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August Experiences 2014

Michael Wolf
Phone: (309)794-7304
Office: Swenson Geosciences 203


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

Jeffrey Strasser
Phone: (309)794-7218
Office: Swenson Geosciences 206


  • B.A., Carlton College
  • M.S., Ph.D., Lehigh University

GEOL 105: Physical Geology
of the Rocky Mountains

August 2-18, 2014

Dr. Michael Wolf
Dr. Jeffrey Strasser

Course description:

First-year students interested in the natural sciences, environmental issues or a good outdoor challenge won't want to miss this 3,000-mile camping trip to study the complex relationships of different rock types and structures in some of our country's most inspiring landscapes.

The trip is rigorous, both intellectually and physically. The course begins with one day of preliminary study on campus followed by two weeks of field study. The first week will take students to the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota, then Devil's Tower and the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming. The second week of fieldwork will be based out of a field station in the Absaroka Mountains in Wyoming, followed by work in the Wind River Canyon.

Successful completion of the course fulfills a three-credit lab science requirement for graduation.


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This will be the 12th time Dr. Michael Wolf and Dr. Jeffrey Strasser have traveled with first-year students to study the physical geology of the Rocky Mountains.

Dr. Wolf began teaching at Augustana in 1995. Not long after his arrival, with the help of undergraduate students, he built a modern experimental petrology laboratory (volcano lab). Hands-on student research projects in the volcano lab investigate sub-volcanic processes such as the melting of rocks, crystallization of minerals, formation of ore deposits, and degassing of volcanoes.

Dr. Strasser considers himself a geomorphologist though he does have broad interests in the geosciences; his doctoral work focused on processes of sediment transport and deposition by temperate glaciers while his master's research focused on marine sedimentation and tectonics. Other interests include stratigraphy and structural geology. He also is a leader in Augustana's efforts toward sustainability.


The total cost of $1,200 includes tuition, transportation and all related expenses (food, course supplies, group tents, ground pads, camping fees and sleeping bags). Participants must provide field clothing and boots, personal toiletries, daypack and medium duffle bag. Enrollment is limited to 16.