Ryan Dorland
Ryan DorlandAssistant Professor, Online General Studies
PhD, University of Massachusetts Boston
MS, University of Minnesota Duluth
BS, Minnesota State University Mankato

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Teaches Physics and Chemistry courses including Physics I and II, Physical Chemistry, and Principles of Chemistry labs.

Scholarly interests – development of inexpensive environmental monitoring sensors and platforms, numerical modeling of lake circulation and transport, effects of environmental change on lakes.

Dr. Dorland brings experience as a physical scientist from both academic and industrial settings. His graduate dissertation and fieldwork led him to Antarctica on five different research cruises, studying coastal circulation and upwelling. After completing his dissertation, he worked as a Biophysics Manager in a private Algae-to-Oil company in Hawaii for several years. Prior to joining the Saint Joseph’s College faculty, Dr. Dorland taught physics and physical science in the Midwest. He enjoys teaching mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and physical chemistry, and demonstrating the importance of physics to students’ future careers and studies. His hobbies, aside from environmental science, include computer programming and hiking.

In July 2022, Dr. Dorland transitioned from teaching science for the on campus students to the online general studies program.

Presentations and Publications

Dorland, R.D., 2015.  Using Cellular Phone Video Capture Software to Determine 2-D Kinematics and Drag Force on Projectiles.  2015 Joint Fall Meeting of the APS and AAPT New England Section, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire.

Dorland, R.D., 2015.  Fostering creativity in the laboratory: Arduino-based labs and projects for introductory college physics.  2015 American Association for Physics Teachers New England Chapter meeting, Plymouth, MA.

Dorland, R.D., 2013. Lab development using an inexpensive open-source electronics prototyping platform. 2013 American Association for Physics Teachers Iowa Chapter meeting, Oelwein, IA.

Dorland, R.D., Selinger, A., Popov, R., Granados, J., Obbard, J., and B. Raleigh, 2011. Life-cycle assessment of autotrophic production in a commercial algae biorefinery, Maui, Hawaii, USA. 2011.  Algae Biomass Summit, Minneapolis MN.

Dorland, R.D., Selinger, A., Popov, R., Obbard, J., Sabarsky, M. and B. Raleigh, 2011. Technoeconomic model and analysis of a commercial algae biorefinery in Maui, Hawaii, USA. 2011 Algae Biomass Summit, Minneapolis MN.

Zhou, M., Zhu, Y., Dorland, R.D., and C.I. Measures, 2010. Dynamics of the current system in the southern Drake Passage. Deep-Sea Research Part I, 57: 1039-1048.

Dorland, R.D. and M. Zhou, 2008. Circulation and Heat Fluxes during the Austral Fall in George VI Sound, Antarctic Peninsula. Deep-Sea Research Part II, 294-308.

Zhou, M., Niller, P.P., Zhu, Y., and R.D. Dorland, 2006. The western boundary current in Bransfield Strait, Antarctica. Deep-Sea Research Part I, 53: 1244-1252.


One of two faculty awarded a one-year research grant for $20,000 from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to introduce satellite science and build nanosatellite prototypes in introductory calculus-based physics labs. This funding led to the creation of a nanosatellite research team that involves SJC students and faculty, as well as high schools. Their goal is to design a data communications nanosatellite, and to help Maine launch its first Cube Satellite. Dr. Dorland said, “We are one of the first colleges in the state working on this; we’re on the ground floor with NASA.” Kevin McWilliams ’20 also participates in this program as a researcher. Community partners include: Maine Space Grant Consortium, Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, and Yarmouth High School. (2018)

NASA’s Maine Space Grant Consortium Award – a $25,000 seed grant to Dr. Jason Goldstein of the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve to work with the team of Steven Jury, Ryan Dorland, and Sciences students to create faculty-mentored student research experiences that develop a sensor-based platform for evaluating climate change in estuarine and coastal ecosystem. (2017)

U.S. Geological Survey Award – a $28,200 grant to support their collaborative remote sensing buoy project with the Portland Water District, “Real Time Data for Sebago Lake to Support Sustainable Water Resource Management, Lake Research, and Community Engagement.” (2017)

Excellence in Teaching Award, 2017, Saint Joseph’s College