Stephen Freeland is an Astrobiologist and the Director of Interdisciplinary Studies at UMBC in Baltimore. Building from a bachelors degree in zoology (Oxford), a Masters’ degree in computer science (University of York), and a Ph.D. in genetics (Cambridge University), his personal research came to focus upon the earliest evolution of life on our planet. After a postdoctoral fellowship to Princeton, Steve worked for eight years as a biology professor at UMBC before leaving to serve for four years as the project manager for the University of Hawaii node of the NASA Astrobiology Institute (where he worked to facilitate scientists from diverse disciplines working together to derive insights into the origin, distribution and evolution of life in the universe.) In 2013, he returned to UMBC in order to run one of the oldest interdisciplinary studies programs in the country (where he works to support students in creating and executing of unique undergraduate degree programs that combine two or more traditional academic disciplines.) Raised Methodist, Steve explored many different denominations before coming to land at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal church in Baltimore (Saint Bee’s). He is the proud husband and father in a blended family that comprises and three daughters who bring such joy and energy that only his amazing wife can rescue him to go for a quiet walk with the dog.
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