Stephen (Steve) is passionate about the outdoor classroom and active, tactile learning. He has dedicated his career to bringing the Irish landscape, archaeology and history to life for all, from early school children to university students to culturally curious retirees.
He holds BA (mod) and PhD degrees in Geology (1991) and Geoarchaeology (1995) from Trinity College Dublin. He is the co-founder of the Irish Archaeology Field School (2005), the Irish Heritage School (2016), Cultural Tourism Ireland (2010), Dig it Kids (2011) and CRDS Ltd (1997). Prior to 1997, Steve spent two years as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Archaeology Department, University College Dublin, during which time he also undertook a research fellowship in Bologna, Italy.
Since 2015, Steve has served as an international guest speaker for the Archaeological Institute of America’s lecture program. In 2018, he was appointed to the Cultural Heritage Advisory Panel for the Dublin City Council Culture Company. In 2019, he was appointed to the executive board of the Discovery Programme, the state centre for archaeology and innovation in Ireland. Also in 2019, he was appointed as a Research Associate of the Smithsonian Museum.
Previously, Steve served as Vice-Chairperson of the Royal Irish Academy Committee for Archaeology from 2009 to 2014. From 2012 to 2015 he was the External Examiner in Applied Archaeology at Sligo Institute of Technology. In 2013, he was appointed to a European Commission DG Enterprise Project to review cultural heritage tourism across the European Union. He served as financial advisor to the WAC-6 (2009).
Steve is an instructor for the Ireland-Birr Environmental Science field school, run in partnership with the Institute for Field Research. He co-founded two highly acclaimed community-based research and education projects, the Digging the Lost Town of Carrig Project and the Blackfriary Community Heritage and Archaeology Project and has presented academic and public talks on the projects in Ireland and internationally, including to the Smithsonian Museum and the Archaeological Institute of America.
Steve has co-authored two books, The Irish Stone Axe Project: Monograph I (1998, with Prof Gabriel Cooney) and Carrick, County Wexford: Ireland’s first Anglo-Norman Stronghold (2019, with Dr Denis Shine, Dr Michael Potterton and Catherine McLoughlin) and has contributed to a dozen more. He has also authored numerous academic papers in subjects as diverse as geology, archaeology, geoarchaeology, community heritage and the heritage economy.
Steve is also an expert guide and travel planner and has led several special interest tours of Ireland’s archaeological heritage. He is a Heritage in Schools Expert and teaches in-school archaeology education programmes. He also runs hands-on educational camps, workshops and events for children and educators.
He is a professional member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland, the Institute of Geologists of Ireland, and the European Federation of Professional Geologists.