Fields earns doctoral degree

Biologist serves Culture & Heritage Museums as curator of natural history

ROCK HILL, SC – Completing a dissertation that may “cause a stir with paleontologists everywhere,” Culture & Heritage Museums Curator of Natural History Steve Fields will receive his doctor of philosophy degree in integrative biology from the University of South Carolina on May 9.

The public is invited to a free reception honoring Fields 2-4 p.m. Sunday, May 10, at the Museum of York County.

Fields’ dissertation, passed unanimously by his Ph.D. committee, proposes changing the classification of ground sloths found in the fossil record in the southeastern United States. He maintains that one sloth is merely a smaller version of the same species, and should never have been classified as a separate form.

Fields began his career at the Culture & Heritage Museums with an internship as a curatorial assistant in 1988. He has served as curator of natural history since 1998 and is responsible for all aspects of natural history collections management, research and exhibition development.

Fields also holds bachelor of science and master of science degrees in biology from Winthrop University. He teaches biology, geology and environmental science part-time for Winthrop’s department of biology.

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The Culture & Heritage Museums are managed by the York County Culture and Heritage Commission (CHC), chartered in 1997 by the York County, South Carolina, Council. The Culture and Heritage Foundation supports the CHC, its museums and the future museum being developed on the Catawba River at I-77.