Dr. J.C. Sanders is chair of the Division of Science and Physical Education and an associate professor of physics. Before joining the USAO faculty in 2011, he was an instructor at the University of Connecticut, where he completed his Ph.D.
His research spans several disciplines including atomic physics, physics education, and aerospace engineering. Dr. Sanders' work involves theoretical and computational models for a variety of physical processes including heat conduction and the behavior of atoms and molecules near absolute zero. He supervises undergraduate research students in physics and is a recipient of the Gladys Anderson Emerson Research Grant.
Dr. Sanders is the director of the USAO Observatory, located just a few miles from campus at the University’s Habitat Area and Outdoor Classroom. The observatory dome houses an eight inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope that is utilized for both student research and community outreach. He is also the director of the USAO Scholastic Meet, an academic competition that attracts over 1,000 students every spring and is part of the University’s Spring Triad with the Montmartre Chalk Art Festival and the Droverstock Music Festival.
Outside of the classroom, Dr. Sanders is an avid road cyclist who rides thousands of miles each year and has raced competitively. He has participated in a variety of charity events, ridden over the Appalachian Gap mountain pass in Vermont, and his favorite climb in Oklahoma is Mount Scott at the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge.