Graduate Program Opportunity

Master of Business Administration
An arrangement has been made with the School of Business so that it is possible for students to earn an MBA while pursuing their degree in the Physical Sciences. Contact the Chair of the Department of Physical Science or the advisor in the School of Business, Paula Alger, at 435-865-8157,

Overview of Programs

The Department of Physical Science at Southern Utah University offers undergraduate programs in Chemistry, Geosciences, Geographic Information Systems, and Physics. Our dedicated and highly qualified faculty represent numerous disciplines, offering students expertise in the classroom and a wide variety of undergraduate research opportunities. A low student to faculty ratio guarantees a close working relationship between students and their professors, especially in upper division classes and research areas. Undergraduate research is stressed within the Department of Physical Sciences, offering our students a key element for admission to top graduate schools and professional programs.

Our labs are well equipped, giving students exposure to modern instrumentation such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, FTIR spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, x-ray spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, atomic absorption spectroscopy, polarized light microscopes, a variety of mass spectrometers linked to other instrumentation (ICP-MS, GC-MS), and Gas chromatography, among other program specific instrumentation. The Department of Physical Science maintains a modern astronomical observatory and a cutting edge GIS laboratory.

Our Professional Chemistry emphasis is certified by the American Chemical Society and our chemistry program routinely ranks above the 90th percentile of the nation according to the Educational Testing Services major field exam. Internationally relevant research opportunities within these programs are enhanced by state of the art research facilities, a nationally certified environmental laboratory, and modern instrumentation available for student use.

Our Geology, Geography, and Geographic Information Systems programs take full advantage of the outstanding natural features that Southern Utah provides. World class undergraduate research opportunities within these programs are enhanced by the diverse geology of southern Utah, our partnership with Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, and membership in the Colorado Plateau Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit.

Our physics program has a variety of offerings supplemented by a well-equipped and maintained laboratory, astronomical observatory, and photographic dark room. Undergraduate research in the physics area takes full advantage of the modern equipment and campus supercomputing facilities.


The mission of the Department of Physical Science is to provide an environment that fosters academic excellence in physical science disciplines. The Department of Physical Science at Southern Utah University offers undergraduate programs in Chemistry, Geosciences, Geographic Information Systems, and Physics. We operate several special learning environments for students that include a nationally certified environmental water laboratory, a GIS lab, a scanning electron microscopy lab, an astronomical observatory, the Edward & Shirley Stokes open chemistry lab, and a thin section preparation laboratory. We provide comprehensive classroom and experiential learning environments that accentuate critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, and communication in the physical sciences. We serve as the center of physical science knowledge and expertise for southern Utah.

Department/Program Learning Outcomes

The ultimate goal of the Department of Physical Science is to provide students with the tools to solve problems. Students should be able to define problems, develop hypotheses, execute experiments, analyze data, and draw conclusions. Undergraduate students who successfully complete physical science courses, appropriate required and elective courses outside of the department, and receive a B.S. or B.A. degree in a physical science area demonstrate that they:

  1. Understand the scientific method.
  2. Have attained a firm foundation in the fundamentals and application of current science theories within their program area.
  3. Are able to carry out, record and analyze the results of experiments within their program area.
  4. Are able to use available instrumentation and classical techniques, to carry out experiments, and to properly record the results of the experiment.
  5. Are able to identify and solve physical science problems .
  6. Are able to use available library searching and retrieval methods to obtain information about a topic, technique, or an issue relating to their program area.
  7. Are able to communicate the results of their work to other scientists and non-scientists.
  8. Are ready for the next level of education or employment.

Other Information

Special Learning Environments

Southern Utah University Environmental Water Laboratory

The SUU Water Laboratory is a student staffed laboratory accredited by the state of Utah under the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAB). Serving southern Utah since 1972, this laboratory provides SUU students with an interest in chemistry a hands-on, chemical laboratory experience. The laboratory also provides students with employment opportunities.

The SUU Water Laboratory serves the tri-state area (Arizona, Nevada and Utah) by providing a local source of chemical and bacteriological analysis of water and waste water.

The Southern Utah University Ashcroft Observatory

The SUU Ashcroft Observatory offers college credit courses and weekly community astronomical viewing activities and is located near the SUU Valley Farm.

The Edward & Shirley Stokes Open Chemistry Lab

The Edward & Shirley Stokes Open Chemistry Lab is a setting for a diverse collection of research opportunities. This laboratory houses modern instruments and research facilities.

The Southern Utah University Geographic Information Systems Laboratory

The SUU GIS Laboratory uses the most current technology, hardware and software available allowing students hands-on experience with modern spatial technologies. The GIS Laboratory offers service learning opportunities to students through local, regional projects and internships.