AirKeeper Spotlight: Steve O’Neil

Mar 21, 2018

Western conservationist a natural partner for Clean Air Carolina


North Carolina has a proud contingent of naturalists, conservationists, and citizens interested in protecting the natural splendor of the state. One very dedicated naturalist working with Clean Air Carolina, Steve O’Neil, founder of Earthshine Nature Programs, has been finding AirKeeper partners all over western North Carolina.  He’s installed multiple particle monitors, including at the Cherokee Welcome Center, and most recently at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Center (PARI)!  

Local Advocate

Steve is originally from Hendersonville, North Carolina.  He spent his early years chasing snakes, lizards, and salamanders all over the mountains. During his college years, Steve studied wildlife and fisheries management and recreation management as well as zooarchaeology.

His past job titles have included seasonal park ranger, backcountry trail ranger, interpretive naturalist, camp counselor, nuisance black bear, wild boar and rattlesnake trapper, and aircraft mechanics assistant. Steve’s passions are reptiles and wildlife conservation and public nature education.  He was greatly inspired to follow his dream of working with wildlife in his early years first by his parents Catherine and Clayton O’Neil who gave him a love for all things natural and real.

Earthshine Nature Programs

That’s why Steve founded Earthshine Nature Programs in 2010.  Its mission is to provide a unique learning environment and opportunities for everyone that will foster a lasting interest, respect, love, and desire to conserve wildlife, wild places, and the fragile environment that supports us all.

Steve has conducted hundreds of nature and wildlife presentations to thousands of children and adults over the years.  He has lead many camper groups of youngsters and adults into forests, mountains, caves, swamps, and sand dunes in search of all things and all places wild and wonderful. He works to provide exciting outreach programming taking wildlife conservation and renewable energy messages to local, regional and worldwide communities through schools, libraries, camps, churches, special events, festivals, and other public and private organizations.  Thank you, Steve, for being a Citizen Science Ambassador for Clean Air Carolina!

Join the Movement!

Clean Air Carolina is currently deploying a network of smart sensors in every single North Carolina county in 2018!  We need your support! If you are in a county not yet covered on the map, become an AirKeeper today and we can arrange a monitor in your area.  You can support the cause by sponsoring a monitor for a priority area by heading to our donation page.  Every monitor can make a difference!