The People of Coastal Kingdom
Tony has been working in the field of environmental education for over two decades with emphasis on southeastern animals and plants. During his college years and after graduating from Georgia Southern University in 1985, he worked in a variety of positions as a naturalist in state and national parks and nature centers. Tony also worked for twenty years as the outreach program coordinator for the University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. His job included development and implementation of educational programs promoting ecological research to schools and the general public.
Tony now works as the education director for the LowCountry institute. His duties include co-teaching the Lowcountry Master Naturalist Program, producing and conducting educational programs for local schools, field trips and teacher workshops. He has written numerous newspaper columns and articles on local plants and animals for the popular media and co-wrote the book Lizards and Crocodilians of the Southeast (UGA press June 2009). Although Tony spends a major portion of his time teaching and writing, he continues his extensive field study with plants and animals of the southeast. Past research trips have taken him on excursions into the jungles of Mexico and Costa Rica to conduct studies on snakes and lizards and into the Everglades of South Florida to collect introduced pythons and endangered crocodiles.
Read more about Tony in Why I Became a Naturalist
Ben Mills is a freshman music major at USC Aiken in South Carolina. He writes and performs the music for the show including the “Coastal Kingdom” theme. Ben plays guitar, keyboards, drums and many other instruments.
Chris has been the director of the Spring Island Trust since 1998. Chris was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. He received his B.S. in Zoology in 1977 from N.C. State University and completed a PhD in Zoology from Oregon State in 1984. Prior to moving to the Lowcountry, Chris was a biology professor at Coastal Carolina University where he taught ornithology, ecology, and animal behavior. While at Coastal Carolina he also served as a regional director of a statewide program to improve math and science education in South Carolina. As Executive Director Chris coordinates the management and education programs of the Spring Island Trust and the LowCountry Institute. He also provide technical expertise to local policymakers and developers about the impact of development on local habitats and water quality.
Kathryn Madden started her career as a research biologist, studying sandhills botany and wetland communities. She has taught for nearly a decade in the South Carolina public schools and currently teaches environmental science at Whale Branch Middle School. She holds a degree in biology as well as a masters degree in science education.
Rob Lewis has been shooting video in and around the Lowcountry for nearly 10 years. After graduating from the College of Charleston in 2002, Rob worked as a news photographer for WCIV-ABC News 4 in Charleston, SC. From there, Rob went on to work for South Carolina ETV in Spartanburg and Beaufort, SC.
While at ETV Rob developed a passion for filming nature and working on longer format documentaries.
At ETV Lowcountry in Beaufort, Rob worked as videographer, editor, and director for such projects as "Penn Center: A Legacy of Change," and "Historic Jasper County." Rob served with the Beaufort County School District, producing videos for the administration and working to incorporate video into the classroom.
Now with Beaufort County, Rob is a broadcast specialist and produces, directs, shoots and edits "Coastal Kingdom." Rob also works on many other video projects for all branches of the Beaufort County Government.
Read more about Rob in Why I Became a Director/Cinematographer
Beth Lewis came to the Beaufort area in 2007 for a job with the Department of Natural Resources at the Waddell Mariculture Center. Always interested in the outdoors and conservation, Beth took up nature photography as a hobby. She provides all the stills used in the show during the closing credits, as well as many production shots used for this website. Beth holds a degree in Marine Biology from the College of Charleston, and currently works for the Recycling and Solid Waste division of Beaufort County.
Scott has a degree in Communications from Winthrop University. His work includes 10 years of experience in television at South Carolina Educational Television and two years as weather talent at WSAV-TV. He worked for 15 years in professional radio at stations WYKZ, WCHY, and WJCL, as well as running a personal production business. His work experience also includes eight years in professional staging for trade shows and conventions for the Hyatt Hotel Chain.
He is currently employed by Beaufort County to engineer and manage Beaufort County Broadcast Services, "The County Channel."