The department is housed within the remodeled Darwin Hall and has excellent classroom and laboratory resources, including:

Adaptive Optics Laboratory for the study of advanced imaging techniques, including the sensing and correction of optical distortions in real-time through the use of microelectromechanical deformable mirrors.

• A distinguished program in undergraduate astronomy is supported by a teaching observatory on the SSU campus, a NASA funded research observatory at a darker site in northern Sonoma County and the development of a remote dark site in the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve Observatory in southern Mendocino county.

• CubeSat Laboratory: SSU's first CubeSat, T-LogoQube was built in facilities in Darwin Hall. These facilities now including environmental testing equipment, a solar simulator and a small vacuum chamber, which are being used to develop Edgecube, a NASA funded CubeSat. (Link to TLQ and EdgeCube websites).

• Advanced Imaging Laboratory: Used for analyzing data from some of the world's largest telescopes, as well as SSU's on-campus and robotic facilities.

Students and faculty within the department routinely use the facilities of the Cerent Engineering Science Complex in Salazar Hall:

The Keck Microanalysis Laboratory includes a scanning electron microscope, atomic force microscopes, an automated X-Ray diffractometer and other materials analysis instrumentation.

The Photonics Laboratory features extensive laser instrumentation as well as fiber optics analysis equipment.


SSU's Education and Public Outreach Group (E/PO), led by Prof. Lynn Cominsky, develops STEM curricula, trains teachers and maintains several different educational web sites. The group is funded by NASA and the U.S. Department of Education.

SSU physics and astronomy students also have access to the campus MakerSpace in the Schulz Library, which was created by a National Science Foundation grant awarded to Profs. Jeremy Qualls and Lynn Cominsky.