Exploring North Carolina


Tom Earnhardt is a graduate of Davidson College and UNC School of Law. He is an attorney with experience in government, corporate and private practice. Tom also had over 20 years in the classroom as a full professor of law. In Earnhardt’s “other life” he has been, and continues to be, an avid naturalist. He has written, or edited, books on such diverse topics as mayflies, saltwater fly fishing, and boat design. He has been a contributor of conservation/environmental articles and editorials to magazines and newspapers. His outdoor and conservation-related travel and speaking engagements have taken him across North America, the British Isles, Europe, and Asia, including Russia (seven trips) and China. He has served on the boards of major conservation organizations, including The Nature Conservancy (state), Trout Unlimited (national), and North Carolina Wildlife Federation. He currently serves on the boards of Audubon North Carolina and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, where he is currently presently President-Elect of the Friends Board.


Joe Albea, who received his education at East Carolina University, is an acclaimed outdoor photographer. Joe has long been known and the Host and Producer of Carolina Outdoor Journal. The Journal has long been broadcast statewide on UNC-TV (North Carolina Public Television) for fifteen seasons. No other program has served the fishing and outdoor community better or longer than the Journal. Along with his extensive travel in North Carolina, Albea has filmed in Africa, South America, and across North America, including Alaska. His extensive collection of still photographs and video nature footage has graced many magazine covers and his video footage has been used in commercial television, videos, and museums.

As Co-Producer and Videographer of Exploring North Carolina, for five seasons Albea and Co-Producer Tom Earnhardt have produced almost 40 half-hour documentaries covering the social history and natural science of North Carolina and the Southeast. Exploring North Carolina has received three Emmy Nominations, but more importantly, been selected by the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust for distribution to North Carolina Public Schools.

Individually, Joe Albea has been recognized for his work to protect natural resources. In 2004 he received the “Honorary Warden” award from North Carolina Audubon and “The Conservation Award” from the International Wild Waterfowl Association. In 2008 he received the “Ducks Unlimited Wetlands Conservation Achievement Award” (National) and the “Fisheries Conservation Award” from The American Fisheries Society, North Carolina Chapter. Joe is married and lives in Greenville with his wife and son.

Mark Crews studied communications at East Carolina University. He has been a full time video editor and post-production editor since 1995. Marks Career started with the  East Carolina University Athletics Department.  For the last eight seasons he has been Editor of the Carolina Outdoor Journal, which airs on UNC-TV statewide. He has also been editor of  the nationally syndicated Southern Outdoor Experience. Mark also founded and works with the successful multi-service media company, Finished Works, Inc.

From the beginning (five seasons) Mark Crews has been the Editor of the three times Emmy nominated, Exploring North Carolina. In addition to making sure all voice, natural sound, video, and still footage flow seamlessly together, Mark is also the man behind all graphics, special effects and animation used in Exploring North Carolina. His contributions are a major reason the series is so successful statewide and in the schools of North Carolina.

In addition to three Emmy Nominations Mark was the recipient of a gold “Addy.” He and his wife, Daranda, and their son, Noah, live in Richlands, NC.

Tom is the Co-Producer, writer and host of the UNC-TV (Public Television) television series, Exploring North Carolina, which highlights natural resources of North Carolina and the Southeast. The series has been nominated for an Emmy three times. As of December 2008, Earnhardt and Co- Producer Joe Albea will have written and co-produced over 40 episodes for the series. Beginning in the fall of 2008 episodes of Exploring North Carolina will be made available to North Carolina public schools through the generosity of the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust.

Earnhardt has received numerous awards for his work with natural resources, including the Governor’s Award as “North Carolina Conservationist of the Year” in 1994. In 2004 Earnhardt received the “Honorary Warden” award from North Carolina Audubon Society and “The Conservation Award” from the International Wild Waterfowl Association for work in habitat protection. In January, 2006, he was named recipient of the “Order of the Golden Salamander,” the highest award of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Tom lives in Raleigh with his wife Dana Jennings and children, Izaak and Rachel.