Enjoy the beautiful photos on our website? They were graciously made available for our use by Tom Earnhardt, a devoted naturalist and conservationist.
Tom is the writer, producer, and host of UNC-TV series, Exploring North Carolina. The series has been nominated for Emmy Awards no less than five times. There is no doubt Tom is an expert naturalist and story-teller. When looking at the photographs on NC Forever’s website or any photos of the natural world, Tom encourages you to find the story.
Tom has a particular passion for North Carolina’s landscape. He has authored several books on the outdoors, including Crossroads of the Natural World: Exploring North Carolina with Tom Earnhardt. Speaking with him, you can’t help but be impressed with his knowledge of ecology and how all life, plant and animal, depend on each other. Tom refers to North Carolina as a microcosm of the temperate world. Citizens and visitors to our state can enjoy all aspects of our biological diversity, whether it’s the Sugar Leaf in the mountains, White oak in the piedmont, or the Long Leaf Pine by the coast.
Tom believes that having children out in nature is integral to our education system and necessary to produce tomorrow’s environmental stewards. Growing up Tom was exposed to the mountains, piedmont, and coast of NC. He notes that when he was a student at Davidson, he discovered environmental law in its early days. Since then he has seen and been involved with organizations who have made impressive strides on conservation. While the advances made have been exciting, Tom maintains that with NC’s growth, we cannot lose focus when it comes to conserving NC’s lands, waters, and quality of life.
In this video you’ll see me sit down with Tom at Dorothea Dix Park to discuss his passion for our state and the natural world.