Michael Bolte received his undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of Central Florida, Master of Science Degree in Physics from Florida State University and PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of Washington in 1987. After a postdoctoral position at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory in Victoria, BC, he was awarded one of the first of the prestigious NASA Hubble Fellowships. In 1993, he joined the faculty of the University of California, Santa Cruz with a joint appointment in the Astronomy and Physics Department and UCO faculty. He has Chaired the W.M. Keck Observatory Science Steering Committee, the California Extremely Large Telescope Project Steering Committee and the Thirty-Meter Telescope Science Advisory Committee. He was a member of the CARA Board of Directors overseeing the W.M. Keck Observatory from 2005-2012 and has been a member of the Thirty-Meter Telescope Board of Directors since 2005. From 2005-2012 he served as Director of the University of California Observatories overseeing Lick Observatory, the UC Observatories extensive labs and shops and the UC share of the W.M. Keck Observatory.
His research areas are observational tests of stellar evolution, determinations of the age of the Universe, the origin of the chemical elements and chemical evolution since the Big Bang, and the nature of the first stars to form after the Big Bang.
He is a long-time rock climber and wild-places enthusiast. Wildlife photography and conservation are additional passions.