A former Turlock resident and retired Stanislaus State professor died Sunday in a vehicle accident in Placer County.
Professor Emeritus of Botany Steven J. Wolf, 66, was killed Sunday when the vehicle he was driving left the road for an unknown reason and plunged into a creek. His remains were recovered in Shirt Tail Creek, between Colfax and Foresthill on Wednesday through a collaborative effort from the Placer County Sheriff’s Department, the California Highway Patrol, CalFire and California State Parks.
The accident scene was spotted by a passing motorist Sunday afternoon, but swift rising water kept crews from reaching the vehicle until Wednesday.
Wolf was a native of New York and studied at Corning Community College and the State University of New York at Albany, where he graduated cum laude with a degree in biology. He earned his master’s degree and doctorate in botany from the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
He began his teaching career in 1984 as a visiting professor at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, and also was an instructor at the University of Colorado, University of Alaska at Juneau, University of Missouri at Kansas City and at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana, before starting his Stanislaus State career as an assistant professor of botany in 1993.
He was a highly regarded teacher who also was instrumental in moving the University into the digital age in the mid-1990s by spearheading efforts to connect instructors and students with the World Wide Web. He retired in 2014 and relocated from Turlock to Cool, where he was able to enjoy two of his passions mountain cycling and photography.
His brother John Wolf said services are pending.