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Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Science

students in science lab

Science is the study of the natural world based on facts learned though experimentation and observation. As a discipline it requires curiosity, creativity, imagination and focus. It uses the tools from many other disciplines to develop, present and share ideas about the world and borrows clues from many other disciplines to identify areas for investigation. While science as a whole is divided into two interrelated sub-disciplines – physical science which focuses on physical phenomena and life science which focuses on life and living systems – collectively the areas of science improve our understanding of the world and how it works. If the physical world, whether at a micro-level or beyond this planet, fascinates you, one of the many sciences that make up physical science may be right for you.


Students interested in the physical sciences may earn an Arts and Sciences Transfer (A.S.) degree in one of several majors.

Learn more about physical science majors.

Faculty and Staff

Department Chair

Jason Barbour, Ph.D., professor
Physical Science
DRGN 240

Full-time Faculty

Jason Barbour, Ph.D., professor
Physical Science
DRGN 244

Robert Carp, professor
DRGN 231

Dan Ferandez, professor
Physical Science
DRGN 243               

Eric Fons, associate professor
DRGN 234

Katherine Keough, assistant professor
Physical Science
DRGN 242

Deborah Levine, Ph.D., associate professor
DRGN 241

Anthony Santorelli, Ph.D., professor
Physical Science
DRGN 242

Shyamala Sivalingam, Ph.D., assistant professor
DRGN 241

Maureen Sherer, professor
DRGN 231

Lynn Tracey, Ph.D., professor
DRGN 232

Technical Staff

Meranda Byers, physics laboratory manager
DRGN 201

Elizabeth Ward, chemistry laboratory manager
DRGN 211

Philippe "Phil" Espitallier, GBTC technical specialist
GBTC 304

Steve Lannon, AMIL technical specialist
AMIL 402

Jason Burkholder, part-time physical sciences laboratory specialist
DRGN 200

Cristal Garcia-Lara, chemistry laboratory specialist
DRGN 200

Leon Sparks, chemistry laboratory specialist
DRGN 200

Instructional Coordinator

Kelli McBride

Office Staff

Rachel Ryckman, administrative coordinator
HLSB 272A/DRGN 237

Anthony Anderson, program assistant
HLSB 272

James Seeders, program assistant
DRGN 238

Research Experiences

Interested in getting even more out of your academic experience? Look no further! AACC offers a wealth of opportunities to engage in authentic, student-driven research.

Resources for Students

If you're taking a science course, these resources are for you! They were developed to help you complete your science course requirements successfully.

Help with Course Content

Super Science Club

AACC's Super Science Club provides an opportunity for students and members of the community who are interested in earth science, chemistry, astronomy and much more to share their enthusiasm about the subjects!

Events are centered around increasing student awareness of the AACC science and math programs. Club members expose students to careers in these disciplines through lectures by guest speakers and local field trips. They promote these sciences to the public through student-run events and participation in local events. Examples include Planet Walk, held in conjunction with the Friends of Anne Arundel County Trails, and "star parties" using the telescopes at the AACC observatory on a regular schedule that are open to the public and club members. The club has also collaborated with other student clubs, including the Genders and Sexualities Alliance (GSA), on planting efforts on the Arnold campus (Pride Pollinator Garden).

Learn about the Super Science Club in The Nest.

Field Trips

Field trips are paused for right now, but we hope to get back to our normal pattern as described below soon.

Several of our courses regularly include field trips as part of the curriculum. For example, each fall and spring term, oceanography, meteorology, earth-space science and environmental science students are given the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities during three-hour educational cruises aboard a skipjack or a schooner sailing vessel. These cruises are coordinated through the Living Classrooms Foundation and usually are conducted in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Students participate in several activities on board the sailing vessels, including raising and lowering the sails, trawling for fish, taking water quality measurements, deploying a plankton net and investigating oyster anatomy. In addition, students are exposed to interesting stories and landmarks surrounding Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, including Fort McHenry.