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E.J. Dwigans


E.J. Dwigans

E.J. grew up in Randolph County, North Carolina, on the edge of Uwharrie National Forest where he spent a considerable amount of time hiking, camping, and learning about the natural world. He is an Eagle Scout who considers outdoor education to be of the utmost importance, especially in the world of modern technology we live in today. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (UNC) and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the UNC Institute for the Environment. His undergraduate studies focused on ecological, biological, and earth sciences. While attending UNC he spent time living and studying at the Highlands Biological Station (HBS) in Highlands, NC, where he studied mountain biodiversity and conservation. His research at HBS consisted of mapping the densities and distribution of an invasive freshwater clam species in the Little Tennessee, Tuckasegee, and Pigeon River watersheds as well as quantitative comparisons of stream health within the Tuckasegee watershed. During this time, he began to pursue an interest in fungi and nature photography. His significant knowledge of fungi in Western North Carolina has led him to educate others about this often unseen world around us. His nature photography has been featured by WUNC ( and other works can be found on his Instagram account @shroomiej.

E.J. worked for the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation for over 2 years. First at Eno River State Park in Durham, NC, and most recently as a Park Ranger in the temperate rainforests of Gorges State Park in Sapphire, NC. He is Basic Life Support (CPR AED) by the American Heart Association. During his time with NC State Parks he worked to educate the public concerning natural resource management and protection. He wholeheartedly believes in the importance of environmental education as our global society looks to focus on the stewardship of the Earth into the future.

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