East Carolina University professor Dr. Stan Riggs will appear in two episodes of the UNC-TV series, “Exploring North Carolina,” in January. Hosted by Tom Earnhardt, the show focuses on the natural features of the state.
Riggs, a distinguished research professor of geology, said he worked with Earnhardt to determine what topics were exciting and important to the show’s viewers. Each program required three to five days on location collecting video footage and interviews.
“The purpose of the programs is educating the public – how the cultural history is dependent on the coastal system,” said Riggs.
The first episode, “Canals of Northeastern North Carolina,” features the role of slaves who were brought to the state to dig the original canals that changed the landscape in the region. Riggs discusses the geology of the lakes and swamps and their significance.
The second program, “Long Parks,” tells the story of how two very different national parks –Cape Lookout National Seashore and the Blue Ridge Parkway – display the natural wonders of eastern and western North Carolina. Riggs speaks about the unique geological aspects of each park.
“Canals of Northeastern North Carolina” will air Thursday, Jan. 12 and “Long Parks” will be shown on Thursday Jan. 19 at 8:30 p.m.
Riggs said the episodes, along with others in the Exploring North Carolina series, will be made available to area schools after airing on UNC-TV.
In addition to his role at ECU, Riggs is chair of the board of directors of North Carolina Land of Water (NC-LOW), a non-profit group that partners with ECU and co-sponsored the Exploring North Carolina programs. NC-LOW’s website says the mission of the group is to contribute to long-term, sustainable economic development based on the natural resources and cultural history of the region and enhance the quality of life for residents. ECU geology faculty Dr. Dorothea Ames and Dr. Steve Culver and ECU Chief of Staff Jim Hopf also serve on the organization’s board of directors.
“NC-LOW looks at how we can build sustainable jobs for the future in a region that’s changing due to environmental factors like storms and flooding,” said Riggs.
-by Jamie Smith