About the founder and Director

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Naturalist Steve O'Neil is the Executive Director of ENP  

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

Steve has worked in many interesting seasonal and full-time positions at many well known private, State and National Parks, private inns, camps, and farms some of these include The Great Smoky Mountain National Park(TN/NC), Hammocks Beach State Park(NC), Chimney Rock State Park(NC), Falling Creek Camp for Boys(NC), Flat Rock Nature Canter(NC), Kitty Hawk Aero Tours(NC), The Great Smoky Mountains Railway(NC), Little Saint Simons Island Inn(GA), and Earthshine Lodge/Discovery Center(NC).   His job titles have included: seasonal park ranger, trail ranger,  interpretive naturalist, camp counselor, nuisance black bear, wild boar, and Timber rattlesnake trapper/relocator, and aircraft mechanics assistant. 

Steve's passions are reptiles and wildlife conservation, public nature education and renewable energy, and Electric Vehicle technology and science literacy.  He was greatly inspired to follow his dream of working with wildlife in his early years first by his adoptive parents Catherine and Clayton O'Neil who gave him a love for all things natural and real.  Later Steve was influenced by Marlin Perkins and Jim on Wild Kingdom, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Sir David Attenborough, Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Grizzly Adams, Carl Sagan, Marty Stouffer's Wild America, Rachel Carson, Harry Butler Down Under, Steve Irwin "The Crocodile Hunter," Captain Paul Watson of The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Elon Musk and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. 

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Steve has conducted hundreds of nature, wildlife, and music presentations to thousands of children and adults over the years.  He has lead many camper groups of youngsters and adults into forests, fields, caves, swamps, and dunes in search of all things and all places wild and wonderful.  Steve is a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator specializing in reptiles and Opossums. 


Steve has put in hundreds of volunteer hours keeping track of several wild turtles and snakes in the wilds of WNC, and he has worked as a volunteer citizen scientist for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission's Nongame-Endangered Wildlife program monitoring reptiles, amphibians, and bats.  

Steve's Suggestions

Steve Recommended Movies:

Steve Recommended Books:

Star Wars (all of them)

Star Trek (all of them in sequence) 

Indiana Jones (all of them)

Serenity (Sequel to Firefly but watch only AFTER watching the entire Firefly series) 

The Great Escape

The Italian Job (original and new)

Hidden Figures

Apollo 13

First Man


The Martian

Science and Nature Reference 

Cosmos – Carl Sagan

Earth in Human Hands – David Grinspoon

Venomous – Christie Wilcox

Unstoppable – Bill Nye

Undeniable – Bill Nye

Everything All At Once - Bill Nye 

Merchants of Doubt - Naomi Oreskes

The Ghosts of Evolution - Connie Barlow

Nature is Trying to Kill You - Dan Riskin

Clean Disruption - Tony Seba

Vulture - Katie Fallon

America's Snake - Ted Levin

Spillover - David Quammen

Immune - Kurzegestagt

Fiction/Science Fiction

Anything by Arthur C. Clarke

Anything by Isacc Azimov

Sahara – Clive Cussler

Inca Gold – Clive Cussler  

Anything by Clive Cussler

Anything by Carl Hiaasen

Anything by Gary Larson

Steve Recommended TV Shows:

Steve Recommended Documentaries:

Bill Nye the Science Guy (Netflix)

Bill Nye Saves the World (Netflix)

Star Talk (Netflix and others)

Whale Wars


Star Wars - all and the animated series

Star Trek - all in sequence 

Firefly (Netflix)

Battlestar Galactica (original series and reboot) 


That 70's Show

Andy Griffith Show

Magnum PI (old and new)

MacGyver (old and new)


These may be found on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Vimeo, DirecTV/Dish Network, Disnay+, Curiosity Stream, etc

Cosmos (original) – Carl Sagan

Cosmos (reboot) – Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Seth McFarlane

Cosmos - Possible Worlds - Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Seth McFarlane

Racing Extinction - Louie Psihoyos, Leilani Munter, Elon Musk

Your Inner Fish, Your Inner Reptile, Your Inner Monkey – Neil Shubin

National Geographic Explorer - all of them

Nova - all of them

Planet Earth and Planet Earth 2

The Day The Dinosaurs Died - NOVA

Who Killed the Neanderthals

One Strange Rock

Seven Worlds One Planet

Sharkwater and Sharkwater Extinction and REvolution – Rob Stewart and Sea Shepherd

The Cove


Chasing Ice

Merchants of Doubt - Naomi Oreskes

Who Killed the Electic Car

Revenge of the Electric Car


Gasland II

Supersize Me

Food Inc.


Countdown: The Insparation4 Mission to Space

Steve recommended Youtube:

Science Steve’s Channel: Look up Earthshine Nature Programs or go there now.


Big Think

Evan Hadfield's Rare Earth

Earth Guardians

Everyday Astronaut

Lab Padre

Fragile Oasis

Fully charged show


Jared Owen

Leilani Munter

Louie Swartzberg


Minute Earth


NASA Johnson

NASA/Jet Propultion Laborotory 

National Geographic


Physics Girl

Prince Ea

RadioLab WNYC


Shots of Awe



Stated Clearly and Stated Casually 

It's OK to be Smart






TedX Talks


The Muppets

The Nature Conservancy

The Planetary Society

Transport Evolved


Xavier Rudd

Earthshine nature programs