Weathered rhyolite ash and specular hematite

Associated Smithsonian Expert: Richard Wunderman, Ph.D.

Dr. Richard Wunderman (right) with his graduate school adviser, Professor Bill Rose, at Michigan Technological University in 2013

Photo by Fraser Goff, Geologist

Dr. Richard Wunderman is a volcanologist in the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program (GVP) at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Born in New York City, Wunderman grew up in Mountain View, California, part of the region dubbed “Silicon Valley.” He admits he was not a stellar student when he was young, and his mother encouraged him to find a career that would allow him to spend time outdoors. He and his family traveled extensively. “We had adventures in every sense of the word,” he says. In community college he was inspired by his geology, paleontology, and chemistry professors, and he later studied geology at the University of California at Berkeley. In graduate school at Michigan Technological University, he wrote his master’s thesis about a volcano in Guatemala and eventually earned his doctorate in 1988. Wunderman came to the Smithsonian in 1993, after working as a physics instructor at Front Range Community College in Colorado. As managing editor of the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, he writes about active volcanoes and edits incoming reports from scientific colleagues all around the world.

Meet our associated expert

This image was obtained from the Smithsonian Institution. The image or its contents may be protected by international copyright laws.

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