Wirth's research utilizes geochemistry to study the origins of igneous rocks
and the evolution of continental and oceanic crust. He regularly leads students on field
excursions during the January intersession to Hawaii, Costa Rica, or the Galápagos
Islands, and he teaches Geologic Field Methods during summer. Recent research with
students has focused on rocks in the Bering Sea region, southern Ontario and northern
Minnesota, the Galápagos Islands, Tanzania, and Cozumel. 

Wirth have been teaching at Macalester College since 1990. 

EDUCATION: B.S., Beloit College; M.S., Ph.D., Cornell University 



Provenance of quartz arenites of the Early Paleozoic Midcontinent region, USA (with Alexandros Konstantinou, Jeffrey D. Vervoort, David H. Malone, Cameron Davidson, and John P. Craddock), Journal of Geology (2014)


Detrital zircon provenance of the Mesoproterozoic Midcontinent Rift, Lake Superior Region, USA: journal of Geology, v. 121, p. 57-73. (with John P. Craddock, Alex Konstantinou, Jeffrey D. Vervoort, Cam Davidson, Lee Finley-Blasi, Natalie A. Juda, and Erin Walker), Journal of Geology (2013)


Reading, Reflecting, and Relating: A Metacognitive Approach to Learning (with Fahima Aziz), International Advances in Economic Research, Research Notes (2010)


Earth Science Instrumentation and Facilities Program Review (with R. Jeanloz, S. L. Beck, M. Lisowski, J. M. Lorenzo, C. I. Mora, J. D. Rimstidt, S. B. Shirey, and S. Stein), EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union (2008)

Contributions to Books

Plume-Ridge Interaction in the Galápagos: Perspectives from Wolf, Darwin, and Genovesa Islands, The Galapagos: A Natural Laboratory for the Earth Sciences (2014)

An excursion to the classic bedrock localities of northeastern Minnesota with a focus on teaching and learning in the field, Archean to Anthropocene: Field Guides to the Geology of the Mid-Continent of North America (2011)

Geochemical and mineralogic characterization of Middle Stone Age tools of the Laetoli Archaeological Site, Tanzania, and comparisons with possible source materials (with K. A. Adelsberger, A. Z.P. Mabullah, and D. C. Bowman), Paleontology and Geology of Laetoli: Human Evolution in Context (2011)


"The Diversity of Accreted Oceanic Lithosphere in the Brooks Range, Alaska." (with J.M. Bird and J. Wessels), Proceedings of the 29th International Geological Congress : Kyoto, Japan, 24 (1994)


"Early Precambrian Basic Rocks of South America" (with E.P. Olivera, H. Silva Sa, and J. Tarney), Early Precambrian Basic Magmatism (1990)