Stephen Wolf, 1964–2023

Stephen F. Wolf

Stephen F. Wolf, a professor of chemistry at Indiana State University (ISU) in Terre Haute, Indiana, passed away unexpectedly on April 22, 2023, at the age of 58. Wolf was a highly respected analytical chemist with many interests, including analytical method development and the use of novel multivariate chemometric techniques, which he often combined when examining meteorite compositions.

Wolf received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Purdue University in 1987 and his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Purdue University in 1993 under the direction of Michael Lipschutz. His thesis was titled “Trace Element Study of H Chondrites: Evidence for Meteoroid Streams.”

After graduation, Wolf worked as a staff chemist at the Argonne National Laboratory. While there, he worked on the analysis and testing of nuclear waste glasses, applying his expertise to the analysis of actinides and their decay products. For the past 22 years, he was in the Department of Chemistry and Physics at Indiana State University. He was a valued educator and was the deserving recipient of numerous teaching awards, including the prestigious ISU Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award and the College of Arts & Sciences Educational Excellence Award.

The series of seven scientific papers entitled “Chemical studies of H chondrites” illustrate Wolf’s use of multivariate statistical methods on trace element data to investigate fundamental properties of a chondrite group. The most controversial, but statistically valid, of these was the idea that there are temporally variable H chondrite sources sampled by Earth. Wolf was able to again combine his interests in analytical chemistry and cosmochemistry between 1999 and 2007 when he was part of a group that wrote biennial review articles entitled “Geochemical and Cosmochemical Materials” for the journal Analytical Chemistry.

In addition to his scientific expertise, Wolf had a passion for music and a wonderful dry sense of humor. He is greatly missed as both a friend and colleague.

— Text courtesy of Jon Friedrich and Mike Lipschutz/The Meteoritical Society