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Michael Wolf

Michael B. Wolf

Professor of Geology, Fritiof Fryxell Chair of Geology, Director of Fryxell Geology Museum

After earning my Ph.D. in geology from the California Institute of Technology, and completing a three-year post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Oklahoma, I began teaching at Augustana in 1995.  With the help of undergraduate students, I built a modern experimental petrology laboratory (the volcano lab.) Funded through grants awarded by the National Science Foundation and the Augustana Research Foundation, this facility is one of the few of its kind in the world dedicated to undergraduate student learning and research. Hands-on student research projects in the “volcano lab” investigate sub-volcanic processes such as melting of rocks, crystallization of minerals, formation of ore deposits, and degassing of volcanoes in an attempt to answer questions about the evolution of continental crust and the formation of valuable mineral deposits. If you're interested in quantitative applications of geochemistry, or if you just think melting rocks or growing exotic crystals  or heat-treating gemstones at high temperatures and pressures sounds cool, then there's a place for you in the volcano lab! 


  • A.B., Hamilton
  • M.S., Ph.D., Caltech